Wacom Creatives: Benjamin Von Wong on his brand of visual engineering

"If social media didn't exist I probably wouldn't be doing photography," says the photographer.

From the Series

"By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea," reads a caption on photographer Benjamin von Wong's website that accompanies a picture of a mermaid who looks like she has been pushed out of the sea.

On close inspection, you realise this is not a painting but an actual woman in a mermaid costume and the sea is nothing but multicoloured plastic bottles arranged around her. The image is shot from above, which adds to the drama but also brings the message through: plastic pollution in our oceans is a serious problem.

As he explained to Wacom: "If social media didn't exist I probably wouldn't be doing photography because what is important to me is not just the creating of the work but the sharing of the work".

And sharing he does whether it is on his popular blog vonwong.com, or to his nearly 300 000 Facebook followers and his 85 000 Instagram followers.

He started out as a mining engineer before deciding to pursue photography. But his engineering background has given him an edge as he tackles technological challenges with a problem-solving attitude.

In a talk at Google, he explained that he spent a large part of his youth reading fantasy and uses his photography to take these images and bring them to life. This explains why his catalogue involves anything from pictures taken underwater in a shipwreck, suspended over skyscrapers and other interesting locations.

He says the most important tools of the trade are his camera, laptop, flashes (so he can control the light on his subjects) and his Wacom tablet for post-production.

In this new series, Design Indaba partnered with Wacom to give our readers a glimpse into the creative processes of premier artists and illustrators. Over the next few months, we'll be featuring a host of fascinating creative personalities - including Miss Led, Guy Shield and Crystal Kung- all of whom use Wacom's selection of professional artist tools to create their striking works. Watch our interview with London-based illustrator, Andrew Rae.