Home / Photography / Photographer Handcrafts Tiny Planets to Capture Strikingly Realistic Scenes

Photographer Handcrafts Tiny Planets to Capture Strikingly Realistic Scenes

Planet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam Makarenko

Specializing in miniatures, photographer Adam Makarenko fabricates planets that could fit in the palm of your hand. Using these celestial bodies as his muses, Makarenko creates and photographs dioramas that look like extraterrestrial worlds.

Each diorama illustrates the artist's skillful, sci-fi approach to small-scale sculpture. With a focus on exoplanets, he hand-creates orbs that look like they could be captured through the lens of a telescope. “I am really inspired by the search for life, and the search for other planets,” Makarenko admits to us in an email. “It's only a matter of time before we discover life elsewhere. It just shows us how little we know, and how little we have discovered yet. We have just barely scratched the surface of our galaxy. This search, and the discoveries are as limitless as our own imaginations.”

Even with this space-inspired theme, his pieces exhibit a range in subject matter and composition. Some show the exoplanets floating in space, while others focus on the textures of the terrain. Given the level of detail and effort apparent in each tiny scene, the simplicity of Makarenko's materials and mediums is surprising. To craft the planets, he molds plaster around foundations made of foam spheres (planetary rings are actually long-exposure photographs of colorful, spinning paper). Similarly, his surfaces are composed of  industrial ferric chloride, cement, and paint. Finally, to create his starry sky backgrounds, he simply backlights black paper that has been hole-punched.

Once his models are complete, Makarenko captures them with his camera. He photographs the components of each scene separately, and then uses Photoshop to create a composite image—though he likes to keep any digital edits minimal.

Makarenko currently has an ambitious goal of creating 1,000 exoplanets over the course of the year. To see more of the photographer's out-of-this-world oeuvre and keep up with the project, zoom over to his Instagram.

Photographer and artist Adam Makarenko creates space-inspired, handmade miniatures.

Planet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam Makarenko

Makarenko uses a wide range of materials to craft each planet diorama.

Planet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam Makarenko

The result? Planets that can fit in the palm of your hand!

Planet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoPlanet Diorama Photography Exoplanets Miniatures Adam MakarenkoAdam Makarenko: Website | Instagram | Vimeo | Tumblr

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Adam Makarenko.

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Amazingly Constructed Dioramas of Extraordinary Imaginary Worlds

Hyper-Realistic Nature Dioramas

3D Printed Planets Let You Hold the Solar System in the Palm of Your Hands

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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