First Light


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96 reviews for First Light

  1. Bill [plusmember]

    I don’t comment on most of your renderings, but this one really caught my eye. I have loved this site for over 10 years and know in my mind that ALL of your work is exceptional! Thank You!!!

  2. Clarence


    Jazz trumpet player Freddie Hubbard died in December 2008, a little bit before the debut of this image. I found it interesting at that time that this image shared the name with one of his most revered albums. I think the title track sums this image up perfectly.

  3. Angelique

    Have you ever ordered a print of this from Zazzle? I was really anticipating receiving it, as this looks so gorgeous on a computer screen, but when the poster arrived in the mail I was disappointed by how very dark it printed. The colors and light looked nothing like it does here on the screen. It’s a shame 🙁 I don’t know if Zazzle just does bad prints or if maybe the file prints out that way when you print it. In the past when I had some of my digital camera’s photos printed at WalGreen’s I found a similar thing had happened where they printed out much darker contrast and light than they appeared when viewing on a computer screen.

  4. Buddercup

    Love this one!

  5. Dave Sp

    Because this image is my background, for the past few months when I hold Netmeetings the participants have been seeing this image while I set up my meeting.

    Most see this as an image of my backyard. 🙂

    But some have seen this as an atomic bomb explosion happening over the horizon, because the bright light source, to them, seems “mushroom” shaped rather than circular.

    Interesting either way. 🙂


  6. Vivian

    I normally don’t use daylight wallpapers mainly because the sun area blinds me. But this is just right. It’s just enough brightness and softness that it doesn’t distract me when I see my desktop. I particularly love the subtle blend of colours at the bottom and the wild plant life around it.

    Have you thought about getting a postcard made from this one? I would love to send it to my friends and make them jealous.

  7. Mangoman

    Hi. Hey Ryan, I’m sorry if I came off as overly sensitive about the criticism you’d received, and I realize that you depend on us, your supporters and fans for feedback. I do remember hearing one thing which has stuck with me for the last 30 years – “Constructive Criticism? There is No Such Thing!” I’ve always agreed with that. I believe it boils down to opinion. It just struck me as wrong, and bothered me at the time. Again, apologies. 🙂 Mmn.

  8. moonshadow

    ryan i love the first light picture, its fresh and the flowers add some color around the edges. love it

  9. Gar

    Beautiful image. I look forward to when you have time to put the 2x and 3x split files up. Thanks for all the effort you put into these images.

  10. Sly V.

    I like it. The improvements to the shore are right on cue. I think the change in the water is interesting. It was just fine before but this one is just as good. I didn’t notice the change in the plants that other people alluded to until I took a second look. It doesn’t worsen or heighten the picture to me. They both look good. All in all I would say the image was grand with the exception of the clouds. Why did you change them? I don’t mean the shape. Its the shadowing. In the first one the shadowing in the clouds was gradual. In this one there seems to be a sharp lining of the shadow in the center of the clouds. Good picture though.

  11. Owen Clark

    A great revision, much improoved, now one of my favourite images.

  12. General B

    I’ll leave out criticising the shore, as it seems that everyone else has had something to say about it, but the one thing that really stands out to me is the leaves. Personally I think they little a little plastic, which takes from the scene somewhat, due to them being in the foreground.

    This is mainly in reference to the trees and ferns (ferns to a lesser extent, the look can be attributed to their general dampness), the red flowering plants don’t have the same plastic look.

    It’s not a big, obvious thing that shouts “PLASTIC!” at me, more just a general feeling I get as I look at it. It just doesn’t feel completely natural.


    There’s not much new I can say about the rest of the image. As the rest have attested, it looks wonderful.

  13. John Brodi

    I just signed up for 1 year after having a 90 days subscription last year. Your work is to good brother. Best I have ever seen. Peace to you in 2009 and keep em coming.

  14. Benjamin

    Need more be said? Your talent as an artist of digital rendering continues to become more and more incredible. I disagree with anyone trying to manipulate your art such as the “copying and pasting”. So lovely, reminds me of Useppa island in Florida.

