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I love how you just made some slight adjustments to the original and it became another masterpiece in its own rite.
Phil C. [basicmember]
This has been one of my favorite images for over a decade and I would love to see it redone in UHD. Add me to the list of fans who’d like to see it!
I love this image, however it doesn’t work as well for backgrounds on larger resolution monitors. If there was ever a chance to go back in the archives and re-render images, I would love to request that Song of the Sky be part of that effort
Rick Mozil (a.k.a. Horseman) [basicmember]
Stunning and mystic. As a Canadian I have witnessed the magnificent North and the beauty of the winter night sky and Northern Lights, their crackling sound as they scurry across the night sky. The lights are mystical, a gateway to the beyond, a symbol of hope.
The triplescreen links are to another desktop )o:
I love it and can’t get enough of the aurora pattern in the sky!
My favourite (I’m from Australia, so yes, that’s how we spell favourite) part of the image is the aurora in the sky.
If you could render an image with just the aurora in exactly the same pattern as Skysong filling an entire image, I’d love the new image even more 🙂
Thanks for all your great images
Amazing. The colors, im impression looks a little better than the original 🙂
I love it.
This came up as the random image on your site today, my favourite wallpaper of all time along with the original from 10 years ago.
This came up as the random image on your site today, my favourite wallpaper of all time along with the original from 10 years ago.
Love this wallpaper! It reminds me of living up near the North West Territories when I was 5-6 yrs old. I remember many nights looking like this, sometimes they were so bright they would wake you up.
I know you have an interest in the aurora borealis, so I thought it would interest you that there was an especially epic one tonight in some areas. It was as low as the upper United States (UP Michigan, Minnesota, etc.) Fantastic! Unfortunately, I live in Seattle which seems to have just barely missed its own light show.
Here is an image from Denmark: http://spaceweather.com/aurora/images2010/04aug10/Jesper-GrAcnne1.jpg
This is the one that hooked me to the site as well. It is beautiful….sigh.
This one got me to join. All of the images are stunning, but this one did it for me.
One of my favorites. So peaceful.
I think that Song of the Sky or any of its variants would be the best new addition to your animated wallpaper collection.
This would make a GREAT animated image!!
This has always been one of my favs and now I have two to choose from.
This is beautiful 🙂
The aurora is beautiful in this image. I like the forest, though I feel there’s a few too many dead-looking trees for me. Probably just feel that way because they’re right up in the foreground. Maybe it’s just there’s too many dead ones around where I live from drought and bark beetle infestations. 😉
I was waiting for this moment…
Thanks a lot! This year’s artwork of you is really amazing, i can understand it “cooks” for a very long time periods, i know this by myself, cause I am a 3D developer now(it happened to me when i first came to your site about year and 15 days ago). Thanx for everything)
P.S. Just noticed-ip address of your site contains 11… it is strange i meet this number everywhere now)
Someone commented that two trees were identical. I looked and agree, but there’s another immediately to the right of them (slightly shorter) that is also identical to one to the right of the two fatter trees.
Is this a “quick copy and paste job” to recreate the image quickly after the loss of the original, or is it intentional?
I read your comments on the slant/leaning of the trees in the dual and triple screen versions. I’m sorry to say that it is so distracting that I can’t have the image on my screen.
I love the single screen version of this image, but I can NOT use the dual screen version of this. It’s too bad, because I really do like this image.
So are there any plans to update/revise other older images? Perhaps a poll as to which images that we’d like to see updated?
absolutly fucking beautiful. Amazing picture for sure. A++
i’m sorry to see you haven’t figured out a fix for the wide-angle “slant” problem yet. this effect, distracting in many of your tri-screen renders, is keeping many of your sceneries off my desktop (most abstracts are of course fine). [tendrils*3 please!]
Yeah, i am sorry, but the left side of this image of the dualscreen version makes me seasick 😉 I am just kidding. Hopefully this will be fixed in further versions.
I’ve tried to minimize the distortion at the ends of the frame as much as possible, but it think it is unavoidable. Vue’s renderer tries to simulate a camera and that means barrel distortion at wider angles.I’m still working on how to get rid of it. Sorry!
I can only speak for myself, but there is no need for an excuse.
