Von Wong Photoshoot Kinda Makes Us Wish We Worked At SmugMug (Plus A $20 DIY Rain Machine!)

von-wongWhen SmugMug wanted photographs of their employees to hang in the company gym, a traditional corporate portrait just wasn’t going to cut it. They wanted something sporty and they wanted it in black and white. The rest of the creative direction was handed over to Benjamin Von Wong, the photographer you call up when you want epic photos and exactly who SmugMug went to for their shoot.

As usual, Vong Wong delivers the goods. Not only is his concept intriguing, but he really knows how to make the subjects comfortable in front of the camera. And let’s not forget the sweet DIY rain machine he built using PVC pipe and sprinkler heads. You can learn more about the build on his blog along with a lot of other tidbits relating to the shoot like lighting patterns, post production tips, and advice on thinking outside the box. [Read more...]

Siros – A $1,000 Broncolor Strobe (Yes, Broncolor. Yes, $1,000)

When we did the Benjamin vs. Rebecca Challenge a few months back I asked Ben how much the Broncolor cable between the pack and head costs? It was around $800. So, in Photokina, I was quite surprised and pretty happy to see that Broncolor are coming out with Siros – a ~$1,000 strobe.

Here is the interesting part, according to the discussions we had with Broncolor those $1,000 heads will have all the features of their big $10,000 brothers. They will not be as fast, or as powerful, but they will still give you that super fast T.1 t to completely freeze water splashes.

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Angle Grinders And Sparks Make For Manly Photo Shoot Special Effect

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As a former software engineer I can completely relate to the need SmugMug programmer Ryan Doherty had do build and drive LeMons cars to let out some of the cubical fever amassed during the day.

But how to you take the dissonance between (daytime) programming and (nighttime) car-havoc-ing? Photographer Benjamin Von Wong spent a night in a car shop with Ryan, a LeMons car, some angle grinders a bunch of Broncolor strobes and a Mamiya Leaf to show that excitement.

Interestingly the first thing Ben has to say has to do with the criticality of gear in his vision:

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An Epic Photography Shootout: Benjamin Von Wong vs. Rebecca Litchfield

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to participate in a project that brought photographers to Israel to share some of its nicer sides. The project was hosted by Kinetis and brought together an amazing team: Benjamin Von Wong, Rebecca Litchfield, Simon Pollock, Mike Kelly and Adam Lerner and Jared Polin of Froknowsphoto.

With so much talent condensed in such a limited geographical area, I knew I have to do something fun. The concept evolved to make a crazy shootout between Benjamin Von Wong and Rebecca Litchfield. We planned on presenting those two very unique photographers with an ‘identical photo’ themed challenge. Only instead of having them create a single photo, we upped the ante and decided on three different themes they will have to shoot in: A Fire Challenge, A Feathers Challenge and a Flour Challenge.

So, theme was identical, props were identical, wardrobe (donated by Rebecca) was identical, hair and makeup were shared, and the timeframe was tight for both. But…

Having Ben and Rebecca almost on the opposite sides of the spectrum should be pretty interesting: Ben shoots Nikon, while Rebecca shoots Canon; Ben like massive strobes, while Rebecca usually use small constant lights; Ben comes from epic and surreal while Rebecca is keen to fine art… you name it, they differ on it.

The final photos are found below for your enjoyment… (and both Rebecca and Ben will share some more detailed info about the photographs on their own channels as well so stay tuned).

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Photographer Delivers Himself In A Box To Surprise Chronically Ill Fan For 21st Birthday

Sometimes photography is all about making a change. It does not have to be a big one, sometimes making a small dent in the universe is enough and this is exactly what photographer Benjamin Von Wong did earlier this year when he engaged with chronically ill Tyler Grace for his 21St birthday.

Ben’s plans were to spend some time with the cheap camera digital rev challenge took a turn when he was contacted by Tyler’s sister telling him that there is nothing more in the world Tyler would like more than to meet Ben.

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Mind Boggling Ultraviolet Shoot 2 Years In The Making

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Sometime making a great photo is all about getting the courage to ask making it. Photographer Benjamin Von Wong recently completed a spectacular photoshoot involving one of the most talented make up artists I’ve seen – Michael Rosner. It took Ben almost two years to bring a plan together that would make a fantastic shoot worthy of the art.

Ben approached both high end designers Amber Kusanagi and Michelle Hebert, and hair Stylist Dinah Raphaelle toput together an offer Michel can not refuse.

And the shoot came to life with an ultraviolet theme. Photographing Black Light requires a lot of illumination since the material emits really low light, Ben opted for a  Broncolor UV Attachment filter which mounted on the move unit was strong enough to freeze the action. (those are only $1,500 a pop, but you can rent them, or ask your local police station forensic team for a lender).

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A Photoshoot at a Shipwreck: Part Two of Von Wong’s Epic Underwater Project

About a month back, we featured an immersive and exhilarating underwater project done by photographer Von Wong. For those that never looked into it, Von Wong was the man behind a photoshoot done completely underwater – and it wasn’t anything I’d ever seen before. Before his work caught my eye, no photographic work done near at a shipwreck was quite as captivating at all. And if you haven’t seen it by now, you’re about to.

Back when we first posted about it, we featured a video that Von Wong uploaded to accompany his work, detailing the introductory basics of what it took to execute a project like that. It’s a privilege for me to introduce his next part in the making of this project: the second part to his video series, giving you an in-depth look behind the scenes at exactly how this photoshoot was executed.

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Daredevils Perform Stunts In The Holiest City In The World

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Every shoot is made from awesome scenery, awesome subjects and a solid concept to tie them together.  Photographer Benjamin Von Wong, Broncolor’s newest GenNEXT ambassador, teamed up with a few of Israel’s top sports extremists to produce an unconventional shoot against the walls of Jerusalem.

Having a low budget set meant gong for creative solutions when the location could not satisfy the vision that Ben wanted. Among these solutions were hanging on the rope from the old city walls and piggy backing Tomer Jakobson who was forced to meat a new interpretation to the phrase “supporting a shoot” [Read more...]

Make Beep That You Love! Work With People Who Love The Beep That You Do! Make Good Beep

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Taking a shoot underwater is not a trivial task. It is just as hard as any shoot but there is more pressure, it is harder to orchestrate, and it is harder to operate. If you thought that shooting in a confined isolated pool is hard, imagine what it is to shoot in the open ocean.

Photographer  Benjamin Von Wong experimented just this in a recent shoot in a ship wreck in Bali. Ben shares some of the challenged that he faces when shooting underwater: “when you’re shooting 25 meters underwater and your model tied to a 50 year old shipwreck in the middle of Bali where the slightest miscalculation could spell disaster“: [Read more...]

Interview With Benjamin Von Wong On The Ongoing Effort To Save Eliza’s Life

Over the last few days the blogosphere and the photography world specifically has been engaged in an effort to save a little girl’s life. Eliza has been diagnosed with a terminal  genetic disease – Sanfilippo Syndrome. While there is a cure developed, there are not enough funds to bring it into production. Photographer Benjamin Von Wong and Petapixel’s editor in chief, DL Cade traveled to the family’s house to make a video to help raise the funds needed. We interviewed Ben below.

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