Photographer's dramatic images illuminate the soul of the world

Reuben Wu
© Reuben Wu

From ephemeral works that erode with time or emphasize the timelessness of nature, to works making a more political statement, it seems that the general role of environmental art is to prompt contemplation about the greater meaning of human engagement in nature, in relation to its cyclic processes. Often, this kind of environmentally oriented land art involves the movement or manipulation of natural materials -- whether it's stones, leaves or sand.

For Chicago-based photographer, film-maker and music producer Reuben Wu, who created these striking images of nightfallen mountains haloed with a single circle of light, land art can also be a "zero-trace" practice that leaves its natural subjects untouched, yet creates the sense of drama seen in these magnificent photographs that prompt us to look at nature in a slightly different way.

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu
Wu's creative process for the Lux Noctis series combines both old inspirations and new technologies: he's inspired by 19th century Romantic painting and science fiction, and uses advanced tools to achieve the final result. As Wu explains:

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.

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

In addition to creating this breathtaking sense of darkness and light using modern drone technology, Wu's images also evoke that sense of the anima mundi or the universal soul, hinting at the all-pervading presence of the cosmic consciousness, of which we are a part of.

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu© Reuben Wu

Where there is light, there is awareness, and the light here not only makes nature seem even more alive, it helps us to see with fresh eyes at a natural world that previously was seen as mere inanimate 'resources' to be exploited. Hard facts and figures documenting the negative impact of such environmental exploitation might not necessarily spark collective change in the more subconscious parts of our minds, but perhaps compelling images such as these -- showing that there is much hidden beauty to treasure -- will. For more, visit Reuben Wu.

[Via: Faith Is Torment]

Photographer's dramatic images illuminate the soul of the world
Using a combination of traditional inspiration and modern technology, these striking images urge us to look at the world with fresh eyes.

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