There's a new ebook about Wide-Angle Macro photograpy.
Great idea to get more of the background included. I wonder why there are almost no wide-angle macro lenses. They say it's because when you get too close you may scare insects away, or cast shadows on the subject. But clearly it can be done otherwise.
The book is cheap, only five bucks, so I think I'll get it just to see what he does for lenses. Perhaps turn around a normal wide-angle lens. It'd need to be good quality of course, and probably it helps if it's not a fast one. The problem is that a lens is always optimized best for a specific range of distances, and normally this is around half a meter to infinity.
With most lenses, if you get much closer than that, the quality suffers greatly. This is of course why we have dedicated Macro lenses. Apart from them also offering closer distance settings without adding special gear. Macro lenses tend to be not super-fast, most often F:2.8. But amazingly, and surely helped by that very fact, despite being optimized for very close ranges, they also tend to be very sharp at long distances, thus making good all-round lenses too. (Obviously they also tend to be a tad more pricey than normal lenses.)
(I hope the authors don't mind me showing this off.)
To make pictures like this, it's a great help to have a camera (like the new Olympus E-PL5) which have a tiltable screen which can turn all the way around to be seen from the front.