Your art is so great and brilliant that every little glitch is noticed. Ok, there are tilted trees, but the whole image is still just great. 🙂
We are just working on 100% perfection *grin*
The first version struck me as incomplete for being almost wholly blue, although sometimes the lights are that way. The additional color brings out their shimmer and also aids in suggesting like eerie windblown curtains they seem as does the judicious softening. With a faint band in the low ultraviolet, like ribbon candy standing on its side, people might perceive actual motion. Or else wonder why ribbon candy was cluttering up the sky.
Another thing I think an improvement over the first is your lens, with its parallax distortion that seems to bend the trees and lights inward. The response in me is to feel surrounded by the phenomenon just as you do in the open under a night sky. I’d never think to do it on purpose until seeing it here to such good effect.
[PS Recently my apt was ripped off. Not only is all my music gone with my computer but the archives of all my pictures and support files went out the door on two terabyte drives. Your bug invasion was a lucky break if it convinced you to keep doing daily backups and store an archive off site, as I am doing now. Losing such a treasury of beauty as yours would be a wrenching loss, and for all who enjoy it.]
I would love to see this pic as one your animated wallpapers, with the aurora shimmering and dancing across the sky..
Just noticed that 2/3’s of the way in from the left there are two trees that are identical. All the same this is awesome Ryan. Song of the Sky is without a doubt my favourite image you have ever done, even with the obvious technical advancements this and the original will always be my favourites.
All I can say about it is WOW! Really it’s one of the best I’ve seen and I also would like to see an animated version. I’ve been following your work for several years and only recently became a member. I’m definitly hooked on your work and inspiration. I’ll shortly become a lifetime menmber.
Man if you look at the Wide screen versions at the base of the trees near the center of the picture you can see wolfs.
The detail is awesome.
Wow – the new version is even more beautiful! And I’m sorry I criticized the lack of lake reflections in the original. I didn’t know you didn’t add them because you couldn’t (*looks very sheepish now*).
This image is brilliant! I am putting this on my desktop as soon as the multimonitors are available!
Keep up the great work, Ryan. You have some amazing talent.
The touch of green and smoothed bands makes all the difference in the world – this is an amazing piece of work.
This actually looks a lot better! The new render looks a lot more like a borealis than the original.
Great one, Ryan. Thanks.
I think if ever an artist has their element this is yours. amazing.
Loved the first one and this one is even better
Simple amazing work, Tis a pitty the original was lost due to the bug, But this revised work is really amazing in every respect.
only drawback, To many beautiful backgrounds make it hard to stick with any one for more then a few days lol.
Keep up the good work Ryan, and thank you for the amazing artwork.
Beautiful job… I have to give it a 8/10 though. I have a dual monitor setup at work… In that render, the trees on the left end have a serious slant to them.
I agree with Scott. I love so many of your wallpapers that I was starting to change mine all the time so I found a program called Automatic Wallpaper Changer and it’s free. It changes my wallpaper every thirty minutes. I just have a folder of all of my Digital Blasphemy wallpapers and it cycles through them. I enjoy it and that way I don’t have to decide which one to pick every time since there are so many great ones.
This one is very good too. I have had this one up for the day since it is new so I can admire it. I would like though if you could make some more new ones instead of redoing older ones. While I think that is a good idea, I like having some new ones more.
I’ve always loved the original version (2000) and I liked the revision, but this revision revision is 100 times better. I love the looking up aspect, the new colours and softer colours. I gave you a 9/10 because I feel you can improve on any thing, but to be perfectly honest with you, it’s more like 9.99999999/10. I would love to get a print of this one.
Thanks for everything
First off, let me just say, that I rate the single monitor version as a 9/10, and sadly the original that was lost due to the bug would have been an 11/10. But my question is, on the triple monitor version; why do the trees on the far left and right seem like they are set at about a 30 degree angle? It’s just a tad distracting, and I didn’t really understand it. My closest guess is that the world was created in a way that didn’t really lend it self to a “wrap around” world and that those tree’s on the end are a visual issue with “flattening” a curved world. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I’d ask.
All the same, this is a really great piece of art, but with the trees as they are, I think “The Overseer” will still reign supreme for me personally.
…I was really looking forward to a dualscreen of the original revision. There is also something wrong with the left side side though. Everything seems to be angled to the right.
