Plastic decomposes at an incredibly slow rate, spanning hundreds of years. Plenty of it ends up floating in the ocean, often attaching itself to other clumps of plastic that spread across the water. It has become a serious issue that needs serious attention and care to prevent a greater problem. As this video describes, projections state that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by the year 2050. In order to represent the damage that plastic consumption is causing, photographer Benjamin Von Wong created this video in which he demonstrates how he arranged and photographed this particular scene:
Von Wong chose to use a mermaid as the subject because of the devastation that pollution has on oceans. Since a mermaid is considered a fantastical, beautiful specimen, plastic pollution affects her chances of survival. The concept is brilliant and wonderfully shown in his team’s arrangement of the plastic in relation to the posing mermaid. He uses different colors effectively to create imagery of the ocean water, surf, plants, and sand washing up against the mermaid.
In order to create something beautiful from a seemingly boring, unpopular topic of plastic pollution, Von Wong focused on the beautiful aspects of the ocean and contrasted them against the invasive plastic. His attention to detail shows in the way he arranges the scene and the perspective he chooses. The aerial shots give the effect that the viewer is flying over the mermaid in despair as she is consumed whole by the plastic surrounding her. His work demonstrates the effect that photography can have, with or without a staged scene.
“How do you get people to talk about something that is ordinary, ugly, and boring?”