All the talk about Andrew Price’s Nature Academy made want to recreate Nature in Blender. The problem for me was that it is way too expensive for me. While I was working on this project I realized that it is more rewarding to figure out things by yourself than someone else telling you how to do it. What do you guys think?

This is pretty good, but the grass is letting it down. At the right, all the grass merges into one solid block of colour, I ussually try to avoid this by using a few particle systems with slightly different settings and materials.
Try collecting some reference images for this.
btw grass on the left is pretty good.

The lens flare is far too heavy. And the grass is too flat, for the grass: add a Blend texture and change the mapping to “Strand\Particles”, and start with black at the base, gradually making it green, and even a slight yellow at the tip. Make the lens flare alot more subtle. The grass is also abit too uniform, play with the settings to get a more natural, random look.

  1. Reduced intensity of lens flare
  2. Added blend texture to the grass
  3. Added a texture to the world
  4. reduced the specularity of the grass

That mountain in the background doesn’t look right. It looks like CG clay.

I’m not sure that the ghosts actually need to be that much, if you look at any early morning sunset image taken with a camera you’ll only see two or three lens “ghosts” Not the 15/20 or so I can count in yours.
In one of my images set at sunset, there is in fact no lens flare at all, the sun was added in post pro with gimp, which is fine for rendered, still scenes.