Imagine seeing an entire day and then night captured in one photograph.
Pont de la Tournelle, Paris © Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes has made this happen in his latest photo series entitled “Day to Night”. How is it done? He captures multiple images throughout the day and night and then takes the best images and splices them seamlessly together.
To get the bird’s eye view, he also will rent a bucket truck called the ‘condor’. He does take a lot of photos in and of New York City.
Times Square, NYC, Day to Night, 2010.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes. © Stephen Wilkes
“It’s almost a celebration of what New York is to me. A love poem or sonnet, to the city that I love so much.”
While in the bucket truck, he will spend as much as 15 hours taking photos from different angles, all recorded on his camera and computer. He will take up to 1400 images before he is done. It’s a sort of time-lapse photography, but not really. He photographs every frame and photo by hand.
“You really never know what you are going to see until you get up above it.”
In his now famous photo of Day and Night in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, he took up to 2200 images over a 26 hours period to capture the most stunning photos, spliced together and capturing a ‘jungle book’ of sorts around a watering hole.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Day to Night, 2015.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic. © Stephen Wilkes
The process of capturing so many photos and splicing them together can take up to 4 months after a single day and night of shooting. “The changing of time in a single photograph, all the little visual stories. That’s what’s been so much fun about it. It is the most complex project I could have ever imagined. It’s a challenge, and as a photographer, I love challenges.”
His favorite quote: “They only throw the rice once.” and “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
To see more of his work, please visit his website.
Regata Storica, Venice Day to Night, 2015 © Stephen Wilkes
Shanghai China © Stephen Wilkes
Sacre Coeur, Paris © Stephen Wilkes
Millennium Park, Chicago © Stephen Wilkes
Happy Thanksgiving!! A born and raised New Yorker, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions since I was a child. As a parent, watching my children’s faces light up as their favorite characters came around the corner made me feel like a kid all over again. Shooting this Day To Night™ was special to me, not only because of the incredible scene I was able to capture, because as I watched the parade pass by and these famed characters float along, I couldn’t help but be brought back to all those mornings in the living room, watching my now grown kids laugh and scream with excitement as they too were overwhelmed by the magic of the moment. © Stephen Wilkes
A city forever the key holder to all things regarding love, life, passion, and beauty. In the aftermath of yesterday’s tragic events, we are here for you as you were for us. I choose to focus on the humbling stories of Parisian’s compassion for those affected, the city proving its infinite threshold for love. © Stephen Wilkes
Coney Island Boardwalk New York © Stephen Wilkes
Flatiron 911 New York City © Stephen Wilkes
Central Park Snow, New York City © Stephen Wilkes
Central Park,View from Essex House, NYC © Stephen Wilkes
Day to Night, Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park. A portion of this image is featured on the cover of the January issue of National Geographic in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. I’ve always been inspired by the concept of using photography as a medium for capturing the passage of time. This is something that we sense but have no concrete way of visualizing. Interestingly enough, this view is one that has remained unchanged over the years. With Day To Night, I set out to give time a visual identity. I photographed continuously over the course of 26 hours, and then digitally blended moments from the day and night, including the moonrise, into one image. This photograph reflects views that have been seen by millions in the 100 operating years of the National Park Service, a shared experience boiled down to one single image. For those in the NYC area, this image is currently on display at my Day To Night exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea. Stay tuned to see more of our National Parks, including the completed images from my current series, Day to Night and find the feature story in National Geographic online now (http://bit.ly/natgeo_stephenwilkes
) or by picking up a copy of the issue, nothing beats holding it in your hands! © Stephen Wilkes
This Day To Night features the Cherry Blossoms at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. while in full bloom. The cherry blossoms are only in bloom for a maximum of two weeks each year. I traveled to the National Mall after receiving a grant from National Geographic to create Day To Night images of our National Parks in honor of their hundredth anniversary. The final images are featured in the cover story of the January issue. Creating this image was especially challenging, as I had to be sure to capture each small detail of the cherry blossoms while still including the beauty of each monument along the Mall. Photographing an image for Day To Night means taking a new exposure every few minutes for up to 30 hours. In order to have a sharp, detailed image, I cannot move in between photos–the ability to remain still so that the tripod doesn’t shift within our small workspace is of the upmost importance. I photographed from a crane, lifted high above a softball field, with the Potomac River just behind me. I doubt any other visitor has seen the National Mall from this vantage point. I’m proud to have been able to create an image that reflects our most visited National Park in its peak season. For those in the NYC area, this image is currently on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea. © Stephen Wilkes
Day To Night, Grand Canyon National Park. This image is one of a series featured in the January issue of National Geographic that I created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. While other images from the series have proven to be quite challenging, this image was made even more complicated by sheer logistics. How would I create an image that showed one of the most photographed places in the world in a completely unique way? My goal was to create an image that showed the majesty and vastness of the Grand Canyon, incorporating a human scale and narrative within the scene. I photographed from the top of the Desert View Watchtower at the South Rim, where my team and I worked for 27 hours scanning this amazing vista for all the unique moments from Day to Night™. Today, the image can be found at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in NYC or in the January issue of National Geographic. To read the accompanying story on the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. © Stephen Wilkes
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Day to Night, 2015. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic. © Stephen Wilkes
Times Square, NYC, Day to Night, 2010. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes. © Stephen Wilkes
Pont de la Tournelle, Paris © Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes’ photographs can be found in a variety of magazines including Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Time, Life Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. His awards include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year in Adweek Magazine, as well as top honors in Graphis Magazine and Communication Arts.
Stephen Wilkes Website
CBS Sunday Morning (Excerpts)