The picture is very nice, however, I was wondering if you could put in some of the colors, and wave like motion into this picture like you did in the 2001 picture ‘Symphony’? It’s still better than anything I could even imagine. Once again, very nice. Thanks Ryan.
This is a beautiful picture… the only thing I can see making this even better is in motion…
Now I know this is an impossible idea, but how hard is it to render a picture like this in motion? I really don’t know… I would imagine it would take an immense amount of time and may not even work!
All the same, I can’t help but wish to be hypnotized by an animated version of this!
All the same! 9/10!!!
Keep up the good work!
I really like it. It looks much better, more realistic, and much cleaner, somehow, then the original remake.
You said that not much could be done about the lack of reflection, but I think if you moved the viewpoint of the ‘camera’ backwards, you would be able to see both the reflection and more of the aurora. I think of this picture as being taken from a boat on a lake, so if you moved the boat backwards, you would be able to see the reflection. Just a thought!
I really liked both versions of this image. The first one had a cold majesty about it, while the second seems more alive and vibrant.
It’s a shame about the bug, I’ll keep both.
Request: with all the updates, it would be great to see an update of my favorite image: octahedron.
I really like the addition of the green; sorry that you lost your earlier work on it.
One thing I don’t care for on the new image is the way the whole composition seems to draw the eye up and to the middle. The narrowing of the auroa and the way the trees are slanted give the image a triangular feel that the previous version didn’t have. I think that really detracts from an otherwise great image.
No matter how it’s rendered, this picture continues to be the one I always seem to go back to…
Excellent work, can’t wait for the dual screen!
This looks great even on an LCD monitor. Not too dark. Great work!
Well Ryan, you’ve made an already excellent image even better! I love it!!! Sorry ’bout losing your work on the original, what can ya do?!? Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I really dig it. In fact, I think it was your older aurora images that drew me to this site in the first place what back when. I know if I saw this one, I’d be just as “drawn”… 🙂 Best regards.
We need some more abstracts for 2007! 😉
Loved the original (definitely in my top 3), liked the remake, but LOVE the revision. It’s by far the best of the three. Everything from the aurora to the tree density is perfect. Awesome work Ryan, thanks again for keeping my desktop beautiful to look at, and easy to lose yourself in =)
The revision is darn near perfect. The original remake was beautiful, but the streaky aurora was a little harsh. Sorry about losing your work 🙁 That always sucks, and I don’t have anything near as important/cool as my digital-art livelihood at stake since, well, I don’t have a digital-art livelihood! 😉
The angle of the aura and the greens make this much nicer 🙂
The first remake was one of my top favourites, but now this is so much better than that 😀 I think this just clinched my number 1 spot, next to Fluorescence6 and Arctica Night, as well as Last Light and some of your Canyon ones. Some of your planet surface ones are great too 😀 Damn, they’re all good… But yes, this is now my faviourite of all 🙂
I like the updated version better than the first. This was always one of the best and it looks absolutely awesome now
The update gives it the breathtaking quality last week’s version seemed to lack. Wonderful job, though I still feel there needs to be more mirror reflectiveness from the lake.
Keep it up!
If you look at the aurora, even for a moment, it almost seems like its shimmering and moving softly along the sky, like the real one does…
The aurora are definitely an improvement. I don’t like the way the trees slant inward now–it gives the picture a sort of surreal, claustrophobic touch. But that’s minor. (Minor enough, in fact, that this got 10/10 from me.)
I think I’ll be keeping both versions around as wallpapers. As others have noted, the original has an intense feel to it that suits certain moods. This one is more peaceful.
I’ve never posted a comment before, I’ve silently loved your work for years, but I felt I had to post on this one. I really liked the original Song of the Sky (your night sceneries are my absolute favorites), but this is an incredible improvement on an already great piece. I love the updates to the classics, keep up the good work!
i love this picture. It is just as good as the first. This pix shall stay on my desktop for a while!
This is the best picture i’ve seen yet on here. The color is so beautiful and vibrant. Right when i saw it i felt obligated to comment on how well done it is. Great job!
Had I never seen the original, I think I would like this more than I do. The original was one of your first works I saw, and it reminds me of the Northern Lights on summer nights in Minnesota. It really resonated with my personal experience.
