Photographer Reuben Wu recently traveled to Pastoruri, one of the few glaciers left in tropical South America, and photographed it with lighting from an LED drone.
“At 17,000ft [5,250m], it was a physical challenge to reach the glacier, compounded by the fact that I was shooting at night and under freezing conditions,” Wu tells PetaPixel. “This glacier is receding at a shocking rate due to climate change and as a result there has been a huge drop in tourism and an impact on the local community.
“With this series, I felt like this was an attempt to document an endangered landscape which may not exist in a decade.”
The extreme temperatures caused Wu to lose sensation in his fingers, making it difficult to fly his light drone and operate his camera. Both his camera and drone battery life was also significantly reduced by the cold.
Wu was sponsored by Coors Lite for the project and the adventure was documented by Great Big Story in this 4-minute video:
Titled Terminus, this project is a part of Wu’s larger Lux Noctis series that consists of landscapes illuminated by drones with powerful LED lights mounted to them.
“I photographed the glacier with conflicting feelings,” Wu says. “I wanted to show evidence of its alarming retreat, yet I was drawn to the epic scale of the ice which remained.
“In the end I leaned towards the latter, but each photograph represents a bleak reality, a fading memory of what once stood.”
Image credits: Reuben Wu courtesy of Coors Light from its Great Big Story video series “Made From Mountains”. Reuben Wu’s “Coors Light: Made from Mountains” episode is featured on greatbigstory.com.