This appears to be shot in the middle of the day, thus you are getting some very harsh shadows. Also, though you can't help it, the sky is very bland. Probably should have gotten closer and included less flat blue boring sky. The subject is mostly centered too, which is normally a "no no" in photography. I personally would have gotten closer, used a wider lens, and included less sky. Also, it's ALWAYS better to shoot early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, unless you're shooting in shade. Not sure why this got a DD, but congrats on it anyways.
This is a pleasing shot to look at. The wave has been photographed MANY times, and honestly I'm tired of seeing the same shot over and over. This shot may not be perfect as far as composition, but I really like that it shows a fresh perspective on the wave. The lighting isn't the ideal, but its still has nice lines and shadow, a bit earlier in the day or later in evening may have improved it some, but this lighting still has visual appeal.
For me, the mood of this image relays the photographer's mood at the time, his enjoyment of being in nature and enjoying the otherworldly views of the American southwest. Being a photographer myself, I appreciate when an image can portray the emotions felt by the person behind the lens, this shot is a winner there. Overall, maybe some room for improvement technically, but still a shot many photographers would be proud to have in their portfolio. I like the gritty, "real" feel to it. Nice job David, keep on shooting!
I wish! Looks like they has a wider angle lens and a little more manipulation but generally in the same direction. This bowl like area is pretty small so most shots have a similar look that jugs the viewers memory like that.