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"Day To Night" - 24 Hours Captured In A Single Frame: The Photo Gallery

Tyler Durden's picture


“I wanted to take something that everybody had an idea of — ‘I’ve been there, I’ve seen the statue of liberty’ — but I wanted to show it to you in a way that you could never see it”

     - Stephen Wilkes

With markets closed around the world (and since 2008 some would say), here is something different.

Below is a sampling of some of the most iconic Day to Night photos by Stephen Wilkes, each of which captures the passage of an entire day in a single frame and which, as Wired states, takes an "absurd amount of time and effort to produce" including up to 15 hours to shoot and weeks to edit. "Wilkes says he is “maniacal” in his attention to detail when making these his information-dense, hyper-curated and highly polished accounts of a single day in some of the world’s most iconic locations. Every inch of his photos, some as big as 10 feet wide, are meant to tell a story. He says telling that story is an all-consuming process."

More on this distinctly unique creative process:

The amount of work that goes into these photos is insane. After intensively scouting a location and planning the shoot, Wilkes spends as long as 15 hours behind the camera, often on a crane high above the scene. He’ll shoot more than 1,000 frames between sunrise and sunset, trying to capture the shifting light and activity throughout his field of view. Through it all he remains as still as possible for fear the slightest move will shift the camera even a fraction of a degree.


He and his assistant pore over the photos for weeks, creating dozens of digital collages that typically comprise 50 images. He uses a complex grid system to arrange the most interesting parts of each shot into a strong composition while staying true to the time of day that they were taken. The attention to detail reveals itself when you’re right next to the massive prints, which when seen up close stretch well beyond natural peripheral vision. The smallest oversight, like a slightly shifted shadow, can shatter the illusion by betraying the fact the epic image is in fact a collage of smaller images shot at different times of day. But when everything comes together perfectly, the viewer can step back or get nose-deep in the image without losing the sense of cohesion.


Another important aspect of the work is how Wilkes teases visual narratives out of seemingly chaotic public spaces. A few hundred tourists snapping selfies in front of the Sacre Coeur or an arrest on the Santa Monica Pier become nodes of intrigue in a network connecting individual frames that form the final collage. Wilkes says finding ways to connect the countless moments held within the image and the sweep of time it captures is one of the most exciting parts of the process. “It’s as if I’m a writer and I’ve been given this incredible thesaurus, so I have all these new words to write with,” he says.

And the photos:

The America's Cup 2013, San Francisco


Wrigley Field, Chicago


Millenium Park, Chicago


Union Square, NYC


Shanghai, China


Times Square on New Year's Eve, 2012


Washington Square Park, NYC


The Flatiron building, NYC


Central Park, NYC


Coney Island, NY


Barack Obama's 2013 Inauguration Speech, Washington D.C.

Source: Wired


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Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:23 | Link to Comment suteibu
suteibu's picture

A bit underwhelming for all the time he spends on each shot.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:39 | Link to Comment Rory_Breaker
Rory_Breaker's picture

This is one whole year condensed into one image

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:05 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture


it's like a whole day, in a single photograph!

like seeing your whole life. you are born and then you live and then you are dead!

dead! dead!

like seeing the history of humanity!

the earth!

the sun. it swells up and engulfs jupiter. then it is a dark cinder!

all life ended!

the universe first goes BOOMAH! and then you have galaxies and shit! and then all the protons evaporate!

a big lifeless structureless universe!


Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:11 | Link to Comment ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

...and, bullish!

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 03:29 | Link to Comment Popo
Popo's picture

...And absolutely nothing to do with Zerohedge.   Okay, who hired the utterly useless art-history major?   Shouldn't she be working as a receptionist in Greenwich and waiting to get married?

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 08:53 | Link to Comment t0mmyBerg
t0mmyBerg's picture

Yeah.  I was alright with it until that last photo of the inaugural, which to me is a depiction of approaching doom and a reason to have lost all faith in my countrymen.  Shouldnt the picture be reversed for western readers, with the light on the left leading to darkness on the right?  So based on the last image alone I gave it a 1 star.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:59 | Link to Comment Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Interesting that 2/3s of the year is shit.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 20:29 | Link to Comment wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture



I'll give him one thing...

