Wrigley Field, Chicago, 2013 This photograph was taken during the course of a Day/Night double header, a rare occurrence these days in major league baseball. Wrigley Field is the Grand Temple of baseball parks. It will change dramatically within the next year, as large jumbotrons will be installed into the stadium, forever changing this view. While the morning was sunny and clear, the afternoon made for a real challenge photographically. We had rain showers on and off throughout the day, and into the evening.
Coney Island, Brooklyn, 2011 This was one of those perfect days to be at the beach. The temperature was 80 degrees and sunny. I even had a regatta race going on along the Atlantic Ocean. There’s so much to see on Coney Island. I was always afraid of missing some extraordinary character below me.
The Flatiron, New York City, 2010 This photograph was made on 9/11/2010. We were boomed out in a 170 ft condor floating directly over 5th Ave. I don’t think you can create a series of photographs on New York, without recognizing what happened on 9/11. I felt this image reflected the state of where we are as New Yorkers; life moving on, yet continuing to feel the past.
Millennium Park, Chicago, 2013 Millennium Park felt like the perfect place to capture the beauty of Chicago. We waited until 9:30pm for the fireworks, and at 9:00pm we had a dramatic change in weather. A monsoon like rainstorm came in and thankfully it passed, allowing us to capture one of the essential elements in this photograph.
Presidential Inauguration, Washington D.C., 2013 For this photograph we were positioned in a 50 ft scissor lift centered above The National Mall during the morning of the Presidential Inauguration. After shooting from sunrise into sunset, we finally began doing our night exposures. At approximately 6:10pm, I made my second night exposure, 5 minutes later we were being battered by 30 mile per hour wind gusts. The shoot literally ended. I still can’t believe how fortunate we were to get our night 2 exposures. If the wind had come in 5 minutes earlier, we would have had no night photographs.
Washington Square Park, New York City, 2009 One of my favorite memories of making this particular, “Day to Night”, was noticing several men dressed in tailed tuxedos, nothing too unusual about that except all these guys were wearing large white rabbit heads. They appeared as a group in the center of the park, and then suddenly dispersed throughout the scene. These men in black with large white rabbit heads created an almost, “Where’s Waldo” type narrative within this photograph.
Shanghai, China, 2012 One of my favorite elements of this image is the transition point where day turns into night. I was able to capture the same boat in daytime and then again at night, so if you look closely you actually see the boat change from day into night. The “Blade Runner” like quality of the Pudong skyline added to this dramatic transition.
Gramercy Park, New York City, 2011 One of the unique aspects of Gramercy Park is that it’s the only private park in New York City. It’s truly an oasis of greenery in lower Manhattan. I was fortunate to capture this view showing the activity inside and the outside park simultaneously Day to Night.
New York City Library, New York City, 2011 Shooting this particular Day to Night allowed me an opportunity to get even more intimate with the human element within this series. While Shooting on 5th Avenue capturing the hustle and flow of people, I particularly enjoyed watching the group of construction workers eating their lunch while sitting on the outside wall of the library, people watching. It reminded me of a famous Charles C. Ebbets photograph of 1932, ” Lunch Break, 30 Rock”.
Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York City, 2011 While making this Day to Night at one of my favorite spots in Central Park, I saw brides throughout the day that were being photographed. I began to capture these various brides throughout the day and into the evening. We discovered that this particular day turned out to be a “love” holiday on the Korean Calendar! Hence all the girls were Korean brides, wanting to be photographed on this day. All these brides added a magical element to this, “Day to Night.”
Times Square, New York City, 2010 This was one of the most difficult “Day to Nights” to execute. Times Square is like a canyon, and the light often travels through holes (down streets) within that canyon. I decided that wherever there is a shadow in the photograph, that would become night, and wherever the sunlight hit the scene would be day. Day and night alternates as your eye moves down Times Square.
Santa Monica Pier, California, 2012 There where many magical moments while making this Day to Night. The one which still has me scratching my head though was, I happened to capture an actual arrest taking place right below us in the night side of my photograph. You can clearly see a young man being handcuffed in against the police car. Only in LA can you see balloons, surfing, cotton candy and an arrest all in the same place!
The photograph is all about giving you a snapshot in time. For Stephen Wilkes however, it is not about that single moment. Rather a collector of moments. He stakes out a location until he has hoovered up enough of them to tell the story of a single place. At first, the panoramas in Day to Night can throw you but the reality is altogether more ordinary and yet somehow more striking: day and night—together. These are not the briefest of moments. They are many moments, as many as possible, collapsed and fused into one.
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