Documentary

Photographer uses light-carrying drone to draw shapes

February 2020 issue

Photographer uses light-carrying drone to draw shapes

What’s more captivating than the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in southwestern Bolivia? The Salar de Uyuni salt flats illuminated by a light-toting drone flying a perfect circle.

Last summer photographer Reuben Wu had the opportunity to test the Phase One XT camera during a weeklong Bolivian road trip. He used the camera plus his Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 70mm f/5.6 lens and a tripod. His goal was to build on his photo series that features geometric shapes of light above natural landscapes. He draws the shapes via a drone mounted with an LED light.

What made this particular photo session so challenging was the combination of low temperature, high altitude, and the fragile salt flats surface, says Wu.

“I really like the shadows cast by the surface texture of the salt flats. The juxtaposition of artificial and natural lighting is a core element in my work.”  

Amanda Arnold is associate editor of Professional Photographer. 

Tags: drone photographydroneslandscape photographyphase one

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