  15. John

    I think people are commenting that the clouds are funny because if you compare the two images the dark areas in the middle of the clouds are much more defined now. Look at the first image and you will notice the dark areas are less crisp.

  16. Mark


    You did a fantastic job on this new image. Feels like a breath of fresh air for those of us currently experiencing the joys of winter. brrr


  17. Corbey

    Glad you’re recovering, Ryan.

    First Light is wonderful and just what I needed to see on a cold January day. I love the realism of the plants in the foreground.

  18. Izor

    I think it is a great picture. I give it 10 for level of detail, but overall composition (which is a personal taste) brought it down to 8 and that is how I rated it. It is a great picture and is very very good.

  19. Scott

    Firstly i wanted to say Ryan, amazing work on the refined waters edge and beach, simply beautiful.

    And I for one like the more calm ocean, because I like calm warm fantasy scenes and I also think some people (looks at some posters in this thread) have forgotten that being totally realistic never was your goal, but to take us all to places if beauty that you create and there is a fine line between constructive criticism and demanding perfection and a realistic picture as the cost of artistic direction.

    And I for one love what you have done with the background and in my opinion you have improved it ten fold.

    Thank you for your hard work and I’m am so very happy to see your feeling better and on the road to recovery

    Best wishes from myself and my family to you



  20. Walo

    This version is a lot better, I live next to the sea and this one nailed the shoreline water effects perfectly. Although the sand grains are far bigger than the real ones I’m not gonna critic that since there are different kinds of sand. One thing I noticed is that the shoreline seems to have jagged edges maybe the anti aliasing didn’t work too well. Anyway, excellent picture and I’m glad you’re feeling better Ryan.

  21. Miles

    Much better! It just adds so much to the picture! Gave it an 8!

  22. Hunter

    Exellent work on that new shore line! Nice job Ryan!

  23. Mike

    Well the shoreline looks great now but that was only thing that had been “wrong” with the first version. Why did you change the foliage? And the surface of the water is now black-looking and lacks the beautiful blue color and sense of waves and momement that it had before. Now it looks more like a lake than an ocean 🙁

  24. SalannB

    Oh my gosh, I love this! It’s my “New Year” wallpaper!

    Hope you’re doing well, Ryan!


  25. Tim


    I liked the water better in the first version. It looked more realistic. The beach in the second version is much better.

  26. Labanimal

    Ryan, hope you’re feeling much better!

    This is really an amazing piece!, I really like the improvement of the water washing onto the beach, but i do agree that the water itself, the blueness of it, and the ripples seemed better in the first version.

    The only other thing i like more in this new version, is the way the sun reflects on the water, this looks more realistic to me than in the first version!

  27. Will

    It looks great!

    my only thing would be to add possibly a pickle jar version with light rolling waves. its not a beach unless you can hear the water smacking the sand and drawing back to where it came from

  28. Randy

    Almost like the clouds from #1 better.

    Thanks for the “warming” background, something to make me wish for the Summer.

  29. Guido

    The water is way better in the second one, but the clouds are somehow strange. I liked the clouds in the first one much better.

  30. Tyson

    Great job as always Ryan. I really like the water now, the first one was a tad grainy, but this render works perfect!

    Wondering if a night version is possible?

  31. Sean W

    Yes, the tweaks that you have done are so awesome! I just hooked up my computer to my HDTV, and when this was posted, it immediately went up as my new, beautiful background. I look forward to going home and updating it with the new version this evening.

    Again, and as always, well done; I’m also glad that you are feeling better! A Happy New Year to you, and thanks for posting the update!

  32. BobaFett

    I really like your newest image, I currently use it as my desktop wallpaper.

    I already used the first version of it and it took me some minutes to get used to the new one, but I really prefer the new water now. Much more realistic IMO, the first version looked more like the water was out of a computer game – well, at least the shore line. I’m now dreaming of being at this beach, when I look at the image. 🙂

    I also appreciate it that you always provide a 16:9 1080p HDTV version for your new wallpapers, as I’m using a 16:9 FullHD monitor with my PC. The standard format still seems to be 16:10, so I’m really glad if there’s a 16:9 version as well. Of course I would just use an extraction from a 16:10 version otherwise.

