Featured Photographer

As Time Goes By: Day to Night Photography by Stephen Wilkes

Imagine seeing an entire day and then night captured in one photograph.

Pont de la Tournelle, Paris © Stephen Wilkes

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

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

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.


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.

Links

Stephen Wilkes Website
NPR
CBS Sunday Morning (Excerpts)
Facebook

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