If you’ve not heard the name before, Benjamin Von Wong is an uber-cool photographer with a massive social media following. Along with creating inspirational images, often with high-end production sets, Ben’s images carry equally inspirational messages….and this latest project is no different.
“Every single day, 142,000 computers are thrown away in the United States. At least, that was the case in 2010. Electronic waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the world. Today, that number is far higher and the only way to alleviate the situation is getting people to talk more about it. Unfortunately, e-waste doesn’t make for very interesting dinner conversation. I wanted to change that,” explains Benjamin.
Needing access to a ‘lifetime of e-waste’ Benjamin teamed up with Dell, who gave him and his team 4100 lbs of E-waste – the approximate amount of e-waste an American might use over their lifetime.
Using social media, Benjamin recruited a crew of 50 volunteers who toiled for 10 days to create the dramatic sets for the images using just simple tools paint and wood. Ben explains that one of the most tedious structures to build was a portal, where each arch took up to six hours to decorate with circuit boards.
An overriding technique used throughout the project was the use of forced perspective. “The structures were built to work from only one angle. With limited time and budget, David Jeter – our master builder – decided to use forced perspective to make our structures look far longer and deeper than they actually were. From the sides, you can see how incomplete the structure actually is,” says Benjamin.
Pushing the creative boundaries comes naturally to Benjamin and this innovation was evident in a number of lighting techniques with Ben using coloured document folders taped onto flashes and even taping a flash to a drone to hover over his subject and illuminate from a height.
With models, stylists and makeup artists at his disposal, some creative bodypainting was employed and Ben discloses it took eight hours to fully paint the models. To add motion to the model’s hair, Ben employed another DIY technique by using a leaf blower from a local Home Depot store.
Here is the behind the scense video cover this project:
The full set of amazing images can be seen here.