That last photo probably captured...

More naive fools in one photo...

Than any photo in US history!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:40 | Link to Comment in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

Right, cause there's no explosions or gunfights or some teenie-bopper shakin it for the camera.

Those photos are amazing. You're a douche

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:44 | Link to Comment LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

Put your hands on your keyboard...remain absolutely motionless for fifteen hours...then type...see if that is enough time for you to appreciate the beauty of this man's work.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:52 | Link to Comment suteibu
suteibu's picture

I would rather spend the 15 hours watching it happen in real time.  The point is, the same effect can be done by computer graphics.  While one has to admire the time he spent on the project, the results are somewhat less awe-inspiring.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:09 | Link to Comment LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

Ah, yes!...Computers, automation, etc...When one views the work of a true craftsman (e.g. old-world woodworking), appreciation is limited because he/she COULD have accomplished the same results in a much quicker manner...This world is so screwed up!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:19 | Link to Comment suteibu
suteibu's picture

Interesting.  In fact, the work of a real craftsman is very awe-inspiring.  I have yet to see electronic "art" equal the works of a skilled wood-worker.  What is missing from the former is the tactile response one gets from a real thing. 

It is the difference in playing a sport rather than simply watching it.  You can watch it and be entertained but it seems to be a waste of time to me. 

I would rather see the sun rise over Fujiyama or Charleston harbor in person than spend any time looking at pictures of it. 

Is that screwed up?

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:09 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

I believe the  "problem" lies with anyone telling anyone else what is or isn't art.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  And I believe that nature does art the best: I've got living examples all around me, none of which ask me to judge their artistic value...

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:54 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Personally, I think "art" would have been superimposing a massive pile of feces over the last image above --- or would that be art imitating life?

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:11 | Link to Comment CuriousPasserby
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I don't have a problem telling anyone that Rothko or Pollack or the turd in a can guy didn't make art.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:23 | Link to Comment Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Yeah...I'd like to see the Sun Rise over Fujiyama...It would be rather interesting for the Earth to reverse the Direction of Rotation and have the Sun the West.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:12 | Link to Comment suteibu
suteibu's picture

Are you suggesting that Fujiyama, a nearly perfect (given it's massive scale) conical volcano set on a relatively flat plain, is hidden from the rising sun? 

You do understand where the term, "Japan - Land of the Rising Sun," originates...right?  Tens of thousands of people climb Fujiyama every year.  They do it at night.  Why?  So that they can see the sun rise from the summit the next morning.

Other than that, you make an interesting observation.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 19:07 | Link to Comment foodisgood
foodisgood's picture

Been doing the same technique (but making it all into one image story) since 2003 and making a living at it since 2008.

Sold 3, 500 prints since. Only the collectors at art fairs who pay my bills care.

Thanks for reminding me this life here is about who and not what you know.

Think this guy Stephen W goes to art shows to sell his work?


Thu, 12/26/2013 - 11:43 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Wow.....great work !

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:37 | Link to Comment 666
666's picture

What Photoshop tool did he use to remove the smog in the Shanghai picture?

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:50 | Link to Comment Lore
Lore's picture

Depends when you're there.  The sky is clear and blue in summertime.  If you ever get a chance to take the cruise past the Bund, take it.  It's a beautiful city.  For smog, try Los Angeles, or worse, try Mexico City.  Yeccch.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 18:30 | Link to Comment Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Mexico City, smog you can taste -- ahh, that grit!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 19:08 | Link to Comment foodisgood
foodisgood's picture

No photoshop - polarizing filter on the capture.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 11:41 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

That's a REALLY deep polarizer then.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 21:09 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

@ suteibu (and everyone else for that matter)

"the same effect can be done by computer graphics."

Uhhh, it is all computer graphics. The "frames" were all digitally captured, loaded into a graphic program (either photshop or lightroom) and them pieced together with ones and zeroes on a screen. Just like pretty much every last movie made today come to think of it.

And yes, I am a professional photographer. And yes my very good friend does CGI work on major motion pictures so yes I do know exactly what I'm talking 'bout. Is it my cup of tea? No. I work in film and with turn of century (19th to 20th) processes that some criticize for being pointless in "the digital age". So criticizing Wilkes for his approach is similar and I'm not willing to do that.