    Anyway, good work! 🙂

  33. Nate F

    this image in comparison with the first version is much better. the water has been greatly improved; however the sand and the water sand transition area could be improved, i think that you have had better beach images before

  34. Tril

    The water surface is definitely a big improvement. I like the new sand too. However, two new problems:

    1. The clouds look unnatural–the original clouds looked much better. Thankfully, this is fixable on my end with a little cutting and pasting!

    2. The water edge looks unnatural–such calm water should not be producing any white foam.

    Overall still 9/10 for me.

  35. Mike

    I’m glad your’re doing better 🙂

    This photo is gorgeous! I really like the sky in this one and the body of water looks beautiful too. There was only one little thing I wanted to mention and it’s that the edge of the water line looks a little unnatural (too crisp or something). I don’t know how those programs work that you use to create the pictures and how much they let you adjust things. If it was possible, the water line might look more natural if you could sort of make it have a gradual change from the large body of water to the sand so it looks like a bit of wet sand and clearer water at the very edge of the body of water.

    Other than that tiny thing, it’s utterly perfect 🙂

  36. Mike

    The shoreline on Endless Blue looks more like what I was thinking of and trying to describe in my previous post.

  37. DAB

    It’s beautiful . . . as are they all.

    I hope you’re feeling much better now. I wish you and your family good health and lots of love, laughter, and happiness for 2009!

  38. Dan

    Ahh this one is even better! First one was great, but you’ve improved it. I really like how the water looks now. I also think the sun reflects better on your revised water. I also love the revised beach line and sand. Great! I will keep both though.

  39. G

    Wow, you’ve nailed it perfectly! The shoreline is much much better – I can almost hear the water gently lapping the beach now 😀 And the new surface to the water is perfection, too.

    Out of all the “tweaks” you’ve done to your work, I think this is the most effective.

    I’m more a fan of the sci-fi type images you do, rather than the photorealistic ones, but this one bucks that trend.


  40. Logical

    Nice job- I like the new shoreline. It makes it look a lot more like an actual picture and takes away that “digital” look.

    Keep up the good work!

  41. dejerdejer

    I like the second render alot better looks a lot more realistic with the water. The only problem I see is that the water at the shoreline looks real rough, but the rest of the water looks tranquil. If it is rough at the bank, then there still should be some sort of washline at the shore. I know I’m being picky, but this is something I think could be improved.

    I give the re-render 8.5/10. I think you could improve it some more but I’m still happy with what you have. It is my current background.


  42. Mag

    I gave the first version of this an 8/10 because of the shoreline mainly.

    But the revised verision is no doubt 10/10, the shorelines GREAT, the white foam on the edge sorta looks like its moving, and the dark sand right above the shoreline is just like a real beach as the tide rises and lowers.


  43. Josh

    I think the shoreline is a MAJOR improvement. Looks excellent!

    However, I do believe that the change in the ocean is a step backwards. It looks more like a lake than an ocean now. I think the less-calm waves looked more realistic. This water is just too calm and reflective. Almost looks like bog water.

    The light in the first version just makes everything look better.

    I wish the first version was improved only with sea foam. 🙁

  44. Janel

    You have amazing talent and this is “Absolutely breathtaking”. I look forward to waking up to this every morning. Wouldn’t it be incredible if this was the view from my window at home?

    Well, this is the next best thing! Are you going to offer this in print?

    Thank you!


  45. Alfa

    That’s just beautiful Ryan, and it’s heading for my desktop right now.

  46. Jamie N

    Although I think the water is suffering from that ‘noise’ problem.

  47. Dan

    Most of this image is great. The shoreline hasn’t got any backwash or other evidence of a tide; although you can see waves in the water.

