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Transforming Everyday People Into Superheroes High On The Rooftops | Von Wong

By Chris Nachtwey on February 24th 2015

Last Halloween, I was standing atop a skyscraper in NYC at a private party for members of the photography media and industry professional who were attending PhotoPlus Expo. I had taken a moment to get away from the crowd and just enjoy the breathtaking view in front of me, when all of a sudden I saw Benjamin Von Wong walking towards me. Ben and I ended up chatting for about ten minutes about photography, life, and the view before us. In the middle of our conversation, Ben said to me that the rooftop we were standing on was not high enough for him. I don’t remember the exact words, but he said something along the lines of climbing as high as he could, looking out and taking in life to the fullest, at the highest point he could find in the cities and places he visits.



Only a few months later, Ben turned his love of being on top of the highest skyscraper in town into a creative photo shoot that transformed some of the employees at Smugmug into superheroes. Check out the video below for a behind the scenes look into what is probably my favorite Von Wong project to date.


BTS_2014-06-23 19.43.29 copy-X3


Nikon D800E

Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8




“When do you actually get to see the everyday person get to be a superhero? It’s a reminder that all of us, you and I, have it within ourselves to be whoever we want to be.” -Benjamin Von Wong




As usual, I’m blown away by Ben’s work! With any of Ben’s projects, there was a lot of teamwork that went into making this project successful. To achieve the over the head images, Ben attached a Nikon D800E with a Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 to a heavy duty, triple riser boom stand. The results are amazing, and honestly, I think we can all relate to the these images because who hasn’t dreamed of being a superhero overlooking our city at one point in time!

You can check out more about this project over on Von Wong’s blog.

CREDITS: Photographs by Von Wong are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify, or re-post this article or image without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.


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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Edith Stein

    I’m making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $65 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss. This is what I do…
    ✒✒✒ http://www.Work4Hour.Com

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  2. Graham Curran

    Come on admins, clean up the spam.

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  3. Raoni Franco

    I just don´t get what is good about these photographs, I really really don´t.

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  4. Daniel Thullen

    I was watching the video at my desk and still felt like I needed to hold on to something. Ben Von Wong does some crazy stuff, but I always come away inspired. Although I’ll keep my inspirations a little closer to the ground.

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  5. James Rogen

    if i had to stand on top of a skyscraper just to take a photo i would gain the superpower to immediately shit my pants.

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  6. Lakin Jones

    I dunno, cool concept, but something isn’t quite working for me with these images. Deadpool is the only one that comes across as not a person photoshopped on top of a google satellite view. I think part of it is the lighting, Deadpool has contrast in the face whereas Harley Quinn and others appear too backlit and lack contrast in the face.

    The larger versions on his website look better than the small versions here, and maybe printed in person they would look even better, but between the blurry buildings on the edges of the images and some soft Photoshopping of the ledges to remove equipment I don’t think the images are as strong as they could be.

    Not saying I could necessarily do better.

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  7. Tyler Friesen

    Ben’s work is always incredible and this is no exception, however I think some good CG work would have easily achieved the same effect and that there was not a clear benefit to shooting this type of set-up with the edits that were chosen for the final images. Very cool video and concept, I would not be able to handle being that close to an edge that high up.

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