Tag Archives: Stephen Wilkes

Stephen Wilkes’ “Day To Night”

Stephen Wilkes is a wonderful (and world-renowned) Westport photographer.

From works documenting climate change and Hurricane Katrina to National Geographic shots of Westport’s blood moon and Compo clouds, he’s got an eye for intriguing details and stories.

“Day to Night” is Wilkes’ most defining project. Begun in 2009, the series of cityscapes and landscapes captures fleeting moments of humanity, as light passes over the course of full day. Blending so many images into a single photograph takes months to complete.

Wilkes’ subjects include Paris, and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania 2015 (Photo/copyright Stephen Wilkes)

“Day to Night” has been featured on “CBS Sunday Morning,” and as part of America’s National Parks’ centennial celebration.

Now local audiences can see our neighbor’s work.

And the subject is very familiar.

Last summer, Wilkes spent 24 hours on scaffolding at Fairfield’s Jennings Beach. He photographed swimmers, walkers, picnickers and other visitors, under the changing sky.

Wilkes’ newest “Day to Night” image will become part of the Fairfield Museum & History Center’s permanent collection.

A preview fundraising party is set for Saturday, April 28 (7 p.m., 370 Beach Road, Fairfield). Wilkes’ other “Day to Night” works will be shown too.

Stephen Wilkes

Staples High School graduate Matt Storch (Match Burger Lobster, Match restaurant) provides hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Chris Coogan will play.

Stephen Wilkes spent 24 hours last summer taking his photos. And many, many days afterwards composing his Jennings Beach “Day to Night.”

The party lasts only 3 hours. But the exhibit runs April 29 to June 3.

(For more information on the “Day to Night” preview party, and tickets, click here.)

World Admires Westport Blood Moon

This morning’s super blue blood moon drew admiring crowds up and down the East Coast. Plenty of folks headed to Compo Beach.

Many took pictures.

You or I would have posted them to our own Instagram account.

Famed Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes sent his to National Geographic.

They’ve got a lot more followers.

Which is why millions of people around the world now can share in Westport’s wonderful morning.

(Hat tip: Julie Rosemarin)


Stephen Wilkes’ Blood Moon

Stephen Wilkes has a thing for Compo Beach.

And National Geographic has a thing for Stephen Wilkes.

In June, the magazine’s very popular Instagram feed featured the talented Westport photographer’s shot of some amazing clouds — framed by a lifeguard stand — after a storm.

In a matter of hours, it gained hundreds of thousands of likes — and admiring comments in dozens of languages.

Yesterday, the Natgeo Instagram feed included Wilkes’ lovely shot of Sunday night’s fantastic eclipse.

Copyright/Stephen Wilkes

Copyright/Stephen Wilkes

Wilkes wrote:

A view we won’t have again until 2033. In many parts of the US, clouds obstructed this incredible phenomenon. In my case, I drove a few miles from my home to a local beach and was very excited to find a clear sky, allowing me to take an unobstructed photo of the #bloodmooneclipse.

Once again, “06880” is where Westport meets the world — as well as the moon, the sky and the stars.

(Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

Stephen Wilkes And MLB’s Cuban Connection

The thawing of relations with Cuba has led to many new opportunities, in that country and here.

Among them: a chance for a new generation of baseball players to make it to the Major Leagues.

Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes — who recently received a grant from the National Geographic Society to document national parks — decided to focus on the current crop of players. They defied tremendous odds to reach the big leagues.

Wilkes’ photo essay appears in today’s edition of the New York Times Magazine. Click here to read the story — and see the pros, through our neighbor’s eyes.

Cuba - Stephen Wilkes

(Hat tip: Russell Smith)

National Geographic Focuses On Westport

Tuesday’s post-storm clouds sent a lot of Westporters scurrying for their cameras.

Most photos ended up on Facebook or Twitter.

Stephen Wilkes’ found its way to National Geographic — and then to the magazine’s very popular Instagram feed.

National Geographic photo of Compo Beach by Stephen Wilkes

(Photo/Stephen Wilkes)

Alert “06880” reader Danielle Dobin spotted it, and sent it to “06880.”

“Natgeo” included Wilkes’ comment: “I was fortunate to see this remarkable sunset from Compo beach, after days of summer storms.” It included the hashtags iPhoneonly, CompoBeach, Connecticut, surreal, clouds, color — and skyporn.

In just 2 hours it’s garnered 167,000 likes, and over 1,150 comments. Most are along the lines of “awesome.” One person called it “weird.” Another said, “where we got married!!”

A woman wrote, “I want to go there.”

The comments came from around the globe. One person said “Lijkt beetje op jouw lucht,” which Google Translate changed from Dutch to “Seems little air on you.”

That’s not as weird as this comment — 刚刚在他家买了一只沛纳海 很牛逼 大家要买表找他,最靠谱的卖家 朋友圈都有标价 — which Google Translate believes says “He just bought a house very fast hardware you buy a Panerai watch to find him, the most likely price the seller has a circle of friends.”

On the other hand, “06880” readers don’t need a translator to look at Stephen Wilkes’ image and say, “that’s our Compo!”

Stephen Wilkes Stops Time

Westport artist Stephen Wilkes spends 15 hours a day in a bucket truck, suspended high over whichever New York scene he’s shooting: Central Park. Times Square. Coney Island.

He’ll shoot 1,400 images — and never take a bathroom break.

But that’s not even the most remarkable thing about his work.

Washington Square Park (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

Wilkes spends the next 4 months examining every single shot. He searches for tiny, telling details, like 2 men’s hands that seem to reach toward each other — taken several hours apart.

He stitches his favorite shots together. Sure, he uses a computer — but it’s hands-on, intricate, intensely tedious work.

When he’s done, Wilkes has produced a “Day to Night” shot. It’s as if 1 photo shows a 15-hour span.

Of course, it’s dozens of images. Amazingly — though one side of his work is light, the other dark — you can’t see any separation at all.

This past Sunday, “CBS Sunday Morning” profiled the Westporter’s astonishing artistry.

A national audience heard Wilkes describe “Coney Island.” The right side of the photo — the beach — was crowded during the day. The left side — the amusement park rides — were equally packed at night. The dividing line, though, was nowhere to be seen. Day morphed subtly into night, just as it does at the real Coney Island.

Coney Island. (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

CBS showed other Wilkes works. There was the Flatiron Building — taken on September 11, 2010 — with “ghost lights” from the Twin Towers. Central Park, in an ice storm. Washington Square Park, where brides kept appearing at different times during the day.

Though New York offers a seemingly endless array of “Day Into Night” possibilities, Wilkes may soon turn his 15-hour lens on Shanghai. Or Jerusalem.

Months later, the world will see his spectacular images.

All of which he works on — day and night — right here in Westport.

Flatiron Building (Photo by Stephen Wilkes)

(Click here to view the CBS-TV “Sunday Morning” video clip.)