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:
…good photographs are not created solely with great gear but with a combination of experience, preparation, vision and all the beautiful things in the world that make us unique. Prepare things carefully, understand the gear and figure out solutions. Lack of gear is not an excuse for not making great work. Keep it at and one day you’ll find yourself shooting things you had never imagined possible. Actually you’re probably there already.
Ben set his mind on using the sparks coming out of an angle grinder as a compositional element tying all the shots together. Aside the usual challenges, if you can call shooting a LeMons car wit an angle grinder usual, Ben was dealing with the need to freeze the fire and sparks while using a super bright Broncolor strobe.
The solution was using a leaf shutter that can sync up to 1/1600 when using a leaf shutter on the Mamiya. This is a 100% crop sample the shows the definition and stop action you get with using such high end gear.
Here are are the rest of the photos taken at that day, head up to Ben’s blog to see Ryan during his normal, boring office hours as well as a complete lighting breakdown.