Reuben Wu’s Lux Noctis series uses drones as a light source

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We’ve shot landscapes. We’ve shot long exposures. We’ve shot aerial drone images. But today, while scrolling through Instagram, we stumbled upon Reuben Wu, a photographer and filmmaker who rolls all three concepts into something truly unprecedented: his Lux Noctis project.

In his award-winning Lux Noctis series, Reuben doesn’t use drones as his camera. He uses drones as his light source, illuminating cliffs, mountaintops, and other formations to create images that look like paintings of surreal Martian landscapes.

It’s very exciting and refreshing to see drones used in such a genuinely unique and original way.

As every good drone pilot knows, a lot of time should be invested in planning, especially when you’re attempting something as meticulous as Lux Noctis. Reuben spends hours scanning maps, researching moon cycles, and analysing aggregate tourist traffic data.

Ahead of shooting, he heads to each location and hikes around, plotting GPS markers and figuring out photo compositions. The portability of his kit is key to his practice, as he ends up in some pretty remote spots.

These photos are awesome as they are, but one of them got photobombed by the final stratospheric burn of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy as it rocketed away from Earth. If that doesn’t raise the bar for happy accidents, nothing will:

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Sunset Sequence #imaginarymagnitude

A post shared by Reuben Wu (@itsreuben) on