On first impression I wasn't even sure if this is a waterscape or if I'm standing on a very high mountain and looking down at the clouds or mist in the valley.
I like it when photos make me think; when they create an ambiguity my brain wants to "solve" - be it about scales, colors or forms that allow several interpretations.
However, you helped my interpretation with the category "waterscape" and the location "Isola di Pantelleria, Italy".
But this makes me think even harder. Italy? And the title: "Frozen"? I would've believed you if you said it was in Iceland.
Stereotypic photos of Italy always depict summer, always depict warmth in the different terracotta shades of the Toscana. But this really looks freezing cold. I ask myself whether it really was that cold (Was it very early in the morning? Or did you travel to Sicillia in winter? Or both?) or if the blue colors are playing with my mind.
I think this fact earns you a full rating in originality even though a misty waterscape itself isn't the most original thing on earth.
Regarding colors, I think they are very impressive here with the strong saturated blue mixing with just the right amount of light pink in the mist. The light pink makes the scenery credible (not like all colors were extremely shifted to blue in which case the pinks may have been lost) and it tells me it might have been very early in the morning.
But most of all I like the composition, where we have a very detailed, contrasting and rhythmic middle- and background, but in the foreground this little round bassin between the rocks that always leads the eye back into the image along the diagonal path in the middle. This is sometimes in a circular movement of an "8" or back and forth along the lines of a "Z". This way the viewer looks at the details several times and discovers new shapes every time. I absolutely don't get tired of looking at this.
I think the title "golden cascade" is very fitting!
There are similar tones of greenish yellow and brown throughout the photo and this gives a very warm and peaceful feel. The "cascade" is emphasized by your composition, that divides the photo horizontally in equal thirds (foreground, middle ground, and background) that are on different levels. According to the rule of thirds this is a good horizontal composition and it looks harmonic.
What pops out, however is the little "waterfall" right in the middle, that is not only of cold white/grey color (in contrast to the warm gold around) but also the only very bright element. The waterfall is also emphasized by the fallen tree that diagonally directly points towards it.
I think the problem about this composition is that the point of interest is right in the middle (which most of the time isn't the best spot). We are also led to this point from the upper left and the diagonal tree with the very dark area below that builds up a rather dramatic contrast.
However, there is nothing on the right where the eye is led further from this center - for example into the background with the beautiful bright yellow trees. Instead everything else is symmetric and of similar tones. This somehow keeps your eyes from wandering and discovering what is on the right. This sort of compsition has a little bit of a "background"-feel, that some stock providers offer for photomanipulations: The kind of photo that creates a mood but would need additional elements to tell a story.
I heard you dulled some of the brighter reflections in the water. Maybe to my taste they would've made the foreground more interesting to look at. But who knows?
I already gave you some ideas on composition in private. I will leave them out here because you were going for the symmetry to keep the pond intact, which I completely understand. However your other photo of a similar scenery Garden of Eden does have exacly the sort of composition I would've preferred. To me this one has the more beautiful pond, but the other one impacts me more because as a viewer I can feel more like being part of the scenery<img src="e.deviantart.net/emoticons/s/s…" width="15" height="15" alt="" title=" (Smile)"/>
Looking at this photo I can almost feel the warm breeze from the sea on a summer morning. We are presented a very beautiful sea view and the colors are really impressing. On first sight they almost looked like from a fantasy world, where I'd try to find mermaids on the rocks.
However, looking at the title "Balance" I'm not sure how it applies to the picture as a whole.
The colors are really warm and tranquil, but the composition to does not look exactly balanced to me.
The "weight", in form of the heavy and strongly textured/detailed rocks is more to the left, whilst there is not much of a counter-balance on the right. Also the horizon is very high so that there is more emphasis on the big blue rock at the bottom than on the top. This rock also pops out because of its blue color (unlike everything else) and it makes an entry of the eye into the rest of the picture difficult. I wish there was a little more space on the right to show the water and give the water just as much space as the rocks are taking.
Try to think in terms of the lines you want the eye to be led along the picture. At the moment my eye is led to the right towards the horizon, but it finds no place to rest or any diagonal or curved shape that would lead me back to the left.
Overall, it's a great shot and I hope you don't mind me nitpicking. The flaws in composition I see are easily outweighed by the amazing color scheme and and the dreamlike athmosphere you can create so well in your photographs.