If you follow Benjamin Von Wong’s work (and who doesn’t?), you’ll know that he is always up for an adventure or challenge. Whether it’s jetsetting to the ends of the Earth for a shoot in the middle of a cave or taking the staff of SmugMug on the edge of skyscrapers to make them superheroes, Von’s Wong’s work is usually exciting, interesting and enviable. But has there been a challenge that Von Wong has not been able to best?

Recently, Ben was hired for another dream job – to create the “craziest photo” he could using fire. The caveat? He had to use an unreleased smartphone to do so. Photographing fire is extremely challenging as you could imagine. (He gives some of his tips for shooting fire in this article here). Ben said,

In the best of conditions, fire is one of the most challenging elements to capture. Not only is it dangerous, its luminosity varies with time. Long exposures result in motion blur, and the high contrast between subject and flames typically means that an amazing camera with a large dynamic range is necessary. 

An amazing camera with a large dynamic range, such as the $38,000 Mamiya Leaf Credo he usually uses.

BTS_FireAngel_Photo by Sean Sim

For their global launch, Huawei 8 wanted to make a splash (of fire, that is) and presented Ben with three additional “rules” to make the challenge even more difficult. Besides using a smartphone to photograph fire, Ben needed to use the phone’s Lightpainting function, the model must be surrounded by fire and absolutely NO PHOTOSHOP.

Could he pull it off? Could an epic fire photo be made with a tiny little smartphone camera? Come on, this is Benjamin Von Wong we are talking about. Of course, he could.

Von-wong-fire-1 BTS_FireWingTest_Photo by Dan Lim BTS_FireRain_Photo by Sean Sim

On the day of the photo shoot in Shanghai, the element of rain added another piece to the challenge, but even with the cameras pointed on him while shooting, Ben was able to capture the resulting final image:

von-wong-huawei-1Read how Ben did it, how a smartphone was capable of photographing something that usually is captured with a $38,000 camera and see more behind the scenes images in his post here.

Watch the full length commercial featuring Ben creating some fiery magic in this video below: