All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘creations’
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately on who I am, what I do, how I do it… so I figured I’d throw together a 15 minute interview on myself for you guys! Since I had recently written an article on inspiration for Kwerfeldein, I figured I’d throw up the english version over here on my end of the world. Combined with the fact that PetaPixel requested an interview with me I figured I’d merge the two topics together and make this video. It’s quite challenging filming and editing things yourself so I did the best I could here….! Sorry for the “ums” and “has”… I’m still working on my camera face !
To commemorate this interview, I have whipped out an extremely old set of images I had taken in the past and finally completed a concept that I’ve had running in my mind for the longest time. These portraits of me were actually shot somewhere in Feb. 2010… the background in Israel on March 2012 and finally all spontaneously thrown together in Sept 2012.
The message? That we are the sum of our experiences. Good, bad… they are all a part of who we are today. There is no need to fear what is to come… we’ll get through it.
That’s it for now! I leave you with my article on HOW I FIND INSPIRATION.
As a creative artist, I am often asked: How do you come up with such crazy ideas? How do you find the people to participate? Where do you find the time and the energy?
The answer is one word: Inspiration.
Inspiration is paramount, for without it, we cannot create. It is the momentum that pushes an idea into motion. That starting point before you even pick up the camera. Being open to inspiration is to wake up in the morning and feel excited to be alive. To look at the world as a place of endless opportunities, and have the energy and drive to follow through with them. Being inspired is like being in love – it moves and transforms you.
“The Agonist” – Behind the Scenes with Video
Before continuing, let me introduce myself. I am a 25 year old self-taught photographer who spontaneously dived into photography following a break up in November 2007. At the time, I was working in a Gold mine in the barren deserts of Winnemucca, Nevada, and decided that taking pictures of the beautiful night skies would be a great distraction. The journey began with a trip to Wal-Mart.
Most recently, I quit my job as a Mining Engineer to pursue my passion. I do not consider myself an expert so what follows is merely an opinion. However, it is my deepest hope that these words help inspire and excite your own desires.
What If I am not Inspired?
The answer is simple: Get Inspired.
The truth, nobody is always inspired. Not me and probably not the artists you aspire to, who craft ingenious masterpieces. Passionate individuals are especially cursed as the waves of up and down swing greater than average. The exhilarating high that you get from creating invariably leads to a resounding low or a disappointment when the latest project fails to meet your expectations.
What separates artists who stand out from those that fade away is perserverence – the ones who continually innovate and create in spite of any challenging obstacles.
How to get inspired?
Everyone has his or her own way of getting inspired. Personally, I believe the best way to become inspired is live life. Get out there, meet new people, and listen. Everybody has a unique story, and more often than not, these tales can trigger emotions which may inspire you.
For instance, the image below shows the outcome of meeting with a fan for coffee and a brainstorming session. While chatting, she slowly opened up to a burden of pain and sadness brought on from the death of loved ones. The raw emotion transformed into a concept, which grew into a photo shoot. There was no way I could have discovered this idea alone. Yet, by taking a chance, meeting new people and listening, I was able to reveal empathy and facilitate healing with a creative twist.
Collaboration with Chester Van Bommel via artsome.be
Alternatively, looking within can also yield surprising results. I have always found emotions to be a great muse for creativity. Heartbreaks in particular have always been an impressive source for innovation. It is not easy, you have to force yourself to get up in the morning and focus on transcribing your emotions into art. Once you get into motion, you will be amazed at the things that you can accomplish. For it is useless to remain fixated on something that cannot change.
While being in this state can be absolutely fantastic for creativity, chances are you probably don’t want to spend your time in permanent heartbreak. The key, I believe, is to learn how to experience that same burst of creativity while in a state of happiness and peace.
Whatever your case may be, whether you have the strength to believe in yourself or not, inside of you lies the key to unlocking your inspiration. You just have to look for it.
Still not inspired?
Start to surround yourself with passionate individuals.
There is something incredibly infectious about a person who is passionate about what they do. Find people that relentlessly strive to perform and succeed because their drive and dedication to persevere will rub off on you too.
I recently crowd-funded a tour to travel through Europe and had the opportunity to meet up with some of these very passionate individuals. One instance was putting together a shot for Dave Reynolds, the director of the Underwater Realm. At 26 years old, Dave not only gathered an entire crew of people to shoot a series of underwater shorts probono, crowd funded over a 100,000$ for his project, but also developed new equipment and techniques to facilitate the whole process of shooting underwater.
Another moment was meeting with Andrey DAS, one of the pioneers of fire breathing in Paris, France. He had spent the last 9 years of his life building a community of pyrotechnicians and developing new spitting techniques to share with those around him at no profit whatsoever.
“Epic Pyrotechnician” – Behind the Scenes Video
Both artists find inspiration in art. They have an innate drive to push the boundaries and use their talents to the fullest potential. Concepts and ideas thrive in teams, and those who dare to dream can help make yours come true.
Alright! I got this. I have the most brilliant idea ever. Now what?
Convince the people you want to participate in the project that your idea is undeniably the most brilliant idea ever! A couple tips that can help you along the way:
- Believe in your project. People pick up on that passion and drive. If your eyes are shining with enthusiasm and confidence that this is THE project of the year, people will get hooked onto that. If you’re confident in your project’s success, let it show.
- Show a good track record. Showcase past projects that have yielded good results. It does not matter if the projects are slightly unrelated; people are looking for proof that you won’t be wasting their time. If you happen to be starting out and don’t have very much to show then consider starting small. Build that track record.
