Is Michael messing with us? I don't see any yellow stripe or graininess, other than the natural grain of the sand.
I think this is a beautiful shot! I've seen shots of similar subject matter before. But that in no way diminishes the artist's insight and expression that seems evident in this image. This image could be used as an example of why photographers should not shy away from shooting iconic subject matter. It's the artist that counts, and what the artist has to say that matters, much more than the subject matter.
Michael seems to be in a "blue period" of his work. Is it just me, or have others noticed the importance of the color blue to many of Michael's recent images? Obviously, blue is going to be a component of many outdoor landscape photos that include the sky, but I think it goes deeper than that in Michael's recent work.