Stephen Wilkes


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The Passing of Time, Caught in a Single Photo

STEPHEN WILKES |  Session 12: Wake Up! @ TED2016

Stephen Wilkes's newest body of work is called Day to Night, a series of compositions capturing fleeting moments throughout the day and night. Stephen has used this technique to capture some of the most breathtaking cityscapes and landscapes from around the world. At each location, Wilkes spends hours taking as many as 2,500 shots from an elevated perspective, layering the frames into a single image exploding with painterly detail. Stephen walked the audience through the genesis of the idea and his meticulous process in creating the compositions.


The Approach

With a wealth of incredible imagery to work with, OXBOW had a blast curating the content for Stephen's talk. In addition to showing crisp, full-bleed compositions, we collected and animated a series of videos called Loupe Views (coined by Stephen, seen below) where the camera pans in, out, and around the photos, displaying impossibly perfect resolution, even at 1000% zoom. We also created a behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking process Stephen and his team undergo in building the stunning compositions, moment by moment.


The Event

Today's brightest and most daring minds convened in Vancouver, British Columbia in February for TED2016: Dream. The week-long conference drew house-hold names like Al Gore, Uber-founder Travis Kalanick, and TED's own Chris Anderson, to name a few. This year's topics teased the limits of the imagination: black hole collisions, drones, space archaeology, artificial intelligence, even climate change optimism.