I’ve always wondered what the sky would look like if you lived on a planet within a globular cluster… This photo is a concept of what I think it could look like…

Macro photography
Green visitor - Angelo integrated the green shield bug in a mini studio and simulated how the sky on a planet in a globular cluster might look (Image credit: Angelo Richardson)

The art of macro and close-up photography allows us to capture the intricate details of small objects that are typically invisible to the naked eye. In this technique, the background is blurred to provide a greater focus on the tiny object – in this case, a young green shield bug on an Eryngium thistle leaf. 

Macro photography also offers the chance to create a fantasy world of colours and shapes, which is what Netherlands-based photographer Angelo Richardson has attempted here. “This photo was taken as part of my ‘plausibo’ collection – a close-up and macro series of mostly insects that I found in our garden,” Angelo says. 

“I’ve always wondered what the sky would look like if you lived on a planet within a globular cluster, a group of tens of thousands of stars tightly bound by gravity and orbiting together around the cores of galaxies. Would there be day and night? This image is a concept of what I think it could look like. No insects were hurt making this shot.”

“Lighting in macro photography is often a challenge. Your body and camera are many times larger than the subjects and block a lot of the ambient light. Because
of the wafer-thin depth of field, I used a smaller aperture in this series. This also requires a lot of light, so I used a studio flash with a softbox and a speedlight and reflector to fill in the shadows and painted craft cardboard was used for the background. The RAW file was edited in Lightroom and, apart from the basic adjustments, I used the Lightroom brush to draw a few extra stars.”

Macro photography
Angelo Richardson

 Angelo Richardson is originally from Aruba, but he has been living in the Netherlands for more than 20 years now. Michael began his photography journey in June 2007. Prior to that, he used to do webcam astrophotography, mostly taking pictures of planetary and lunar objects. Back in the days, he purchased a Canon EOS 400D camera with the intention of capturing dimmer objects in the sky at night. However, the unpredictable Dutch weather forced him to shoot other things! 

Tech details

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Accessories: Tripod, Canon Speedlight 430 EX, 200Ws Studio flash with softbox

Aperture: f/9

Shutter speed: 1/125 sec

ISO: 100


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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.