    Hope to see a more realistic shore in the final version…

  48. Mark

    Perfect image for the new year! Nice to see that you are feeling better; hospitals and procedures are enough to ruin anyones’ spirit for a while… I love the image, but I cannot pull my eye away from where the water meets the land, it seems there is something amiss. Welcome back!

  49. Chris

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend, Ryan. Happy new year, and thanks for the new image!

  50. Curtis

    First off i want to wish you a healthy and happy new year 2009. Let this be a better year for you and everyone else.

    It’s good to hear from you and about your recovery.

    Considering our current times in the world we all are going through, this nice island setting couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I appreciate it very much.

    Although one little thing bothers me, just mentioning the water looking a bit odd as it’s on the sand, it just i don’t know how to say, doesn’t quite look right.

    Other than that i do love the clouds, they look perfect. As someone else has said, you really nailed the clouds’ on Vue recently. Beautiful.

    A refined version will be nice later on.

    Take Care Ryan.

  51. Alvaro

    Thanks! It’s a very nice image. I hope you’re felling better now.

  52. dafaolta

    I too have a problem of where the water meets the sand. The water itself is great, but the line between the sand and the water is too sharp an edge for my eye. Otherwise very cool piece!

  53. Melissa

    Beautiful image Ryan! Love the way the sun comes thru the clouds!!And the colors are awesome!!

    Keep up the Great Work!!

    Happy New Years to You and Yours!

    Wishing you a quick recovery!


  54. Amanda

    Hey Ryan,

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. This is a very nice (and indeed warm) work of art. I will be saving it to put up when it gets warmer outside – I like to have my wallpaper match the mood of where I am (Virginia). Hope your recovery continues to go smoothly.

  55. thebrix

    Just right for the first day back at work after poor weather over the past month in the United Kingdom – no snow but icy even during the day, generally misty or foggy and with a strong East wind.

    Glad to hear you are getting better.

  56. dujeon

    Hi Ryan, nice to have you back hope you are feeling alot better. Another brilliant piece, hope you continue to make a full recovery.

    Peace be with you

  57. Owen Clark

    I love the look of it and the sky is superb, but what’s going on with the “grainyness” on the beach and the ocean ? Particulalry on the left hand side of the image (ocean and beach) it looks bad. There interface between the water and the land looks a bit ropey too, I feel there should be some bubbles or transparency to the water, or something, it looks “fake”.

    Sorry to be negative, the rest of the image looks awesome.


  58. Dan

    This is probably one of the best beach scenes that I have seen on this website. Way to go! It would be cool to see it in a Night time version.

  59. SLS

    You must have read my mind, Ryan – right after Christmas I put up capricorn2k6 on my monitors at work for a little relief from the snow and cold….I love that I now have a new tropical scene to admire! I can almost smell the fresh, salty air….

    Love it!

  60. Dan

    I absolutely love it! The sunset, clouds, islands, they’re all great! And as far as the water goes, I think it looks good! Maybe a little more beach/sand would be nice, replace the hanging vegatation that goes down along the left with sandy beach but leave the vegatation that’s closer to the front of the image. That’s just an idea, but really, I love it. I guess the pain really has subsided cause you brought your A game with this one!

  61. Mangoman

    “but” ??? The man’s been in pain and doing his best to heal, has felt bad because he just can’t quite perform because of nothing that’s his fault, he puts out an absolutely gorgeous work of a beautiful ocean paradise where any of us would love to be right now, and yet someone always has to bust the bubble. Just appreciate it for what it is, and leave the nitpicky critiquing out of it. Give Ryan and the rest of us a break.

  62. LauraS

    I have to agree with Mangoman on this one. I’ve always enjoyed Ryan’s art as it is, I’m not one to nitpick. Yeah, so the shoreline looks a little dodgy, so what? Ryan did say he was using this piece as a test. By the way, has anyone noticed how spectacular the clouds look?!

    Ryan, I think that this was a wonderful test for the water functions and I look foward to what else you’re going to create while your testing the functions of the new version of Vue. BUT, don’t push yourself too early again dude.