Editorial comments aside, I do greatly like this piece. Nice update. I like how the focus of the scene is upward, as if the trees are stretching to reach the heavens.
i must say i prefer the original significantly. i find the shafts of light in this new version too thin, and i’m missing the blend to green which made the original so gorgeous. i also find the reflections in the water much nicer in the original. here’s hoping for a pickle jar version with softer, more colourful aurora and with aurora reflections.
here’s my usual plea for my favourite, tendrils, in tri-screen glory.
Really like this but I agree with some others that the original truly was amazing & i think slightly I still prefer it. Still it’ll be my desktop for a while 🙂
The “Song of the Sky” seems a bit too harsh. It’s so vertical and thin. I like the vibrancy of colors, but the shape of it – it looks (negatively) unnatural.
I also liked how the water had some reflection in the original.
I like it much better but I do agree the aurora effect is a little too vertical. Still a 10 for me!
It already jumped to the top of the all time top 10, beating circumpolar! Hahaha that definitely says something!
BUT, as others have mentioned, the aurora is too linear. Whereas the one in the original is less smeared vertically, it is smoother and fans out radially to some degree.
That’s about all I’d suggest in revising from this new one!
I love it!
The clarity and beauty in this picture is incredible!
Just a question: are you supposed to be able to see stars through the light? my instinct says no, but then again I’ve never really seen one.
Thanks again for remaking such a great piece.
Wow! I like it, though I still prefer the original. The original was so very good that it didn’t really need an update. It was always one of my favorites, probaby my top favorite, out of all of your wallpapers. The thing I liked best about the original in particular was the beautiful gradation of the lights from green to blue and the effect of the lights looking sheer with the starlit sky showing through from behind. The lake and it’s reflections off of the water was a beautiful addition to the foreground and added the final perfect touch to the scene.
In the new photos, the lights do not have that same soft and sheer effect and the color of the light is brighter and not changing from green to blue, which is what I had thought made the original so much prettier. This new version is still very pretty though.
I was comparing them some more. The more that I look at the new one, the more I like it. The only thing that thows me off I guess is that the lake water doesn’t have a high level of reflectiveness like the lake in the original. It makes the scene seem so much darker because of that.
I think the real preference for the original was because of the feeling of the scene being filled with light, even though you could tell that it was night time and that was visually and generally more appealing for viewers likely because of the softer more soothing feeling of the scene. Warmth and light is generally more appealing than cold and dark. This re-done scene has more of a “cold and dark” feeling when compared with the original scene. The original version was a dark and obvious night time scene and yet there was this definitely feeling of the scene somehow also being filled with light. I think that was such a cool effect that probably made it seem so much more like a photograph of a real scene rather than digitally created scene.
So then the only “flaw” with this new version really is the with the lake water. In reality, even if it were pitch black, water would still be mirror reflective outside in the night and the water in the scene looks matte and dull. Making it be mirror reflective would be the perfect effect to make the scene really come alive like the original one was. Even though the light in the new scene has the different “spiky” look, I still think it’s cool and I like it and I did notice the slight color change to green on the left side of the photo.
Another member mentioned they’d like to see an update to “Creation” sometime. I was thinking that myself for a while now that I’d love to see an update to that. That was such a cool-looking scene but was done so long ago that the software available at that time is noticably not as good as the software of your later works. Many of your earlier scenes has some really great ideas behind them but were just limited by the complexity of the available software at the time.
If I may be so bold and make this suggestion on modeling the aurora.
Looking at pictures of aurora and looking at it in person it appears very differently. When I’ve seen it in person it is always moving and twisting with ribbons that fade into the sky with long tails, halos or wisps. Its movement are in every possible direction, sometimes even giving the illusion of coming at you. Looking through the google images people like to illustrate the aurora with very bright overexposed images. However I feel this takes away from the mystery of its tranquil dancing (‘song’).
It has got tons of potential. Thanks for keeping up the good work!
Looks very peaceful..almost like it belongs in Alaska. Hmm, maybe some snow would help us prepare for this winter?
Great job as always!
Nice work as always.
Wow, I really can’t wait for a triple screen version of this one. I love the darker backgrounds, as I’ve said before, but this one might just become my new favorite; Maybe its time too, I’ve been reverting back to “The Overseer” for quite some time now, but only time will tell.
Yeah a winter version of this with snow, maybe iced over water would be very nice. But otherwise I cant wait for the dual screen.
