I don't know how critical this critique will be, since I think this is easily one of your best fractals, and definitely the best of the disk plasmas. I think the main thing that gives it such an impact (besides looking like the beach, of course) is the balance of light and dark colors. You definitely got that spot on. Near-flawless composition helps, too. I say "near" because now that I think about it, the fractal could have been scooted a skosh to the left. There! There is my obligatory critique suggestion. It will probably be the only one I can think of, so... time to gush about the textures for a little while! <img src="e.deviantart.com/emoticons/g/g…" width="17" height="15" alt="" title="Giggle" />
Because seriously... I remember you posting some in-progress params for this asking for texturing help, and I am SO damn glad you didn't take my advice. This is WAY better than whatever I ponged back at you. I love the sand texture especially. I'm looking at it in download view right now and the way it interacts with the swoopy plasma lines is awesome. The wave texture is perhaps a bit visually monotonous (holy crap, a second piece of critique! <img src="e.deviantart.com/emoticons/w/w…" width="23" height="23" alt="" title="w00t!" />) but I suspect that is only in comparison with the sand texture. Also, I guess it fits with waves/water/seafoam anyway.
Last but not least, the dividing line of white between the waves and the sand is extraordinarily well executed. I appreciated it before but now that I am seeing it in download view it just might be my favorite part of this fractal. I'm having a hard time articulating why though... it's just... the undulating shapes, both on a small and large scale, in addition to the way it appears smoothly and translucently brushed on... it's visually appealing in it's own right, but especially appropriate for the meeting of shore and sea.
Can't really think of a good way to conclude this. Hopefully everything up to this point speaks for itself. <img src="e.deviantart.com/emoticons/x/x…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title="XD" />