Ah, shooting can be hard in any situation. But how about underwater?

Known for incredible photos and his post production, photographer Ben Von Wong recently had a photoshoot titled “MAKING OF: BALLANTINE’S PRESENTS VON WONG’S UNDERWATER RIVER”. Something different about this photoshoot is that Ben pushes the limits of photography by having a crew built his set above ground and installed 30 meters underwater above toxic hydrogen sulfide. Watch a behind-the-scenes video of his whole shoot below:

According to Benjamin Von Wong:

I had this grand idea: To recreate the iconic scene of a young Chinese cormorant fisherman hard at work on a bamboo raft – shot 30 meters underwater in a cenote just above a toxic layer of hydrogen sulfide.

Traditional culture as a whole, is something that is inexorably fading with time. I wanted to create a piece that would immortalize a piece of my own culture – the iconic cormorant fisherman. By placing him directly above an underwater river, within this portal that was believed to lead to the Mayan underworld, seemed like the perfect way to bid farewell to a proud tradition.

As a general rule, taking underwater portraits is extremely complicated. Simple tasks like breathing, communicating. posing and moving become a lot more complex whilst standard lighting rules and equipment requirements change completely.

Transport that shoot 30m underwater and suddenly things become exponentially more complex. Ambient light levels and visibility plummet, dive time is reduced significantly while the safety risks from potential malfunction increase.

Add onto that a toxic layer of opaque hydrogen sulfide and only five days in Mexico meant  we were really setting ourselves up for a challenge.

VonWong's Underwater Fisherman

If you want to see more of the details of his awesome shoot, head over to Von Wong’s blog: http://www.vonwong.com/blog/underwaterfisherman/

The images were captured with the Nikon D800 and Nauticam underwater housing.

I think we can all appreciate any photographer that explores outside the realms of golden hour photography and weddings. Pushing the boundaries doesn’t always have to be doing something crazy and expensive like this, but also trying new techniques and constantly elevating your work. If I saw this shoot, I would’ve thought it was all Photoshop, but it’s even better now that I know all of the things that had to happen to make this possible.

What do you think of this shoot? Was it cool? Alright? Let us know in the comment section below!


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