I think the water in the original version of this was one of the most compelling and beautiful parts. I like almost every aspect of this new render more than the original, despite the original having long been one of my favorite images. I do think, however, that it loses something by the water not reflecting as well what’s going on in the sky, particularly as the sky is much brighter in this one.
Where is my cigar and glass of brandy when I need it???
This is a great pic for the Holiday season.
Just as awe inspiring as the original. Cool!
It’s beautiful Ryan. I rated it a 10
Holy crap Ryan.
You’ve just made my favoritist image even better!
Thank you! Tis awesomes!
The streaking in the sky looks odd. The smooth glow of the original was better. The sky in the new image looks like the wind effect from photoshop. It feels disjointed and artificial.
I tend to agree with SirAbbodon, the streaking appearance is less pleasant than the original, which as it happens is one of my favorites also, and in fact is my current wallpaper. Still good work, and I do not have trouble with the darkness you mentioned on my monitor
Song of the Sky has long been my favorite DB picture, and I am very excited that you’ve chosen to re-render it! That said, I think this version could stand a few improvements. In my opinion, the sky smears are too noticeable – they could be smoothed out and reduced a bit. Also, I would love to see more snow and snow on the ground. Finally, the image is a bit dark for me…perhaps if it were lightened a bit and some green were added to the sky? I look forward to seeing new versions of this, even if they are just Pickle Jar versions. Keep up the great work!
I’d say this is in my 3 or 4 all time favorites of your work. This is really an incredible looking piece, awesome job!
“Song of the Sky” (I just think of it as Skysong) is one of my old favorites. In fact, I’d say it’s a close second to the recently posted “Autumn Summer” for my favorite Digital Blasphemy wallpaper ever. I’m afraid if I compare new and old I’ll just keep saying “but the original did X!” So I won’t 🙂
I quite like this on its own, particularly the rendering of the trees. My only complaint would be that the lights could stand to be a little less vivid and more diffuse. The lower part of the image is quite dark (which I like), and the upper part doesn’t seem to match that. Surely there would be more light shimmering in the water?
Anyway, I’m quibbling. 9/10
I’ve always loved the original Song, and also Symphony which I think is related. This is even better on my current monitor. Thanks again for all you do!
I can’t wait until I move to the top of the list for a new computer at work. I’ll be getting dual monitors then, and be able to experience your work in a whole new way.
Again, WOW! I’m loving these updates, and this is no exception. But I hafta say, I agree with some of the others about the sky and water. It does have that Aurora Borealis effect going, but it’s a little much. And with a sky that bright, seems odd that the water barely reflects anything. But it’s still an AMAZING piece.
Ryan, thank you again for another great wallpaper!
HA! I just noticed both the new and the original Song of the Sky’s are in the All Time Top 10
Excellent. This is my favorite so far this year.
Song of the sky is one of my all time favorites and this is BEAUTIFUL!!
Oh, thank you for a great membership year! 🙂
I wish I could give it an 11!
The first Song of the Sky was always one of my favorites, and this is a great update. Love this one. 🙂
And I just noticed the wolf pack running through the trees, nice touch!
I would never have noticed the wolves if someone hadn’t mentioned them. Neat! Could that be made more conspicuous? Or maybe a day version of this?
Beautiful rendition of the original Song of the Sky. However, I definitely would add some more reflectiveness to the lake, it was one of the best aspects of the original.
I hate giving compliments and then saying but, buuuut 🙂 This one stands on its own very well. The only thing that I think is lacking is a bit more color. I think what made the original song of the sky so great was the blues and greens. This one feels cold.
Northern lights are so full of color. This render feels like you’re looking at the trees from under water. I think this would be much improved with colors to make it feel alive instead of cold.
Your work is incredible and you are the artist. So I bow to your discretion on whether to leave it as is or to change it. 😀
Ryan, you are like me in that you like BLUE! I love most of your art for the simple fact that alot of it has Blue, however this one has a tad too much blue IMO. I think some magenta and hues of light purple would trick this picture out big time. Still a great piece of work dont get me wrong, but the aformentioned colors like I mentioned would add a great touch.
Could we have a dual screen version too please?
Beautiful! I love it!
You had to pick my favorite color! 🙂
Could you make one for the picklejar that incorporates a little bit of green into the sky as well? That would be cool!
