TIME Debuts Stephen Wilkes's 'Day to Night' at Wrigley Field
"I've been a baseball fan my whole life; I've followed the Cubs and always wanted to make a photo of Wrigley Field," explained Wilkes. "Finding out that the ballpark will look different by this time next year, with the addition of Jumbotrons, was the impetus ... I wanted to shoot the stadium before it undergoes any changes. From there, it evolved into a bigger article," showcasing half-a-dozen of the photographer's other "Day to Night" pictures that span Coney Island to the Western Wall. Writer Josh Sanburn thoroughly described Wilkes's process: He narrows down 1,500 frames to the 50 that he layers to form one seamless picture.
Wilkes learned that the Cubs would be playing a rare double-header, which would prove to be the perfect opportunity for the Wrigley Field image: "I could have the players' warm-up on the 'Day' side and for the 'Night' side, the game would still be going on." He returned to Chicago two weeks later and positioned himself atop Wrigley View Rooftop, a brownstone close-by. "Cub fans are unbelievably loyal and what fascinated me is the neighborhood camaraderie surrounding the games ... that's why I worked outside the stadium looking in," he said. "It's more than a picture of a great ballpark; it tells the story of a great neighborhood."
The photographer is particularly happy with the image thanks to its historical significance, an additional layer he hopes to regularly insert into the "Day to Night" series. "Each time I do [a 'Day to Night,'] the narrative becomes deeper and deeper," he remarked. "It's a medium for stories to unfold."