Benjamin Von Wong is a conceptual photographer based in Montreal, Canada who has risen to a prolific status recently. I have been aware of his works for many years, but his photography style has never been so relevant in my research until now. When it comes to collaboration in photography, Benjamin Von Wong is the first person that comes into mind. No one does it better than him; at least none that I can think of.
“Coordinating models, building sets & designing lighting – all without knowing where the shoot would take place, while storms zip by at who knows how many miles per hour? It would be an absolute nightmare and impossible to pull off without funding! We should think of a different project.”
Planning a shoot whilst chasing a storm must have been one of the most challenging projects for Benjamin Von Wong, who has never attempted a project around an uncontrollable force of nature. He needed someone that could not only safely navigate storms, but one who understood photography and would be capable of getting me in the right position to capture the shot.
Friends and fans located across different states interested in assisting or modelling were contacted, in the off-chance that storms developed close to them. A local fan and photographer had graciously offered to come with his ambulance. Although not the fastest or the most nimble, it was capable of fitting the spontaneous props to be transported around – from sofa to toilet seat. Meanwhile, a small team was assembled to film and document the entire adventure.
Adequate plannning and preparation are extremely important as there are certain risk factors involved. In his collaboration team there were (other than him as photographer):
A Stormchaser, graphic designer, camera operators, Drone operator, assistant and/or models.
Thus, Von Wong concluded, it was challenging, but not impossible.
This series of images has an interesting concept, particularly the image above. It appears that the visuals were conceived before the environmental concept. But by making it relevant to the environmental issues with its message, it becomes a provoking image. On one hand, it makes one in awe of the force of nature, on the other rethink of the issues presented.
In the above image, the focal point is clearly on two subjects: human and nature. Softbox lighting was used to light up the human subject while the lighting at the background.this creates depth, as accentuated by the power lines on the right of the frame.
By placing an irrelevant human activity against the nature landscape, viewers are forced to make the connection between the two contrasting elements. Colors work well here; deep blue of the storm in contrast with the orange hue of sunset on the horizon.