  63. Robert

    Thanks for all the awesome pictures and wallpaper. You never cease to amaze me. I look foreward to all the masterpieces you have for us in 2009! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  64. Ryan

    Thanks so much for supporting me. I can see where you are coming from and I appreciate it. I always look forward to reading your comments and I hope you continue to post here for a long time to come.I must say, however, that I would rather see honest constructive criticism here than people catering to my psyche. Yes, I’ve been through a rough patch the past few weeks (and for past year really), but part of me getting back to normal is working and that means making revisions when I agree with the feedback.Working and making my pictures better makes me happy and that is what I need more than just about anything else right now.Keep the feedback coming folks. I am working today on some revisions to the shoreline and hope to have an upgraded version up soon.

  65. Tim

    Really like this one. It is just pleasant to have on my screen. The water and clouds look very nice.

    Good work Ryan!

  66. ChrisSpera


    the water edge near the shore, especially near the right middle of the shot (boy it sure does look realistic!!) isn’t quite right. There’s no “wash” (darkening of the sand above the water line to give the feeling as though the water line moves) foam, or any other kind of hint that the water edge moves at all. It just kinda stops at the shore, and doesn’t look very realistic.

    Is that something that can be easily modified? it might help with making this a bit more realistic.

    Thanks! Glad you’re starting to feel better, feel like getting back to work; and hope you and your family had a wonderful Holiday!

    Kind Regards,

    Chris Spera

  67. Hunter

    Firstly, I want to wish you a very speedy recovery!

    The wait was clearly well worth it, as everything looks pretty amazing.

    There’s something not quite right about the sand/sea line though – it’s too solid. it doesn’t fade gently over the sand.

    I was wondering, any chance of this version without the land? just the ocean?

    Nice work Ryan.

  68. Masada

    The foilage is a bit off, but the water, mist, islands, and sunset all look like the sunsets over the harbour here in Wellington (New Zealand). Beautiful addition!

  69. Mike

    Yeah the shoreline’s a bit sketchy and the graininess is noticeable but boy did you nail everything else. The clouds are especially well done. Looks like the cloud problems you were having earlier are a thing of the past.

    Great work, and here’s to a speedy recovery Ryan. 🙂

  70. David

    I am happy for you in getting better.

  71. Terry

    Happy New Year Ryan, I’m glad you’re on the mend. This piece reminds me a lot of my travels to Australia earlier this year, ok, last year (still getting used to it). Spent two weeks on a deserted island between the mainland and Fraser Island. Because we were the only 8 people on the island there was no electricity so come about 8 in the evening when it got dark we’d often sleep early. Waking up at sunrise became the norm and this is very much the view from the beach campsite at the time.

  72. Will

    Very warm and nice picture. The trees an clouds look great. I cant want to see this on my HDTV and see how it looks.

    Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!

    Oh yeah…(GO ECU!)…

    *Most of you have no idea who ECU is. I graduated from there a few years ago and are in a bowl game today.

  73. Frank

    Hi! Ryan, great to hear from you and that you are making steady progress. I love The ” First Light ” Image. i have set it to my desktop background as i am heading to the canary islands at the end of january 2009 for a week in the sun….I hope!

    Happy New Year To You And Your Family!


    Frank Toner




  74. muzikman57


  75. Merlyn

    the waterline does look…not quite right. Once you fix it, I hope you post a split version…really wish MacOS supported stretching a single image across multiple monitors…but…

  76. Sly V.

    Would rather you made sure your recovery was going well. But now that your on the mend I hope all is nothing but sunshine for you and that you are having a happy new year. Thanks for the grand image to brighten my desktop. Beside the shoreline which was previouSLY mentioned to you and noted I must agree with Mike on this one. You’ve pretty much nailed everything else. The Flora isn’t the most impressive you’ve ever done but the skyline and clouds are spectacular. Good job!

  77. Robert

    Hi Ryan!

