eye | BLOG: Reuben Wu & National Geographic explore Stonehenge!

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Reuben Wu and National Geographic explore Stonehenge
Jovi Esquivel, Anne Kelly

Reuben Wu on the cover of National Geographic’s August 2022 issue, “Stonehenge Revealed”

Images: Reuben Wu, National Geographic; Animation: Rebekah Barlas, National Geographic

As a new member of the photo-eye team, I am constantly amazed by the work I have the opportunity to interact with while in the gallery and feel honored to meet the artists with whom we work.

Photo-eye’s relationship with Reuben Wu began in January 2019. That same year, we mounted a solo exhibition Aeroglyphs & Other Nocturnes here in Santa Fe and featured his work in our booth at Photo LA and The Photography Show presented by AIPAD At New York. As I get to know the amazing artists we represent, my favorite way to prepare a blog post is to dig up all the content the gallery has created in the past and scour the website and media social of the artist. Seeing an artist’s process excites me and I LOVE finding behind-the-scenes content! For example, the photo-eye blog featured the portfolio Infinity Field,
and in this post, we’ve shared several photographs from the series alongside Wu’s sketches and planning notes, and a video of Wu’s process in Bolivia. I’ve linked that post and some interviews with Wu below.

Wu is a Renaissance man, to say the least. Prior to his fine arts career, Wu established a musical career as a violinist, keyboardist, DJ and music producer for the popular electronic band Ladytron. In recent years, Wu has been chosen to be an ambassador for Phase One cameras and has become well known in NFT spaces, among other significant achievements.

A glance over my desk is greeted by NL0377from the Serie Lux Noctis by Reuben Wu, so when we first learned of the next National geographic functionality, we were thrilled for it. While we wouldn’t have predicted the exact set of circumstances, we weren’t entirely surprised either.


For the August issue of
National Geographic, “Stonehenge Revealed,” Reuben Wu was commissioned to photograph the iconic archaeological site of Stonehenge. The 40-page story includes images of Wu, explains how new technologies are helping archaeologists solve the mysteries of Stonehenge’s origin, and also examines the unique challenges facing the ancient monument in modern times.

“As one of the most photographed landmarks in the world, I knew I had to show Stonehenge in a way that had never been seen before. In this 25 multiple exposure time-lapse and image, the stones massive are illuminated from above by a powerful light, attached to a drone. With this type of lighting, I was able to bring a new, unknown atmosphere to the monument, an atmosphere that seemed timeless and spoke of power and l ancient tradition of the site — Ruben Wu

Reuben Wu uses artificial lights attached to drones to illuminate monumental landscapes found in locations spread across the world, in gestures that parallel both ancient petroglyph symbols and explorations of the land art movement in the 1970s. uses contemporary technology to interact with the landscape in a way that continues the eternal human impulse to document our presence. Wu’s approach, however, is fleeting and leaves no lasting ill effects on the land. Photography becomes a lasting brand. And for Wu, the actual symbols drawn in the air by the drones have no specific meaning on their own. The work is more about emphasizing this sense of compressed time, using light and long exposure photography to mark and record a transient human presence in the landscape, inviting viewers to reflect on humanity’s place in the vastness of the history of our planet.

Sunset brings peace but not tranquility to Stonehenge, which is bordered by a busy highway. “One thing that was shocking, even at night, was the constant noise from nearby traffic,” says photographer Reuben Wu. “I found myself imagining what the place would have felt like thousands of years ago. ‘years.” (Reuben Wu/National Geographic; image made with 13 superimposed poses)

One of the iconic monuments of the world, Stonehenge has been studied for centuries. Yet according to archaeologist Vince Gaffney, new technologies are “transforming our understanding of ancient landscapes – even Stonehenge, a place we thought we knew well”. (Reuben Wu/ National Geographic; image made with 11 superimposed poses)

A sprawling ceremonial complex at the time, Stanton Drew boasted wooden circles, two walkways of standing stones leading down to the nearby River Chew and one of Britain’s largest stone rings, around 370 feet in diameter. Today, 26 stones remain, and ground-penetrating radar revealed nine rings of wooden posts. (Reuben Wu/National Geographic; image made with 18 superimposed poses)

Discovered in 1925 from aerial photographs of a wheat field, Woodhenge comprised six towering concentric rings of timber, their locations now marked by concrete pillars. Like nearby Stonehenge, the structure was built to align with the rising sun at the summer solstice. (Reuben Wu/National Geographic; image made with 5 superimposed poses)

The Stonehenge saga begins in the rugged hills of Wales, where geologists have identified Carn Goedog and nearby outcrops as the source of most of the monument’s bluestone. Why the builders carried two-ton stones 175 miles to Salisbury Plain has inspired many theories, but few solid answers. (Reuben Wu/National Geographic; image made with 15 superimposed poses)

Ruben Wu, National Geographic

Thank you, Reuben, and congratulations on your first cover story!

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Reuben Wu.

For more information and to purchase Reuben Wu prints,

you can also call us at (505) 988-5152 x202

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