Smugmug and their crew invited Benjamin Von Wong out for a simple photo shoot as long as their staff could experience the entire thing themselves by being on set. If you’re familiar with any of Von Wong’s work, you know simple isn’t in his vocabulary.
With the help of Kicka Custom Designs (for the wardrobe) and inspired by one of our former SLR Lounge editors, Joe Gunawan, Ben Von Wong guides us through 5 images he shot in the Sutro Forest of San Francisco. Luckily for us, Fstoppers cinematographer Jaron Schneider captured some video and put together a 10-minute walk through of each shot and its steps into creation.
The original photo that inspired the concept of this shoot is an award winning shot by Joe Gunawan below.
Von Wong took an already strong image and added his flair and magic. By complimenting the wardrobe with scenery, spicing it up with mood and of course, executing great lighting, Von Wong delivers the image below:
This is one of five shots discussed in the video and this particular one Von Wong states was his most challenging of all of them. After selecting this narrow ravine-like landform for his setting and deciding to shoot with a 14-24 Nikon lens to exaggerate the leading lines from the rock surface, there was still a challenge of shooting up hill. The Smugmug crew built Ben a make-shift platform so he could shoot directly in front of the model without having to balance himself while composing the shot.
REWIND: [PART 3 OF THE BENJAMIN VON WONG DEAD SEA SHOOT IMAGE EDIT – BRINGING OUT THE ETHEREAL LOOK ]
This is what the scene looked like:
As Von Wong explains in the video, a shot like this is pretty much 90% prep time and 10% shooting. Planning is everything. For this shot, Ben was clicking his Nikon D800 along with a Broncolor Move 1200L outfitted with a soft box and a Para 133 for his lighting setup.
Below is the lighting blueprint for this shot.
I encourage you to watch the video below to see the other 4 shots and hear Ben discuss the creation of each shot.
A special thank you to Smugmug for producing this shoot and FStoppers for creating a great BTS. For a look at each lighting diagram used to create the shots, check out Ben Von Wong’s blog here.