Wilkes does great work. The whole point is that one CANNOT witness it all in real time. The idea and the process are important even if he photographed the parade of mindless fools witnessing the droning moronic innaugural speech of Dear Leader.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:47 | Link to Comment The man with po...
The man with pointy horns's picture

suteibu, you are soulless minion of orthodoxy.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:53 | Link to Comment Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

Photos are nice, I suppose, but I tend to agree.  I mean, fuck, man, it's not like I've never seen photos of New York City before.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:47 | Link to Comment Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Right. These are nice and pleasing to the eye but it's more in the line of poster art. They'd look great blown up and displayed on dorm room walls.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:30 | Link to Comment Mentalic
Mentalic's picture

Heavenly !!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:55 | Link to Comment Midas
Midas's picture

Maybe, but the thought I had looking at them was, "I'm glad I don't live in any of those places."  The pictures don't include the sirens, car alarms, gunshots, and rap music.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:34 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

It is a brillliant, new way to see the infinite beauty of this world.  Hope that the powers that be do not succeed in destroying this world or our capacity to enjoy it by stealing all our freedoms.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:48 | Link to Comment The man with po...
The man with pointy horns's picture

I'm getting a Koyaanisqatsi vibe from some of the pictures, since in Koyaanisqatsi -- in the Grid sequence -- there were shots where day and night were integrated.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:03 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"infinte beauty of this world" through pictures of cities?

Get out much?

No one "steals" your "freedoms," it's something that can ONLY be given away... set your mind free... (by siding up to "cities" you only endorse self-enslavement)

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:04 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Seer. that is a very interesting comment!

And I'm surprised that it did not occur to me sooner, as there was a vague 'something' that was bothering me when I viewed the composite photos above, and I only realized what it was upon reading your comment.  But I have noticed this same city-centric viewpoint more and more over the years myself.  Just ask almost anyone who has visited Europe or South America or Asia where they specifically went, and nine times out of ten (at least) you will receive only a list of the CITIES to which they traveled.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:03 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

"infinte beauty of this world" through pictures of cities?

There is infinite beauty in the play of light with the sky.  Our cities may be ugly and the people uglier still, but no one can take away the beauty of the sky and the everchanging light - even in our cities.

Our freedoms are being destroyed by the infinite spying of the NSA and by manipulated markets and economies.  Reailty exists beyond the mind anyway - so you have to be of no mind to know the truth.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 11:46 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

It's not stealing when you either give it away willingly or will not defend actively.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:35 | Link to Comment Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

I'm sure these would be much more impressive if you were standing in front of the 10-foot long original, and take the time to feel like you were part of the scene.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:32 | Link to Comment loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

I didn't feel the tingle...  I preferred the comparison pics of Obongo's Germany speeches #1 and #2... those were a bellow.  three more years of the inept, corrupt clown... Ah, well... one can always HOPE for CHANGE...

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:36 | Link to Comment jballz
jballz's picture


someone needs to photoshop in the four horsemen swooping down from above the cqpitol in that last shot and then I would say it is finished.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:03 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I guess photographic technology is not yet advanced enough to capture the subtle beauty of "chains we can believe in".

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:09 | Link to Comment NOTfromSanFrancisco
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Great!... +10

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:53 | Link to Comment LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

Do more front to back day/night. Washington Square Park, NYC stands out as the best to me.

The left to right and reverse timeline makes the picture to heavy on one side. But maybe that's just me, good work regardless.

May the New year find you, and find you well bitchez.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:44 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture


Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:55 | Link to Comment oddjob
oddjob's picture

It's amazing that he felt the need to make more than half of the shots of NYC.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:34 | Link to Comment Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

Any decent camera has a function to make an exposure every x seconds.

I use that function to shoot star tracks.

If you use a decent tripod, you will be able to overlay them with decent registration.

Then it's a matter of overlaying them in 50 layers of Photoshop. It's cool. But it's really nothing more than a variation of time lapse photography. If he is "snapping" photos manually...he is not maximizing the cameras functions.

Source: I do this shit for a living.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 20:35 | Link to Comment foodisgood
foodisgood's picture

I do the same shit too.

