"How close can 3D fractals get to creating alien vegetation?"
Natural Processes is an experiment in a more natural lighting tone. I used faux HDRI's. Normal HDRI's are high dynamic range images that are shot in 360. The high dynamic range ensures that you can accuratelylight an object in 3d - using the light captured by the photographer and projecting it on a 3d scene.
Unfortunately, Mandelbulb3D doesn't allow for HDR - your images can only be 8bit, whereas HDR requires much more, usually 32. But there is a way for you to use a 360 pictures' light as ambient light source. This creates a look that was new for me in MB3D. I'm not completely sure yet if this is 'better' but at least it's another way to look at fractals again.
Let's just call it LDRI.