    So great to see your New Year’s post. I have been keeping you in my thoughts thoughout the Holidays. Sending healing vibes your way! Good Luck and Good Health to you in the New Year!!!!

    Happy!!! Happy!!! Merry!!! Merry!!! :):)

  78. Nate F

    I like the picture.

    I find the sand and shoreline area are rather roughly done in comparison to the trees or sunset which seem more realistic.

    So overall a good picture but not one of my favs

  79. Chris

    Welcome back!! I must say, the picture is wonderful. My one and only problem with it is that the sand looks a little unrealistic, especially right next to the foliage, which looks FANTASTIC. Other than that, this is an easy 9. Happy new year =)

  80. Xandra

    What a beautiful and refreshing way to start a new year. I think I’ll make it my desktop right now. Thank you 🙂

  81. G

    This looks awesome – just right for this time of year 😀

    One thing that immediately stands out, however, is the interface between the sea and the beach. It needs a little tidal wash to make it look less jarring 🙂

  82. alexM

    This is a really great wallpaper. It’s a very pretty scene. The only criticism that I’d have for it is that the water rushing up onto the beach doesn’t have any of those white bubbles in it like it would in real life. Other than that, I think it’s great.

    Rated 9/10 because of the waterline.

  83. Mist Panth

    This morning it was -20F (I’m in Alaska). This artwork definitely takes the edge off the cold. 🙂

  84. MAG

    Ill give it an 8/10

    The Clouds, Water, Sn set and Sky are GREAT!

    Only reason I give it an 8 is b/c of the look of the sand and where its touching the water, Dont know just something about the looks of it.


  85. Jeff K

    This one is almost perfect. Yes, where the beach meets the water doesnt look quite right but the rest of the image is perfect! This one is going on my desktop right away!! Oh, and I hope you are feeling better.

  86. Mike

    Another masterpiece. I’m so ready for summer!

  87. Josh

    I usually call for a night version, but frankly, I think this particular wallpaper is just great as it is. Excellent work!

  88. Walo

    An good picture, I agree that the sand somewhat breaks the sense of inmersion, but everything else is excellent.

  89. dejerdejer

    First, I’m glad you are starting to feel better!!! I love this image, and I do agree that the sea and the beach coming together isn’t quite right. It looks too perfect and un-natural. You did mention that you, are struggling to figure out the water settings, I wonder if this had something to do with it. It needs some type of wash line, and maybe a couple of seashells for good looks 😉 Otherwise I love this image I give it a 7.5/10. Keep them coming best of luck with your health.

  90. Bearded

    This looks great, Love the sun through the clouds. I am glad you are getting over the pain, take it easy and enjoy the “painting”

  91. Gabe

    Excellent render, very appropriate I think too for the start of a new year, and for renewed beginnings. 🙂

    – Gabe

  92. Paul

    Beautiful wallpaper Ryan! Makes me feel good here in Cleveland, Ohio. The only thing I see that looks a little sketchy is the shoreline, but you mentioned you’re still figuring out the water. Great to see you back at it! Hope you continue to improve!

  93. Ryan

    I agree that the shoreline looks a little dodgy. I was using the built-in functions that come with Vue 7 here (tweaking them of course) and I haven’t really figured out Vue’s foam yet. The water is very different in Vue 7. I may do another version or two to test out some things but I thought it was at a good point to post it and take some feedback.

  94. Phillip D

    Wow, outstanding art..

    Suggestions: add a new layer to place a more dense foam-like material along the shoreline Speaking of poser, I know you are not in fond of Poser, but add a person laying back on a lounge chair there relaxing as long as you dont see the face (faces in Poser I dont like tooo well).

  95. Tril

    This is a beautiful image. The only problem I have with it is the heavy grain in the water surface. I don’t mind the shoreline so much though it’s true it doesn’t look realistic.


  96. Matt

    Glad you are feeling better. First Light doesn’t quite do it for me. I am very distracted by the water’s heavy grain and the natural shoreline. If those are things that can be tweaked, then I would love to see an updated version. If not, I’m sure I’ll love your next one. 🙂

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