Underwater Photo Shoot: 2 Models, 7 Divers and a Bali Shipwreck

Over the past couple years we've all seen Benjamin Von Wong rise to the occasion time and time again with shoot after epic shoot. This time is no different, when he heads back underwater (this time in the untamed wild ocean of Bali) to attempt a shoot surrounded by a coral-covered shipwreck. In Von Wong's words, "everything is more complicated underwater."

This is the first of two videos he'll be releasing, this one focused on planning and the stuff you have to consider when doing something like this.

Von Wong describes all the things to keep in mind when you're planning to shoot underwater:

  • Normal models wouldn’t work unless they had extensive dive training and even then, they wouldn’t have the ability to hold their breaths for very long, especially at depth so Free Divers were going to be required.
  • Normal clothes couldn’t be rented since the sea water would wreck them, so we had to find a designer willing to part with the clothing they’d lend us.
  • Normal assistants wouldn’t work, specially trained safety divers were going to be necessary to ensure a smooth photoshoot.
  • Scouting would be complicated – local divers would be necessary for us to navigate around the wreck and deal with unpredictable changes in the weather and tide.
  • Lighting and gear would be limited – shooting underwater meant that we had to work with what we had available: on camera strobes or natural light.




To see his full rundown, head over to his blog. He goes into much greater detail there.

What do you think? Something you would try?

All images used with permission.

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From a first glance, these images are stunning! Most of them look like paintings more than photographs. Extremely nice execution of a poetic idea I'd say .

Bob Bell's picture

Breathtaking stuff, Great job!

For the first time, i have to agree this is a real piece of good work. I think he is slowly perfecting his art. Good work!

Von Wong's picture

Thank you!

Man, this is crazy...gotta hand it to the model for keeping composure while holding her breath for who knows how long. Great job Ben and thanks for posting Jaron.

Von Wong's picture

they would hold it for 30 seconds to a minute per reset :)

Jaron Schneider's picture

Which speaks to your ability to make sure you made every reset worth it. Good job Ben :)

How far down?

Von Wong's picture

About 25-30 meters deep!

As an underwater photographer, this is an insane undertaking & hats off!

Hi Benjamin. First of all UNBELIVABLE SHOOTING !! Did you came with that idea for the shoot by yourself or it was a request by a client or a magazine ? I am a great fan of all your work. I live in Quebec City and I am proud to see a guy of Montreal doing that kind of work. Keep up de good job !

Von Wong's picture

It's my own idea - no client, just personal work :) Thanks for the compliments! Wish you all the best!

Breathtaking images! Congratulations for taking on such a creative shoot and executing it with a mastery of the craft. Inspiring.

Great to see the models were actually shot under water and not placed in post. This is photography. Not that composite gargle we see time and time again. Nice job Ben.

I've seen a lot of good underwater photography but I have to say, this shoot is the best of em all. Epic posing, location, lighting, post processing, and wardrobe. Great job Ben!

Hi Ody's picture

Absolutely brilliant! Had to laugh though at tying the model down by the leg. Really funny.

So cool!!!! Where too next ?