The earth, atmosphere, explosion, and lighting are all photorealistic 3D renderings. If you look closely enough, you may even see the bumps on the surface of the globe. It's fully modeled, not just a sphere.
Shangai Time, also ocassionally called “Hui De” by myself, is a rather personal piece. The word "Hui De" means "Butterfly" in Mandarin Chinese. The image's significance and circumstances won’t be shared here, but I figured that the skill involved in creating it had a place in my portfolio. —Andrew