Girlfriend Convinces Photographer To Go Stomchasing And It Was Harder Than They Thought

Published 8 years ago

Normal people don’t chase storms, they run away towards the locations of hot tea and warm blankets. But photographer Ben Von Wong went storm chasing with a noble goal in mind. Together with both photography professionals and model volunteers, they staged impressive pictures in front of storm super cells to increase awareness of the effects of global warming.

Ben Von Wong felt helpless to solve the world’s problems for a long time. “Despite not having the answer, I have made the decision to try – starting with this project, he wrote on his blog. “Regardless of how powerless I may feel, I want to put myself out there and try my best to make a positive difference in the world with the imagery I create.”

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Von Wong: The entire adventure took us across 7 different states


Anna Tenne & I posing for a quick selfie in front of a brewing lightning storm in Wyoming

We had 10-15 mins for setup and shooting


For most of the shots, we would have just 10-15 minutes to set-up and shoot before the storms would overtake us. Here, we had a massive supercell brewing on the horizon.

Just to capture the perfect shot


Joice Surcalo drove for over 4 hours just to model for us in this shot – bringing all of her personal clothes and props from home and experience a storm on her own first hand.

The weather conditions were pretty gnarly

Christian Holman, the model in the “toilet boy” shots played double duty as an assistant trying his best to shelter me from the elements.

The Sony A7r I used was not weather sealed.

Which almost didn’t show in the final shots


Carrie Lewis brought her personal stash of alcohol and tanning chair to sunbath in front of this brewing storm in South Dakota.

A stark contrast to the chaos of setup and teardown


Photo by Anna Tenne capturing the absolute chaos of the teardown process as we tried our best to get out before the rain and hail would overtake us.

Our Ambulance protected the expensive lighting equipment


Photo & ambulance courtesy of Ryan Zimmerman who had a retrofitted ambulance that he generously offered to us for use as our chase vehicle.

We then transformed these shots into advertisements


Christian Holmann drove for over 4 hours, 2 states away to bring us a toilet with only 12 hours notice.

To help promote Cowspiracy


A backup sofa was kept in the Ambulance in case we had no models to pull off our shots. Here is Anna Tenne and Ryan Zimmermann modelling for me as video gamers.

In support of Climate Change Awareness


Doug Chapin brainstorming away – the first concept that Anna & I thought of when designing this shoot.

Huge thanks to stormchaser Kelly DeLay


Huge thanks to stormchaser Kelly DeLay for babysitting us.


The project video, partially shot with drones:

Martynas Klimas

Writes like a mad dervish, rolls to dodge responsibility, might have bitten the Moon once.

Got wisdom to pour?



Ben Von Wong, climate change, environment, environmental awareness, environmental issues, global warming, photography, public awareness, Storm Chashing
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