We have seen storm-chasing photographers make awe-inspiring timelapses. We’ve seen photographers make mesmerizing natural light portraits, too. However, we haven’t often seen a photographer attempting to chasing bad weather just so that he can make portraits. But if that photographer is Ben Von Wong, then there must be a reason behind the insanity:
“I think that we live in a rapidly changing world right now, and whether we admit it or not our lifestyle is pretty unsustainable for the environment around us. I wanted to create a series of images that would highlight everyday, normal people doing normal activities with the building up of a storm in the background and I thought that the two together would tell a really nice story around climate change.”
Von Wong’s project is in support of Cowspiracy, an environmental documentary film. The gathering storm making a backdrop for all the images is a premonition of things to come. Von Wong deliberately placed models doing normal everyday activities seemingly oblivious of what’s brewing behind them.
The project was a challenge in many ways. For a start it mixed two genres. Chasing a storm is a challenge in itself. There is absolutely no control over anything except how quickly you can chase a storm, reach a safe spot, set up a shoot, and make the shot, before the storm catches up on you.
The crew would often have less than ten minutes to make the shot once they reached a spot.
“The intent of the series is really just to get people to think. Think about the world. Think about what’s happening around us. Be aware of it. And if I can ignite that conversation regardless of the reaction on the series then I think this project will have been a success.”