drawing-with-drones-over-the-salt-flats-of-bolivia

Reuben Wu has photographed some of the world’s most remote and extreme places: Chile’s Atacama Desert, the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico, the Arctic tundra of Norway, Peru’s Pastoruri glacier. But few locations compare to the site of his latest project, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. Stretching across more than 4,000 square miles of South America’s Altiplano (high plain), Salar de Uyuni (literally, the salts of Uyuni, the nearest town) is the world’s largest salt flat, a nearly featureless white landscape left behind by the evaporation of prehistoric lakes.

During the rainy season, the flats are submerged in 6 to 20 inches of perfectly still water, turning the shallow lake into the world’s largest mirror. In the dry season, when Wu visited, the salt crystals dry into an intricate latticework of tile-like polygons stretching away to the horizon in every direction. “I was really taken by this composition of pure horizon,” Wu says. “It’s just the sky and the landscape.”

Shooting the salt flats was the culmination of a week-long Bolivian road trip Wu and two companions took last July. Between the freezing nighttime temperatures, high altitudes (the Altiplano averages 12,000 feet above sea level), and long drives, the team got little sleep. “We were cold, we were light-headed, and doing anything physical was very hard,” Wu recalls. “There were times when I really struggled.”

But the hardships paid off when the crew finally reached the salt flats. Because it was the dry season, most of the Salar de Uyuni looked like a geometrically patterned moonscape. Still, Wu was lucky enough to find a standing puddle large enough to capture the rainy-season mirror effect, too. In addition to more traditional landscape photography, Wu created several of his signature aeroglyphs—glowing geometric shapes that float mysteriously in the sky. Wu draws the aeroglyphs by piloting LED-equipped drones in precise patterns while keeping his shutter open to create a long exposure.

Over the course of the road trip Wu documented a variety of Bolivian landscapes ranging from sandy deserts to rocky palisades, but the Salar de Uyuni emerged as the highlight. “If it were in the US, it would be swarming with tourists,” he says. “Instead, we had the whole thing to ourselves except for the occasional farmer and a cow.” The salt flats are rich in deposits of lithium, a key element in smartphone and electric car batteries, but lithium mining operations are still in their infancy thanks to the region’s inaccessibility and the reluctance of recently ousted president Evo Morales to greenlight foreign investment.

Throughout the trip, Wu used a Phase One XT, a compact medium-format digital camera that allowed him to take ultrahigh-resolution images on the go. Back in his studio, he used software to tinker with the images until arriving at the final product. Wu thinks of photography as “painting with light” and doesn’t fetishize authenticity. “For me, everything’s a tool,” he says. “The camera’s a tool, the computer’s a tool. Just so long as the technology and the tools don’t overwhelm the vision.”


More Great WIRED Stories

171 comments

  1. With havin so much content and articles do you ever
    run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself
    or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over
    the web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being
    stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

  2. It’s really a cool and helpful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find
    almost all of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content for you?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write in relation to here.
    Again, awesome web site!

  4. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it
    for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog
    and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

  5. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a
    little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this issue here on your internet site.

  6. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  7. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed
    account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you
    access consistently fast.

  8. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve be mindful your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely
    excellent. I actually like what you’ve obtained here,
    really like what you are stating and the way in which through which you say it.
    You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it sensible.
    I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific web site.

  9. Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wishes to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want
    to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for a long time.
    Great stuff, just great!

  10. whoah this weblog is great i love studying your articles.

    Keep up the good work! You know, lots of persons are looking round for this information, you could
    aid them greatly.

  11. Unquestionably consider that which you said.
    Your favourite reason appeared to be at the net the easiest factor to consider of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as folks consider
    worries that they just don’t know about. You controlled to hit the
    nail upon the top as neatly as outlined out the entire thing
    without having side-effects , other people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

  12. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to
    your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  13. Hi there mates, how is everything, and what you want to say
    regarding this piece of writing, in my view its really
    amazing in favor of me.

  14. Somebody essentially assist to make severely articles I’d state.

    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far?

    I amazed with the research you made to create this actual submit amazing.
    Magnificent task!

  15. Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just excellent and i
    can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep
    updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  16. I constantly emailed this weblog post page to all my associates, for the reason that
    if like to read it then my contacts will too.

  17. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you
    access consistently fast.

  18. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this subject here on your site.

  19. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be
    happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  20. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but,
    I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  21. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your
    blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement
    you access consistently quickly.

  22. Excellent items from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely fantastic.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired right here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way
    in which by which you are saying it. You’re making it entertaining and
    you still take care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read far
    more from you. That is really a great site.

  23. I think everything composed made a lot of sense. But,
    think about this, suppose you added a little information? I
    ain’t suggesting your content is not solid, but suppose you added a headline that makes people want more?
    I mean Drawing With Drones Over the Salt Flats of Bolivia – Pavvy
    Designs is kinda vanilla. You should look at Yahoo’s home page and watch how
    they create article headlines to grab viewers to
    open the links. You might add a related video or a picture or two to
    grab people excited about what you’ve got to say.
    Just my opinion, it would make your blog a little bit
    more interesting.

  24. I got this web site from my buddy who shared
    with me on the topic of this web site and now this time I
    am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles here.

  25. We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s
    to be what precisely I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers
    to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind publishing a
    post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write with regards to here.

    Again, awesome website!

  26. I got this website from my friend who told me about this website and now this time I am visiting this
    web page and reading very informative articles at this place.

  27. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  28. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking
    back frequently!

