EOD U.S military bomb suit shoot BTS

I've always believed personal photo projects are important to professional photographer's (and armature photographers for that matter) as they can really help when you start to feel unmotivated and stale when shooting often the same kind of thing day in day out. For a while now I've been working on an underwater girls modeling type project and while I have done a few of these now I still very much feel like a beginner when shooting them. It's great fun and a challenging though to push the boundaries and try something new.

Another idea Id had for a photo project for quite sometime was to do a Military action series where I would get "real" people from various areas of the military with their gear on and photograph them in a dramatic kind of way. Almost a bit like a cover shot for a movie or a game like Call of Duty etc.. Why? Just for fun and I've always had a fascination with the Military ever since I was a little kid and used to collect any Military gear I could get my hands on. Especially knives, man I loved knives!

Anyway without any further ado here's the first of my Military in action photo projects with a friend Matt who I met while photographing his family on location here in Okinawa. Matt is a Master Sargent for the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Demolition) and was able to get me permission to make this project a reality. I even got to try on a 85 pound bomb suit, operate a bomb disarming robot and detonate C4 explosives! Not something your average civilian gets to experience.

Here's my little behind the scenes video I put together with bts video/photo help from good friends Chris Myers and Keith Smith.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot. All shot with the Canon 1DmkIV and lenses like the new 16-35mm f4L IS, 70-200mm f2.8L IS and new 24-70mm f4L IS. 

All images edited in Lightroom then mostly taken into some plugin like Nik Color efex pro 4 or Perfect Effects. 

For the actual shots with live explosives I had to wear ear protection of course. The sound and feeling on the body from the blasts was quite incredible. The explosions you see at the end of the video were C4. For those we were further back behind a mound in a bunker for protection. I set up my Gopro to catch the explosions while I pulled the trigger to detonate it. Even down there we could feel the force. 

I already have plans for my next project in this theme and am currently working on finding the gear needed and location. Should be cool though!

All images are copyright Pete Leong Photography and can not be used without permission. If you would like to use any images on this blog please contact me via the contact icon on the right side menu bar. 


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