Thanks for making things clear as this steph guy is just knowing the right peeps.

Never thought Tyler was one of them.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 21:19 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

I DO NOT do this same shit and rarely ever make digital exposures but I suggest you take a look at the boy's site and a few of the portfolios like Bethlehem Steel and Ellis Island. The compsoition is perfect, the use of color, etc all spot on. Personally I would have printed the monochrome stuff at Bethlehem differently but whatever.

To say it's just who this guy "knows" is lame. Wilkes has been doing this at the top end for quite a while.

And as for automating it through the DSLR feature that the other "pro" mentioned did either of you consider that part of the process might just be when Wilkes CHOOSES to make the frames or the possibility that, dear god, he might NOT be using a little toy like a 5D Mark II and quite possible be using another set up possible even (GASP) a view camera with a back and sensor large enough to make the giant prints? Perhaps he's using a Hassy with a CFV back. Sorry guys, no automation there.

And yes, I know cause that's what I use. The camera that is, not the back.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 10:34 | Link to Comment foodisgood
foodisgood's picture

I do the same shit too.

Thanks for making things clear as this steph guy is just knowing the right peeps.

Never thought Tyler was one of them.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:31 | Link to Comment Pounder
Pounder's picture

Red sky at morning, sailor's warning.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:34 | Link to Comment ABG LINE
ABG LINE's picture

All those chemtrails, hmmm.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:37 | Link to Comment reader2010
reader2010's picture

nothing is real in dark age 2.0 and everything has become shit. 

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 13:53 | Link to Comment e2thex
e2thex's picture



.......................Place postage stamp here.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:05 | Link to Comment Ranger_Will
Ranger_Will's picture

Tylers have you been having one too many or three with the relatives? Not exactly sure what this has to do with anything.

On the other hand here we are looking at this on Christmas, so who are we to judge?

Godrest ye Merry Gentlemen! 

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:18 | Link to Comment rodocostarica
rodocostarica's picture

Barack Obama's 2013 Inauguration Speech, Washington D.C.


Red sky in morning Sailors take warning

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:04 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Black drone-filled sky at night --- fascist's delight.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:39 | Link to Comment Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

The last one should just be titled "Sheep"

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 20:13 | Link to Comment Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture


Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:46 | Link to Comment Dasa Slooofoot
Dasa Slooofoot's picture

Looks like the same CGI New York City you see Spiderman swinging through in those awful movies.   Meh.  

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 14:55 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

He must have a really good tripod.

The Wrigley Field one is my favorite.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:24 | Link to Comment tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

time is slipping.

satanists control cern.

cern is transport a saturn connection.


but enough of that sports fans heres a word from are control grid sponsor.



Wed, 12/25/2013 - 15:55 | Link to Comment caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

The concept of those photos brings to mind the idea that we will all witness 40+ years of "FIAT follies" collapsing in a single frame.  A "day and night" difference in one compressed time frame. 

I don't agree nor buy into the idea that this "collapse" is going to be a "stair step" or slow motion ride down.  It will be all of a sudden and all at once.  Just as the photos above demonstrate.  

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 16:52 | Link to Comment smacker
smacker's picture


Wed, 12/25/2013 - 16:57 | Link to Comment U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Too cool for school!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:08 | Link to Comment deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

I watched three does feeding in the snow in the picked cornfield in fron of my tree stand. While wondering if they would wander into bow range I was mulling over in my mind the things I had to be thankful for. One of those was the privalege it was to watch the sun set over the snow. They didn't wander close enough but the artwork and the hand of the Master was all around me!!! Merry Christmas to all who venture here!!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:38 | Link to Comment Miss anthrope
Miss anthrope's picture

the universe first goes BOOMAH! and then you have galaxies and shit

okAY, LET THIS make you smile for just a moment.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 17:41 | Link to Comment Miss anthrope
Miss anthrope's picture

THE CHORUS LINE OF dancing monkeys was the ICING!!!

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 23:19 | Link to Comment koan
koan's picture

They are nice (sorry I'm jaded) I can do the same thing with a time lapsed DLSR and Photoshop stacking layers.

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 11:54 | Link to Comment Budd aka Sidewinder
Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

No shots of flyover country????

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