Where the Ancient Times & Modern Day Intersect with Reuben Wu and Nat Geo

Reuben’s talent for capturing geological portraits in otherworldly light recently earned him the chance to shed new light on an iconic World Heritage site – Stonehenge.

“Stonehenge was probably the most iconic location I have photographed. I don’t usually capture man-made sites, but Stonehenge is so ancient it had the same sacred energy that many remote natural landscapes possess,” said Reuben. 

The project came off the back of his artist talk at the 2020 National Geographic Storytellers Summit and called for capturing the ancient ruins enveloped in aerial lighting. Although the assignment itself lasted two weeks, Reuben and his team spent about a month in the UK to quarantine and conduct tests.

Given Stonehenge’s stature and fragility as a conservation area, Reuben had to arrange permitting and logistics through The National Trust. He also had to submit flight paths and tests to the Royal Airforce to fly the drone in the UK. Quite the contrast when it comes to submitting permits for capturing landmarks in the United States. 

Since Reuben’s team could not fly the drone within 10m of the site, they had to think of a different way of lighting from within the stones. His team got creative and fashioned an extremely long, extendable pole with remote-control lights attached to the top. Sometimes you need new technology to capture ancient subjects in a contemporary way.

The full story is slated to be published in August 2022, but the Magazine recently featured one of Reuben’s images in its December 2021 issue titled, “The Year in Images.”

While archeologists still debate over the theories of Stonehenge’s use, Reuben’s capture gave it new meaning and light.