Benjamin Von Wong, a Montreal-based photographer known for his complicated productions and fantastic images bristling with power, has completed an extraordinarily difficult underwater photoshoot with absolutely stunning results. He and a hand-picked crew of experienced divers, underwater photographers and freedivers set up an entire photoshoot 25m under the sea in a sunken shipwreck off the coast of Bali.
The images are enchanting in their own right, before you even get into the incredible technical details of the photoshoot. The models, who also had to be experienced freedivers (divers known for diving without oxygen tanks), posed on-site in and around the shipwreck with beautiful flowing dresses provided by international Bali-based designer Ali Charisma. Their flowing dresses transform them into the wonderfully beautifully mermaids or nymphs of mythology, who threatened to drag sailors bewitched by their beauty to the cold, dark depths.
To make the shoot possible, Von Wong had to find just the right people to support the photoshoot. Instead of photo assistants, he had experienced safety divers who provided the freediver models with breaths of air from their oxygen tanks. The underwater setting prohibited the use of studio luxuries like lighting – they had to rely on camera strobes and on natural lighting. For some of the shots, the models were actually tied down to the shipwreck – a miscommunication could have spelled disaster for their project.
No Photoshop was used to create these photos (except for post production)
The models in these photos had to actually hold their breath
They are true mermaids – as experienced freedivers, they can hold their breath for 3-4 minutes at a time
That’s probably why they were comfortable being TIED to this underwater shipwreck, receiving air periodically from expert safety divers
Behind the scenes of Von Wong’s underwater photo shoot:
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