Photographer designs ‘craziest photo ever taken with a smartphone’

April 30, 2015

01_Huawei_P8_FireAngel by VonWong

Though he’s used to shooting with high-end cameras like a Mamiya Leaf Credo 80 (currently £25,156 on Calumet if you fancy it) for this project Benjamin Von Wong had just the Huawei P8 smartphone.

For a P8 promotional campaign, he was tasked with creating a shot that demonstrated what the phone could do, using fire and its light-painting functionality, and without engaging in any post-processing in Photoshop or similar software.

What resulted was the selection of images on this page, making a claim to the lofty title of ‘craziest smartphone phot in history’.


Benjamin reviewing the creation of the image on his smartphone screen. Photo by Sean Sim

The effects were achieved with a combination of ND filters and the P8’s multiple exposure stacking functionality, as well as some pyrotechnic work from a professional team.


Some of the behind-the-scenes work on the ‘Fire Angel’ image, top

As Benjamin recalls in his post on Medium, ‘Lighting for the set was carefully designed to make the pillars and backdrop stand out without hitting our model. Light spills during a long exposure, would mean that our gorgeous model would come out looking blurry.


The pyrotechnics at work mid-shoot. Image by Sean Sim

‘To light the model without blur, a single tightly controlled Broncolor flash boomed overhead contained within barndoors were used which were manually triggered by hand.’


A grid showing some alternative takes of the final ‘Fire Rain’ image (see the final below). All photos © Benjamin Von Wong


A series of takes of the Fire Angel Image. All © Benjamin Von Wong

From there it was a matter of co-ordinating the pyrotechnics, which is probably even less simple than it sounds.

Here’s the video for the campaign, which shows the image capturing process in more detail:

And here is the other final image, from the project, titled ‘Fire Rain’:

01_Huawei_P8_FireRain by VonWong

© Benjamin Von Wong