- Make it about them. While your projects might be amazing, people are going to want to know what’s in it for them. In creative collaborations, people are donating their time and talent and will be expecting something in return. Whatever you’re offering, whether it be a unique experience or a portfolio piece, make sure you emphasize what they will gain from their involvement.
- Delegate. It can become overwhelming when there are too many pieces to hold together. Try to delegate responsibilities, give people additional tasks to help you with the project. Not only will this lighten your own workload, it will also make people feel included and acknowledged.
- Follow up. Although people may become enthusiastic about your project you have to remember that you are the glue holding the whole thing together. Make sure you follow up with your fellow artists to make sure they are still on board. It is your duty to keep that excitement going. Let them be aware of the progress to keep the momentum alive.
“Les Artisans d’Azure” – Behind the Scenes Video
Last few words…
I hope that these words will inspire you. I think that the key to starting something is to simply start it. People have the tendency of doing things “later” and they never get done. If you have an idea in mind, give yourself a deadline and make it happen. Don’t worry about making it perfect right off the bat… you will make mistakes, guaranteed! You will also fail at some point in time, so accept that reality and try anyways. Whatever it is you want to do in life, start today. Don’t wait until you’re old and your life becomes a series of should haves.
“Ballerinas from the National Slovak Theater” – Behind the Scenes Video
Learn more on…
- Blog: www.vonwong.com/blog
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/thevonwong
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/vonwongphotography
- 500px: www.500px.com/vonwong
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/vonwongphotoSpecial thanks to Kara Jeffery for helping me proof-read this article !
Video by Pakdi Decnud
Les Chasseurs de Reves are the creation of Jocelyne Meugnier and Julien Gabriel. These two creatives have not only created birds but a whole collection of amazing mechanical creatures… from elephants to butterflies and have toured internationally to perform and share their dream and vision.
I met Jocelyne in the most spontaneous manner possible – in the middle of a creative photoshoot. We were shooting in a studio and the model said she knew someone that would be extremely worth meeting just a couple doors down so we headed over just to say hello. Jocelyne enthusiastically showed me her creations and I was thrilled to see all the detail and workmanship that went into the creation of these unique creatures.
Each bird has a story, each one a history and a unique rider. Everything from the control of the wingtips to the beaks are all controlled expertly by these riders on stilts. Read up more on them here: http://www.leschasseursdereves.com/
Although Jocelyne had an impressive number of performance photos, she didn’t have any that were situational and personal so I rapidly convinced her that taking some photos outdoors in the nature would allow us to get some amazing and unique results. Despite the complications of shooting outdoors (chance of rain, complications of having stilts in uneven ground, public attention) we decided that the photos would be worth creating so we decided on a date, assembled the entire crew and set out to Mont Royal here in Montreal.
The shoot began with an epic setup. Jocelyne arrived with a full truckload of birds, stilts, costumes and makeup. We chose a nice little spot on top of the mountain and set up camp under the curious gaze of a wall of spectators. The birds were laid out reverently and waited patiently while their riders got themselves ready – applying makeup and costumes.
In the meantime, I walked around the park quickly scouting out potential locations as well as lighting setups. For this shoot, I had a bunch of White Lightning & Einstein flashes from Paul C Buff as well as some Vagabond Mini Lithium Ion battery packs to help power the studio strobes. We had to deal with some pretty harsh sunlight while out with the open so being able to control the light was going to be quite critical for my shots.
I quickly noticed that I was going to have quite some problems lighting my subjects because of the huge variety in color tones – some of the riders were dark, whereas the faces were pure white. I did the best I could to compensate by placing Kletka (blue), the lighter bird by far ahead of the others and focused on lighting her with a soft diffused 86″ shoot through parabolic umbrella and had the other two Zain (red) and Mercum (green) lit from the sides with a separate light source so that I could match the exposures as best as I could. Since I had placed them inside the woods, we were able to avoid any direct sunlight from hitting the image allowing us to have even tighter control over the light hitting our subjects!
On the flip side though, while shooting deeper in the woods, I noticed that using a single large shoot through umbrella directly behind me pointing upwards would be more than sufficient to balance with the ambient light coming through the tree line. By placing a massive light source far from our subjects, we were able to get a soft even fill light despite the huge contrasts in lights and dark making this shot of the birds at play with their sheppard look natural and light.
Keeping that same lighting strategy, I reframed and brought the majestic beasts over to a gorgeous row of trees and had them pose… alert. Figuring that it would be fun to bring in a little bit of movement, I enlisted the help of our spectators to help toss some leaves for us! For those of you wondering, that little ray of light coming through the trees in the final image was done in photoshop…~
Finally, to wrap up the shoot, we decided to do a couple individual portraits of the birds. By this time, the sun had already started to fall and we discovered that the birds could actually light up!! This, combined with a low ambient light made the birds look almost magical. I took the time to figure out which emotion each wanted to represent. This was the result.
Hope you guys enjoyed that, please feel free to leave any questions and comments
Troupe Les Chasseurs de rêves/
Jocelyne Meugnier: directrice de la troupe , designer des costumes / La Bergère
Les oiseaux: Marykristñ Simoneau (l’oiseau bleu), Gabrielle Garant (l’oiseau multicolre), Simon Rioux (l’oiseau rouge) /
Photographe: Benjamin Wong / Von wong photography/Montreal based photographer
Styliste / costumes: Jocelyne Meugnier /
MUA: Les Chasseurs de rêves /
Assistants: Jessica Chiasson , Kaleena Jay, May Lim,Jared Reid,Christine Claire Deita /
Videastes BTS: Pakdi Decnud, Shi Loh /
Photographe BTS: Monique Guilbault /
Behind the Scenes Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.305134882837009.95338.100000214982840&type=3