Apr 12, 2018
The “Day to Night” series that Stephen Wilkes has been working on for several years has received much deserved attention and has grown from its New York roots to encompass locations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. These photographs, which capture a full 24-hour cycle in one frame are awe-inspiring when viewed as a whole; fascinating when analyzed in detail, and monumental when considered as a production.
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Stephen Wilkes and Bette Wilkes, his wife, business manager, and the behind-the-scenes producer of these incredible photographs. Our conversation is easy-going and bounces back and forth between Mr. and Ms. Wilkes, accentuating their intertwined working relationship. With Mr. Wilkes, we speak of the genesis of the project and the influences he finds in the paintings of the Dutch Masters and the Hudson River School. We also discuss his process, which is both physically and technically demanding. He tells of assembling a “realtime puzzle”, a desire to “get lost” in the moment, and ultimately how his images are “a representation of his memory” from the day and place. With Ms. Wilkes, we take up the knotty and time-consuming process of arranging a shoot that will last more than twenty-four continuous hours in some of the world’s busiest and most desolate locations.
We discuss many photographs, but concentrate on two images from the “Day to Night” series to highlight their complicated productions—the first is a photograph of New York City’s Flatiron Building and, in the second half of the show, we visit a watering hole in the Serengeti Plain. To see these images, please visit our website, and, if you are in Washington D.C. prior to April 29, 2018, check out the “Day to Night” exhibit at the National Geographic Museum, and keep your eye out for the upcoming book to be published by Taschen.
Guests: Stephen Wilkes and Bette Wilkes
Photograph ©Stephen Wilkes
Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables