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I Lit Landscapes At Night Using Drones With LEDs

“Lux Noctis” is a series of photographs depicting landscapes of North America in the style of traditional landscape photography but influenced by ideas of planetary exploration, 19th century sublime romantic painting, and science fiction.

I made this photo series using a full frame and medium format camera, a prototype LED light mounted on a drone, and shot the images in remote uninhabited locations at night. I wanted to create my own unique lighting scenarios for portraying vast landscapes but showing only the elements I wanted in my composition, with the rest of the picture shrouded in darkness.

The concept is influenced by ideas of planetary exploration, and how I can reframe the increasingly familiar churn of images we see everyday of our planet and show aspects of our natural landscape from a fresh and undiscovered perspective.

The idea had been incubating for a year but it took a few of months of research, travelling, experimentation and photographing to make this series. There were several challenges I had to overcome, mainly associated with walking long distances with a lot of kit and issues with altitude and cold weather.

These are abstractions of the landscape photograph, or “portraits of the landscape”, drawing the attention of the viewer only to the illuminated, in an otherwise overwhelming and vast picture.

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