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In New Light Storm Series, Reuben Wu Continues to Reimagine How Drones Can Be Used to Make Art

BY Zacc Dukowitz
2 December 2020

Visual artist Reuben Wu recently released a new series of photos called Light Storm.

The series features creative uses of drone lighting for surrealistic, surprising, and sometimes just completely otherworldly nighttime and dusk/dawn shots.

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Photo credit: Reuben Wu

We’ve covered Reuben’s work before.

He’s the artist who had the brilliant idea to use drones as a light source to create what he calls mountain halo shots, leveraging long exposure times and pre-programmed flight paths to capture stunning images like this:

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Photo credit: Reuben Wu

In his latest series, Reuben uses the mountain halo technique, but he also uses drone lighting in other creative ways, all to spectacular effect.

The photos in Light Storm were taken at undisclosed locations throughout the southwest, primarily in the bizarre rock formations of Utah and New Mexico. (He doesn’t disclose the specific locations of his shoots in order to protect these fragile areas.)

[To see all of Reuben’s incredible artwork, follow him on Instagram or visit his website.]

Speaking about the Light Storm series, Reuben has said that he wanted to present familiar sights in a new, unfamiliar light. And he certainly does that.

His photos, with their unique lighting and imaginative framing, take what might be an ordinary landscape and turn it into an alien, fantastic place. Rather than wait for the perfect time to take a picture, where luck meets skill—the age-old formula for photographers—he creates his own moments, using drones as a light source to turn a natural scene into a place of magic.

Instead of the old photographers’ adage of waiting for the right moment, I’m literally creating it from my position behind the camera. It also allows me to have more creative ownership over a photograph of a landscape.

– Reuben Wu

Here are more photos from Light Storm, shared with permission from Reuben Wu.

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Want more? Follow Reuben on Instagram or visit the projects page of his website to see more of his work.

Love these photos? Join the conversation about them in this thread on the UAV Coach community forum.

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