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Drone Lights up the Night

April 15, 2016

Lux Noctis presents otherworldly perspectives
Sometimes, all it takes to inspire awe is a little change in perspective.

The Internet is packed with drone videos and photos, showing us never-before-seen views of both natural and urban environments. These new perspectives evoke a strong emotional response — feelings of freedom, transcendence, and wonder.

Photographer, filmmaker, and music producer Reuben Wu has a distinct interest in this change of perspective and emotional response. He has channeled this artistic vision to create distinctive advertisements for such companies as Google, 3D Robotics, Visa, and General Electric Co.

But he doesn’t only use his drone to take photos. For his Lux Noctis project, he equipped his 3DR Solo with the powerful LED Fiilex AL250, an aerial lighting system specially designed as a drone payload.

Reuben Wu's artist statement for the Lux Noctis project explains, "These are abstractions of the landscape photograph, or ‘portraits of the landscape’, drawing the attention of the viewer only to the illuminated, in an otherwise overwhelming and vast picture."

Reuben Wu
In his behind-the-scenes video, Wu explained, “Drones are amazing for creating imagery, not just as flying cameras, but also as flying light beams.”

Wu used the Fiilex-equipped Solo to “paint” landscapes with light, illuminating only certain portions of the mysterious scenery. The forced focus and perspective draws the viewer’s eye exactly where Wu wants it — creating a sense of unknowing and defamiliarization with the subject.

“The central idea of the aerial light was to illuminate an otherwise obscure landscape, evoking a new mood and atmosphere, and also the fantastical notion of planetary exploration,” Wu said in the video.

While the video itself is stunning, the final shots from Wu’s shoot are remarkable — which Wu attributes, in part, to the precision of his technological tools.

Click here to watch another video that will make you feel like there’s still a little magic left in the world.