Reuben Wu has created Lux Noctis and Lux Noctis II, a truly gorgeous photo series that transforms and infuses the rocky North American countryside with an otherworldly, almost spiritual aura.
Photographer Reuben Wu makes photographs that uncover an alien beauty in natural and manmade landscapes throughout the world. Wu is an innovator of utilizing LEDs fitted to drones to luminate landscapes during the night, and his fantastic project Lux Noctis is loaded with stunning and unusual images made using this approach. Lately, Wu has added an additional imaginative effect: he adds halos on top of the mountain pinnacles on dramatic landscapes by flying the drones in circles during long-exposure photos.
“I see it as a kind of ‘zero trace’ version of land art where the environment remains untouched by the artist, and at the same time is presented in a sublime way which speaks to 19th century Romantic painting and science and fictional imagery,” Wu said.
“Drones are amazing for cinema not only as flying cameras, but also as flying light beams, foregoing the use of expensive cranes, helicopters and balloons, and allowing artists to shine light on places from angles which have never been possible until now. Each image is a carefully-planned scene consisting of multiple lighting positions, layered to produce a theatrically-lit composition. Using the GPS-enabled aerial light/drone in specific positions in space, I am able to create moods of drama and tension through chiaroscuro, and the ability to illuminate isolated features of a scene and exclude unwanted elements.”
An elegant circle of light traces the flight of the drone, leaving behind a mark only visible in the resulting image.