• Stephen Wilkes


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    Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work.

    His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Time, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and many others.

    Wilkes’ early career interpretations of Mainland China, California’s Highway One, and impressionistic “Burned Objects” set the tone for a series of career-defining projects that catapulted him to the top of the photographic landscape.

    In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic study of the island’s long abandoned medical wards where immigrants were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video, Wilkes helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island. A monograph based on the work, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom, was published in 2006 and was named one of TIME magazine’s 5 Best Photography Books of the Year. The work was also featured on NPR and CBS Sunday Morning.

    In 2000, Epson America commissioned Wilkes to create a millennial portrait of the United States, “America In Detail,” a 52-day odyssey that was exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

    Day to Night, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary. The series will be published as a monograph in 2017.

    Wilkes’ work documenting the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy has brought heightened awareness to the realities of global climate change. He was commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography to revisit New Orleans in 2013 after documenting Hurricane Katrina for the World Monuments Fund. And, his images were exhibited with his photographs on Hurricane Sandy in the 2014 Sink or Swim, Designing for a Sea of Change exhibition.

    Despite his intense dedication to personal projects, Wilkes continues to shoot advertising campaigns for the world’s leading agencies and corporations, including: OppenheimerFunds, SAP, IBM, The New Yorker, Johnson & Johnson, DHL, American Express, Nike, Sony, Verizon, IBM, AT&T, Rolex, Honda, McCann Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, and McGarry Bowen.

    Wilkes is currently working on a documentary film about legendary photographer Jay Maisel’s historic Bank Building at 190 Bowery. And, in 2016, his photograph Day to Night, Wrigley Field, will be included in Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843- Present, an exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum curated by Gail Buckland.

    Wilkes’ extensive awards and honors include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography, Photographer of the Year from Adweek Magazine, Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2004 Lucie Award, TIME Magazine Top 10 Photographs of 2012, Sony World Photography Professional Award 2012 and Prix Pictet, Consumption 2014. His board affiliations include the Advisory Board of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications; Save Ellis Island Board of Directors, on which he served for 5 years; and the Goldring Arts Journalism Board.

    Wilkes was born in 1957 in New York. He received his BS in photography from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in business management from the Whitman School of Management in 1980.

    Wilkes, who lives and maintains his studio in Westport, CT, is represented by Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles; Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe; and Artitled Contemporary, The Netherlands.

    Acura, American Express, Arizona Jeans, AT&T, Beaver Creek, Cap Gemini, Cingular, Credit Suisse, Epson, FM Global, Hewlett Packard, Honda, IBM, Mastercard, New York Times Magazine, Nike, Pepsi, Pergo, Platinum Equity, Sony, Sports Illustrated, TMobile, USPS, Vanity Fair, Verizon, Visa

