Looking for any guidance on composition, lighting, materials, post processing, any advice really would be appreciated.
Too dark, too clean.
Make them ‘dusty’. If you look at a picture of similar items, you’ll notice they all look dusty or grainy. And they’ll also have lots of facets in them, where the light is not only reflected/refracted, but it’s also separated, meaning you’ll see rainbows.
i agree and i would make the green glow a bit
what is the purpose or use for the image? Is it a slide background? A textbook image explaining crystals, …? If it is a background, then it is good. The DOF is extreme, you probably would not get that in real life, and I don’t know what purpose it serves…
try out adding some AO…I think it might work, since you only have the crystals and a black background. it would make the shadows more interesting, and if you put the samples way down, it would add some noise (might not look dusty, just soft?)
this is just for a desktop background, i am currently working on adding some chromatic aberration of the light reflecting/refracting. i also added in some texture to break it up a bit. i’ll look into adding some more glow, it already has an emit value, but i’ll tweak it further. and it already has AO, it’s just hard to tell with the transparency. i’ll work on making it more noticeable.
You need some more dynamic lighting IMO…