Known for his Lux Noctis project, photographer Reuben Wu has created magnificent scenes where powerful lights attached to drones illuminate the landscape. In 2021, National Geographic asked him to utilise his skills on their August 2022 cover. But it wasn't just landscapes that he was asked to photograph. It was the iconic Stonehenge. And recently, Wu posted otherworldly outtakes from the shoot in a thread, reminiscing about his time on location. Mr. Wu's challenge was to showcase his one of the most photographed monuments in the world in an unexpected way. "Due to this familiarity, Stonehenge's perceived image has become somewhat obscured over the years," Wu says. "This project was a great opportunity to showcase the monument in an extraordinary way," said Wu, using a drone to illuminate the monument from specific angles to reflect its powerful ancient reflections. The method was able to evoke the mystery and magic of the place. However, it wasn't easy to get the shot he wanted.
“There was a lot of red tape in order to gain permission to fly a drone at night in a very protected national heritage site,” Wu recalls. “Not only that, but Stonehenge is located inside military airspace so we needed to present our project to the Royal Air Force as well. My drone pilot / digital tech Zac Henderson also had to pass his UK pilot exam to clear him for flight operations.”