    • Thinking of Georgia O'Keeffe this morning.... #inspiration #rose #color #light #iphoneonly #nofilter #georgiaokeeffe
    • Video by @stephenwilkes.  Last January we traveled to a remote island called Steeple Jason, off the coast of South America, documenting the world’s largest colony of black-browed albatrosses. “The Journeys of Migratory Birds” is currently in the March issue of @natgeo. We created this  loupe-view of the final image, and  if you look closely you’ll see the subtle communication of this remarkable species. From mating rituals to a mother teaching her baby to fly, I saw so many things over the 36hrs I photographed. This photograph and several others are  on display at my exhibition “Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes” @natgeomuseum until April 30, 2018. It will also be exhibited this weekend by @brycewolkowitzgallery at  @photofairs San Francisco, Booth C-01, Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, February 23-25, 2018. #daytonight #natgeo #falklands #malvinas #birdmigration #blackbrowedalbatross #rockhopperpenguin #birding #audubonsociety
    • This aerial view of Lake Bogoria, in Kenya, Africa shows the “bird blind”, and location we documented the migration of the Lesser Flamingo in.  This area is on the largest feeding areas and a magnificent backdrop for my new “Day to Night” series with National Geographic.  Using a drone, we observed thousands of Lesser Flamingo flight patterns as they took off along the water. I was drawn to the contrast of light and shadow and how effortlessly they took to the air.  You can see this and more behind the scenes video at the National Geographic museum exhibition, “Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes’, through April 30, 2018.  Please see the “Day to Night” photographs which are part of a story, “The Journeys of Migratory Birds, in the March issue of National Geographic magazine. Follow me @stephenwilkes to see more images from my bird migration series and to learn more about my process in creating these images, please check out my TED talk link in my bio.  #lakebogoria #kenya #africa #birdmigration #lesserflamingo #flamingo #aerial #flight #nature #daytonight #natgeomuseum #natgeo
    • Video by @stephenwilkes.  Lake Bogoria, in Kenya, Africa is one of the largest feeding areas for the lesser known Flamingos. We traveled here to document their epic migration, as part of a new “Day to Night” series for @natgeo. Using a drone, I observed thousands of Lesser Flamingos gathering in colonies, creating small pink islands within the lake. From above these clusters of flamingos look like giant lily pads.  Flamingos find safety in numbers, so isolating themselves this way helps to protect them from predators, especially the Marabou Stork. You can see this and more behind the scenes video @natgeomuseum exhibition, “Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes’, through April 30, 2018.  Please see the “Day to Night” photographs which are part of a story, “The Journeys of Migratory Birds, coming out in the March issue of National Geographic magazine. Please follow me @stephenwilkes to see more images from my bird migration series and to learn more about my process in creating these images, please check out my TED talk link in my bio. #lakebogoria #kenya #africa #birdmigration #lesserflamingo #flamingo #aerial #flight #nature #daytonight #natgeomuseum #natgeo
    • This past Sunday, 2/18/18 was World Whale Day. While the day has passed I couldn’t let it go without sharing my loop view of the majestic Robson Bight. I had the opportunity to photograph a Day to Night at the Bight in 2016. I was enchanted with the beauty of the Bight which is a sanctuary for Orca Whales. Each year the whales return to the protected habitat famous for its whale rubbing beaches. Pods of Orcas come to rub themselves on the barnacle-encrusted rocks, pebbles and gravel seafloor at Robson Bight. It’s quite exciting to see a killer whale in the wild breaking the surface and shooting spurts of mist from its blowhole. I photographed at Robson Bight for almost 30 hours I listened to the whales and became entranced with their individual sounds which we recorded and you can hear in this loop view. Thank you to  CETUS Research and Conservation Society for helping to make this photograph possible. I hope you all enjoy the sounds and beauty of Robson Bight. To see more of my work please visit me @stephenwilkes. #robsonbight  #canada #cetus #vancouverisland #daytonight
    • Light & Shadow #LA #graphic #illusion #iphoneonly
    • This past year I’ve been on assignment for National Geographic documenting bird migrations around the world creating new “Day to Night” photographs for National Geographic.  Here’s a timelapse of the exhibition opening this past Tuesday at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C.  The exhibition, “Transcend the Passage of Time in Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes” is open from February 13th through April 29th, 2018.  These images are part of a story, “The Journeys of Migratory Birds”, coming out in the March issue of National Geographic magazine. @natgeo @natgeomuseum #daytonight #birdmigration #exhibitionopening #birds #museum #aroundtheworld
    • While on assignment for National Geographic, I was documenting bird migration for one of my newest “Day to Night” photographs on Bass Rock, an island in the east of Scotland . We worked for 28 hours on rocky ground surrounded by thousands of northern gannets, and I became mesmerized by the sights and especially the sounds.  This loupe view of the final image will give you a sense of the amazing moments that we witnessed along with audio that was recorded on location. This image is one of 4 in “The Journeys of Migratory Birds,  in the March issue of National Geographic magazine.  Starting tomorrow, February 13, at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. these photographs will be on display. Please visit the museum to see “Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes, through April 30, 2018.
#bassrock #scotland #birdmigration #gannets #natgeo #firthofforth #migration #flight #daytonight
    • While on assignment at Lake Bogoria in Kenya, Africa, I was photographing the Lesser Flamingos as part of my “Day to Night”, Bird Migration story for National Geographic. Shooting from a helicopter allowed me to see these majestic pink birds from above as they fly over the water.  Many of my aerial images will be on exhibit with the “Day to Night” series on Bird Migration at the National Geographic Museum , opening February 13, 2018.  Please visit the museum to see “Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes,  through April 30, 2018.  Please follow me @stephenwilkes to see more photos from my bird migration adventures. #kenya #africa #lakebogoria #flamingo #lesserflamingo #aerial #fly #flight #heli #natgeo #birdmigration #daytonight
