What I love so much about this one compared to the first is how intimately involved the viewer is with the waterfall.... the water really rushes toward us and right out of the picture. The previous one was much more objectively focused. I also love the shine on the rocks.
As to the matting/"framing" issue, I will remain neutral. I wonder if, in the previous posts, people thought the large mat drew their attention because of a contrast difference other than luminosity contrast but detail contrast. What I mean is "it's big and brown," to me, meant that it was monochromatic and textureless in contrast to a portrait that was full of texture and different colors. If, for example, one were to put a big brown circle, say 10% of the picture, in the lower left hand corner of the image itself (instead of around the image), wouldn't the eye be initially attracted to it? (1) because it's not "natural" in the image, and (2)because it would so dramatically contrast with the rich, textured environment? Maybe that's one way of describing what "big and brown" means.