Officially my new wallpaper for all my machines and eagerly awaiting the dual-widescreen!
The auroras don’t look like the real thing – they’re too “jagged,” for lack of a better word. A normal aurora looks a bit like a ribbon with a halo effect around it. This looks like you made an aurora but then (pretending this is on canvas for a moment) dragged a comb through it and pulled “lines” out from it. It looks kind of “off” to me is all.
Its always a difficult job improving classics, but this one has come out well. Good Job!!!
That is a fine job you’ve done, keep up the good work!
I love the colors, but I agree that the arora is a little too sharp. It makes the whole picture feel “squeezed”. I think if you can smooth thoes out, you will have your best yet!
The clarity of the tress is awesome, don’t change anything there.
Very nice. I like it lots.
Absolutely love this picture. The background looks amazing, and the foreground is very good. Like you said, it is darker, and so the contrast is pretty low in the foreground. Despite this, I think it works very well since the eye is naturally drawn to the lights in the background.
Keep up the good work.
I really like it, more than the original, but I agree that it needs to have some different colors in it than just blue. A little green and purple would be nice.
Other than that; awesome! Could you update “Creation”, please! It’s one of my favorites, but a little outdated.
Skysong and Symphony are two of my all-time favorites and are tough to improve upon. I really like the new one, but also wonder if it would look even better with some green, purple, and possibly even some falling snow…
I had to squint, cos it looked like some goofy shadows were along the bank, but they’re wolves! Fantastic!
I will agree that the streaky look of the aurora isn’t as peaceful as the soft-glow 2000 version, but there ARE TIMES when auroras are streaky like that.
I like remakes because it shows everyone just how much technology – and talent! – has improved in the meantime.
If it were less streaky, I’d rate it a nine. With streaks, I give it an eight.
WOW another wonderful picture. I LOVE IT.
I like dark pictures for my computer’s desktop, they work better for me. I also don’t think this is too dark, I think it is wonderful. Another home run.
Macmage in MD
I’d rather see new and original works.
Never written a comment on the site before after all this years. I have to agree with a lot of what has already been said.
First, the earlier version is my favorite off all time. This isn’t better– it’s just outstanding in its own right.
Second, I really think there needs to be some green in the picture. The old one was ‘soothing’ and was great. The new one is ‘striking’ and that is great as well, but at least up here in the north woods of Minnesota there are almost always greens blended in with the blue and every once in a while a little red too.
Green it up a little. But I still love this one as it is.
This is a gorgeous remake of a classic, but I really miss the green picture had and I don’t think it needs to quite so overwhelmingly blue.
Really nice improvements! The picture now is more soft and relaxing.
It is stunning! First word was “WOW!” Absolutely beautiful work, my man. I’ve seen different versions of the Aurora in movies, and in art work, but none of them come close to this. You are the best. Thank you. This one answers the question as to whether or not I’ll sign up for another year: hell, yes!
… with this beautiful reprise of song of the sky, one of my alltime DB-favorites.
Love to see Pickle Jar versions, like the original. Maybe the blue polarlight is a little too bright, but the general impression is fantastic.
Awesome! The orginal was the very reason I became a member…
The original is one of my favorite wallpapers on the site, and was also one of my late grandmother’s favorites as well. I have to say this one does it lots of justice. Beautiful work.
Can’t wait for a dual monitor version.
It is beautiful! Great remake!
I’ve never commented before, and I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said, but I felt compelled to say just how amazing this image is. It is going to be on my desktop for a very long time.
Thank you so much.
A very nice image there – the aurora – stunning. Your best aurora job yet. I just don’t think it is worthy to be called an ‘update’ however – maybe a stand alone image. Part of the appeal of the 2000 one, was the lure of wandering off into the woods – Now there’s a great big pond in the middle and the trees are together more. But I think it is a fabulous image by it’s self, and well worth the wait.
This is a great remake, thanks for doing it. Do you want nominations of other old wallpapers we’d like to see you revisit, or do you enjoy visiting your favs withour our input?
This is not “too dark” for me (as compared to the darker pumpkin head which was). The test is whether or not I can see the detail in the dark spots on my laptop: this is gorgeous because I can see the detail when I want to, but it’s not overpowering as fits the image.
This looks so good. I absolutely love it. Makes me want to fly to Alaska right now.