If you regularly read about photography on blogs and sites all over the web you probably heard of Benjamin Von Wong. Ben is a photographer based in Montreal and if you look at his pictures you can see that he likes to try out different things all the time and give himself a challenge.
It was only last year that Ben decided to become a full time photographer and quit his job as a Mining Engineer. But in that short time Ben has managed to make himself a name in the photographic community. This has been done with amazing shoots and most of all a lot of behind the scenes material for other photographers to learn from.
In only a year Benjamin Von Wong has managed to get a agency, his first international commercial gig and crowdfund a big shoot in Europe. This is a photographer to keep ones eyes on.
We have published Ben’s work before and this will probably not be the last time either if he continues to challenge himself with fun ideas. This time we asked him about a shoot he did in France while he was there holding workshops. There he was contacted by Gildas Raffenel which heard that Ben was in town and had an idea for a shoot.
“The idea to shoot with pigments actually came from the folks over at Place Cliché,” says Benjamin. “They had seen my flour dancer BTS video and when they heard I was in town proposed to do something similar … but with color!”
Said and done, they assembled the whole gang from the studio and got together to do a joint shoot with color pigments. Color pigments is a fine powder that you mix with a liquid (often oil) to make your own paint. The idea here was that the powder should behave a lot like flour, which Ben had used before, but instead of a white cloud one should be able to choose and mix colors.
We asked Bejamin Von Wong if he had any tips on how to light flour and other powders and there are a couple of things one should have in mind if one wants to try it out:
“Normally, you want the flashes to be fast enough to be able to freeze the particulates that are being tossed around,” says Benjamin. “You also need to make sure that your lights are all flashing at the same speed or else you can end up with a very annoying ghosting.
“Finally, lighting pigments from the rear, 45 degrees back usually gets the most “3 dimensional” looking particulates flying in!”
He also warned us a little with the following words:
“Be prepared for the mess! This stuff gets EVERYWHERE. Everything from the walls to the floors to the ceiling to the inside of the computer’s fan had to be cleaned out post-shoot!”
Because of this Benjamin Von Wong didn’t change the lighting setup that much between the shoots. For these pictures he used 3 Profoto Pro-7b. Two of the lights where used as hard backlights with a Zoom Reflector mounted on each, and for the main light he used a Softlight Reflector.
As we’ve seen Benjamin likes doing new things so if you want to see more things from Ben we asked him what the craziest thing he’ve done on a shoot and the list was long.
“Yikes. Perhaps a tesla coil? Or maybe lighting an island on fire? Suspending a D4 over a swimming pool with black lights? Using a 400mm 2.8 lit by iphones? Tossing a model into a waterfall at 9 degrees? I dunno… there’s been a lot, and more to come!”
More crazy things are available at his website.
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