    • This past year I traveled around the world on assignment for @natgeo creating 4 new Day to Night photographs on Bird Migration. The photographs will be featured in the March issue and are online today.  This photograph was shot on Steeple Jason and encompasses 26 hours of photographing from before sunrise through the night. I had the great fortune to have a beautiful rainbow appear at sunrise just before a heavy downpour which thankfully didn't last too long.  The day was challenging due to variations in the weather, but the beautiful Black- browed Albatross and a few Rockhopper Penguins cooperated for the duration of the photograph.  I am very honored that the photographs I created for this assignment along with other photographs from the shoot will be exhibited, “Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes” at The National Geographic Museum opening on February 13th.  And please see my TED talk to learn more about my process in creating these photographs. #daytonight #natgeo #falklands #malvinas #birdmigration #blackbrowedalbatross #rockhopperpenguin #birding #audubonsociety
    • While on assignment for a story on Bird Migration, Day to Night I had the opportunity to photograph the Lesser Flamingos on Lake Bogoria, in Kenya, Africa.  I wanted to capture the flamingos when photographed from above. The flamingos create extraordinary patterns and the sky becomes an undulating piece of fabric. I am very excited as these photographs along with the 4 Day to Night photographs I created while on assignment in Bass Rock, Scotland, Steeple Jason and The Platte River in Nebraska will be exhibited at The National Geographic Museum in Washington DC. The exhibition opens on February 13 and I hope many of you will able to see it. #kenya #africa #lakebogoria #flamingos #aerial #birdmigration #birding #flight #nature
    • An amazing morning on the East Coast to see the super blue blood moon!  This is right before the lunar eclipse was visible. We got lucky to have such clear weather, which was perfect for a 2000mm lens. This historic lunar event hasn’t happened since 1866, and to your eye the moon appeared 17 percent larger than normal.  #superbluebloodmoon #bluemoon #lunareclipse #bloodmoon #space
    • Woke up up this morning to a frosty snow.
I just can’t seem to get away from the birds:) #candiangeese #westport #ct #snowday #landscapephotography #iphoneonly
    • Reflecting on a beautiful foggy day.  #fog #reflection #naturalbeauty #winter #waterislife #westport #iphoneonly
    • I am so thrilled to share the press release for my upcoming exhibition @natgeomuseum. I hope I will see some of you there.
“Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes,’ Opening at the National Geographic Museum Feb. 13. For 130 years, National Geographic has been using the power of photography to tell meaningful stories, inspire people to take action and transport audiences to unseen places. A new exhibition opening at the National Geographic Museum on Feb. 13, “Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes,” takes that experience even further by showcasing stunning images by photographer Stephen Wilkes that capture the passage of time. The exhibition will be on display at the National Geographic Museum through April 30, 2018.”- Nat Geo
To see more of my work please follow me at @stephenwilkes.
#StephenWilkesPhotography #birdmigration, #falklands #malvinas #steeplejason #rainbows #natgeoexhibition  #nationalgeographic
    • The magic of the Flatiron Building on a moonlit night #nyc #flatiron #moonlight #iphoneonly
    • It’s hard not to see the beauty in this Agama lizard I found in Tanzania. The Agamas live in sub Saharan Africa and are active during the day and can be found scampering around to snatch up their favorite foods. I hope to be back in Africa  in the coming year.To see more of my work please follow me at @stephenwilkes.
#Africa #Tanzania #Agama
    • Last March I had the amazing experience of photographing the migration of the Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River in Nebraska. Watching the Sandhill Cranes over a 36 hour period from a bird blind we built on The Rowe Sanctuary was one of the most exciting experiences I have had. This photograph is from that shoot and the new Day to Night of the Sandhill Cranes on the Platte  River will be exhibited at The National Geographic Museum on February 13th. I will be sharing photographs from that shoot and the 3 other locations I photographed on assignment for  @natgeo in the coming days and weeks. I hope you all can see the photographs and visit the  museum . #sandhillcrane #rowesanctuary #birdmigration #natgeo #sunset #nationalgeographicmuseum
    • Seeing NYC from afar always inspires me.
#nyc #homecoming #citylife #winterwonderland #sky #skyline #iphoneonly
    • I am very honored to have my photograph Grand Canyon , Day to Night , included in the, first -ever guest edited @time .  Bill Gates is the guest editor who feels the future is bright and the Deputy Director of Photography  at Time chose this image  to accompany the ” The Genius of America” essay, written  by Warren Buffet.  Leaders from many fields gave their insight to show the possibilities of what lies ahead.
I photographed The Grand Canyon for a story I did on the National Parks for @natgeo . That too was a great honor and I hope that the beauty and grandeur of The Grand Canyon and all of our National Parks is preserved for generations to come. #timemagazine #billgates #nationalgeographic #grandcanyon #daytonight #warrenbuffet #nationalparks #preservation
    • A cold afternoon meditation... -20 with the windchill here in #connecticut .
Hoping your all enjoying this from a warm place. #coldweather #sunset #frozen #meditation #westport #compobeach #iphoneonly
    • Nature lovers, bird watchers and bird lovers across the country recognize today as National Bird Day! I have had an exciting year photographing birds for a story on bird migration for National Geographic. I have learned so much about birds and their migratory patterns. I photographed 4 different species in 4 different countries and I’m looking forward to sharing the photographs with you over the coming weeks. I believe this bird that I photographed on an earlier trip to Tanzania is a  European Roller. I loved his coloring and his graceful gesture. More to come on the birds, so please follow me @stephenwilkes to see more. And happy National Bird Day everyone. 
#NationalGeographic #StephenWilkesPhotography #Africa #Serengeti #bird #thornes
    • The bitter cold of the last 10 days reminded me of this photograph I shot of the Hudson River. Shooting from above I saw this lone boat trapped by the frozen water.  I thought the mosaic patterns of the ice were beautiful. There are currently patches of ice forming along the banks of the Hudson River as we await the massive winter storm called a "bomb cyclone", which is set to hit the East Coast tomorrow.  Hoping everyone affected by the storm stays safe and warm! #ice #bombcyclone #storm #winter #snow #winterwonderland #freezing #coldday #hudsonriver
    • On a past trip to Zimbabwe I caught this woman walking early in the morning on her way to work. I loved her gesture, the shadow, the light, the  red color of her dress and her blue shoe. Africa is one of my favorite places to visit and to photograph. I hope to be back there in the coming year.

#StephenWilkesPhotography #travel #Africa #Zimbabwe #MorningCommute
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