  29. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of unique
    content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but
    it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  30. Hey outstanding website! Does running a blog such as this
    take a massive amount work? I have absolutely no knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near
    future. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or
    tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I simply wanted to ask.
    Thanks!

  31. Aw, this was a really good post. Finding the time and actual effort
    to produce a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t manage to get anything
    done.

  32. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?

    Thanks a lot!

  33. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.

    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing
    it expand over time.

  34. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks
    would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Cheers

  35. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, as I
    experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load
    properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if
    advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email
    and could look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  36. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.

    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Outstanding work!

  37. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to
    this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle
    for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with
    my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  38. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that
    “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal.

    I must say you have done a amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer.
    Exceptional Blog!

  39. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark
    this blog.

  40. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours lately,
    yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is pretty worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all
    site owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably
    did, the net shall be much more helpful than ever before.

  41. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I truly enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over
    the same topics? Thanks for your time!

  42. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this excellent blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk
    about this website with my Facebook group. Talk
    soon!

  43. When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the thought of
    a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it.
    So that’s why this paragraph is perfect. Thanks!

  44. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Very useful information specially the last part
    🙂 I care for such info much. I was seeking this certain info for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  45. My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right.

    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks!

  46. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to know a lot
    about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I feel that you simply can do with a few % to pressure the message house
    a bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog.

    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  47. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has
    83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  48. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are now not
    actually much more neatly-preferred than you may be right
    now. You’re very intelligent. You understand thus significantly relating to
    this subject, made me for my part imagine it from a lot
    of numerous angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated unless
    it is something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice.

    All the time maintain it up!

  49. What i don’t realize is in reality how you’re no longer actually much more neatly-favored than you might be right now.
    You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me in my view
    consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t
    involved until it is one thing to accomplish with Girl
    gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. All the time deal with it up!

  50. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this piece of writing as well as from our argument made at this place.

  51. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me
    out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid other users like its helped me.

    Good job.

  52. We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with helpful information to work on. You have done
    a formidable task and our entire group might be grateful to you.

  53. I’m now not positive the place you are getting your info, but great topic.

    I needs to spend a while finding out much more or understanding more.

    Thank you for excellent info I used to be
    on the lookout for this information for my
    mission.

  54. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
    though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why
    throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  55. I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.

    I surprise how a lot attempt you place to make such a magnificent informative website.

  56. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.

    Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

  57. After looking into a few of the blog posts on your web site, I truly like your way of writing a blog.

    I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.

    Please check out my web site too and let me know what you think.

  58. Appreciating the dedication you put into your blog and in depth information you present.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m
    including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  59. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could
    we communicate?

  60. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Opera.
    Excellent Blog!

  61. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be
    returning to see more, thanks for the advice!

  62. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do
    you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  63. Magnificent items from you, man. I have consider your stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely fantastic.
    I actually like what you have received here,
    certainly like what you’re stating and the way by which
    you are saying it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it smart.
    I cant wait to learn much more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful web site.

  64. Hello I am so grateful I found your blog page, I really
    found you by accident, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else,
    Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and
    also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to
    read more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  65. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing issues with
    your blog. It looks like some of the text within your content
    are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me
    know if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with
    my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Kudos

  66. My spouse and I stumbled over here different
    web address and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going
    over your web page for a second time.

  67. Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different
    internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a honest
    price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  68. I will right away take hold of your rss feed as
    I can not in finding your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter
    service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  69. It’s the best time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.

    I’ve read this put up and if I may just I want to
    suggest you some interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more issues about it!

  70. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand
    your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating
    and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still
    take care of to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a terrific web site.

  71. I am not sure where you are getting your information,
    but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning
    more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I
    was looking for this information for my mission.

  72. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this
    site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  73. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  74. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and
    also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did
    you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a
    great blog like this one today.

  75. Wonderful work! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the web.

    Disgrace on Google for no longer positioning this post higher!
    Come on over and discuss with my web site .
    Thanks =)

  76. hey there and thank you for your information –
    I have certainly picked up something new from right here.

    I did however expertise some technical points using this website, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly.

    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your
    placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and
    marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content.
    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  77. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little
    research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the
    fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time
    to discuss this topic here on your site.

  78. Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to understand so much
    about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you just can do with a few percent to drive the
    message house a bit, but instead of that, that is wonderful blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  79. Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google at the same time
    as searching for a comparable subject, your website got here up,
    it appears to be like good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply turned into aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you happen to continue this in future.

    A lot of other folks will probably be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  80. Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to
    understand a lot approximately this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I think that you simply can do with a few p.c. to force the message
    home a bit, however instead of that, that is magnificent blog.
    A great read. I will definitely be back.

  81. Hi Dear, are you truly visiting this web site on a regular basis,
    if so afterward you will without doubt get nice knowledge.

  82. Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it!
    Your writing style has been surprised me.
    Thanks, very great article.

  83. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to
    browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded
    on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, wonderful blog!

  84. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness on your post
    is just cool and i could assume you’re knowledgeable on this subject.

    Well along with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with coming
    near near post. Thank you a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  85. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you
    would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into
    anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your
    new updates.

  86. Hi there! I understand this is sort of off-topic however
    I had to ask. Does managing a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to blogging however I do write in my diary
    every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my
    own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

  87. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.
    However just imagine if you added some great visuals or video clips to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this website
    could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche.
    Good blog!

  88. Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite justification seemed to be on the
    net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you,
    I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that
    they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the
    whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  89. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into
    starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get
    set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m
    not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Appreciate it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.