If you want to capture photographs or videos of otherworldly environments without using any computer generated imagery, one way is to create miniature worlds in your garage using a fish tank and salt water (a technique that has been used in numerous Hollywood movies). The video above is a tutorial on this trick by filmmaker and visual effects guru Joey Shanks.
What you’ll have is a tank with water clearly divided in the middle. Drip various dyes into this water for extremely cool effects.
Shanks is uploading one of these visual effects tutorials once a week to his YouTube channel. Although they’re geared toward filmmaking, some of them can be applied to still photography as well (here’s one on creating “warp speed” with steel wool).