This is just… insane. Sometimes a client calls you with what seems like an impossible ask: “can you do a model riding a motorcycle jumping over a helicopter while swigging some gin and winking at the camera… and it has to be 100% photoshop-free?”

No. The answer to that question is no. And while the request epic fine art photographer Benjamin Von Wong got from the folks at Huawei wasn’t THAT crazy, it was pretty out of this world.

They asked him to create the craziest photograph he possibly could using their new Huawei P8 smartphone… with fire surrounding a model… using a function build into the phone… without any Photoshop afterwards. As Ben explains in his Medium post about the shoot, that’s a tall order:

In the best of conditions, fire is one of the most challenging elements to capture. Not only is it dangerous, its luminosity varies with time. Long exposures result in motion blur, and the high contrast between subject and flames typically means that an amazing camera with a large dynamic range is necessary.

Despite living for new exciting challenges—I was a little worried.


BTS_FireAngel_Photo by Sean Sim

As you might have already guessed, the amazing part of this story is that he figured out a way to pull this stunt off and, in the process, create two of the craziest (if not THE craziest) photos ever taken on a smartphone.

With help from fire performance team Starlight Alchemy, some basic ND filters, a bunch of lights, the phone’s own light-painting function, and a whole lot of prep work, Von Wong was able to come through on Huawei’s request and capture these photographs:



From which he selected the final two images. Remember, these were shot entirely in-camera on a freaking smartphone without any post-processing in Photoshop:

01_Huawei_P8_FireRain by VonWong

To find out how he pulled it off — and yes, it did involve quite a bit of lighting, a lot of thought, and some careful planning — check out the BTS shots below and then follow the link at the bottom to read Ben’s full behind-the-scenes post.

BTS_FireRain_Photo by Sean Sim_2

BTS_FireRain_Photo by Sean Sim_3

BTS_FireRain_Photo by Sean Sim

BTS_FireWingTest_Photo by Dan Lim

BTS_Keeping Model Warm _Photo by Sean Sim


To read the story behind the shots and see the final Huawei ad, click here.