Set ablaze by a brilliant sunset of powerful reds and fading azures, a landscape of the future harnesses the setting rays of the sun to power a community. This is the vision of a not-faraway-future by Reuben Wu. The visual artist concentrates on the sleek design of solar panels juxtaposed against agrarian terrains, populating open fields with their wide, shiny faces and thrumming with the most potent ecological and earth-saving technology in the photography series, Crescent Dunes.
From mimicking the pattern of crop circles to the glass-paned slopes of mountain vistas, the photographer paints a circuit board-augmented picture of nature, filled with the man-made tools humanity constructed to save itself from its own nature-destroying practices.
In the past, Wu has shown his penchant for beautifully wide-open aerial perspectives, imparting a cinematic touch to his panoramic works. Crescent Dunes was captures on the grounds of a real-lifel solar panel facility. Reuben worked with the company, SolarReserve, to coordinate a time where he could both capture the testing stages of the technology, as well as coincide with ample moonlight. In addition to working with timelapse and aerial photographs, Wu took advantage of drone technology to capture overhead visuals in motion.
"From a photographer’s perspective," Wu shares with The Creators Project, "the most interesting thing about the facility was the 10,000 mirrors encircling the central collector, tracking the sun as it arced overhead. I only shot during dawn and dusk, in order to take advantage of the softer light and subtle hues of the sky which were reflected perfectly in the mirrors."
Wu continues, "I approached the series in a same way I would have approached the documentation of a James Turrell land art installation (something I still really want to do). The light of the sky reflected in the mirrors in strange disrupted patterns, the heliostat support structures fading into vanishing points and the monumental ‘mini sun’ generated by the concentration of the mirrors on the solar collector as well as the following of the sun overhead in a kind of auto-mechanized celestial worship."