Yes, this is a 100% raw fractal (except for the addition of a watermark & sig.). If I use external images in my work I always say so in my remarks and upload to DA's Fractal Manipulations category. In this case, however, the image was created entirely with the native capabilities of Ultra Fractal, using 45 layers and masks to create all the shapes, textures and colouring that you see here, hence the "Raw Fractal" designation. UF is an immensely powerful and flexible program when you understand how to use it correctly so images like this are certainly not unusual, as any competent user will tell you.
I understand the great features Ultra Fractal has that allows you layer fractals & do other beautiful things with various numbers of base fractal formulas. But that kinda was my point that by using layers it manipulates base raw fractal into something else, which is your artistic expression of 1 or more raw fractals, that are at the root of the final work. But that is just my interpretation of this categories. I just think they should add a couple more categories, because in most cases just raw fractal or manipulation is probably not enough.
PS: this is all theoretic, your work speaks for itself
Ahhh, I see where you're coming from now. Yes, that's a fair point, about the multiple layers thing. I guess we need to accept that there are many different types of fractal work, from single layer and/or more mathematical creations all the way to multi-layer, more complex images. And with some images I sometimes fail to see any obvious fractal structure or influence at all! It is a very broad category... but I do like that depth of expression, with room for many different types of art/artists.
I understand your idea of more sub-galleries on DA yet I already find it difficult to decide, sometimes, where to put something. I'm sure others feel the same way. And I have come across others whose definitions differ from mine i.e. some believe that image import is a function native to UF therefore all images qualify as "raw" because all the manipulation is done by the one fractal program. I don't agree with that view but it just goes to show how tricky it can be to "define" different areas of the genre when we all have differing views on these matters.
Thanks for your comment, anyway... it's always good to reflect on these things from time to time.