Stephen Wilkes Takes Flight with National Geographic
This small blue marble that we live on is awash in ecosystems and visceral traditions we seldom see and even less frequently understand. Even as millions of migratory birds have flown tens of thousands of miles all over the planet each year, it is only recently that we’ve begun to unlock the mystery – as human communication becomes more immediate and our lived experience brings us closer together, we see the magnificence around us. These stories are older than the human species, timeless in a way we can scarcely imagine even in the prehistoric calcium in our bones. Stephen Wilkes pulls these journeys out of time in his latest feature story with National Geographic: The Epic Journeys of Migratory Birds.
The breathtaking story includes four new images from Stephen created through his Day to Night process that is a taxing but incredible method that stitches entire days and nights into single images. To capture the four images, Stephen chased five different birds over the globe: Northern Gannets in Scotland, Lesser Flamingos in Kenya, Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska, and Black-Browed Albatrosses and Southern Rockhopper Penguins in the Falkland Islands (who, Stephen reports, were surprisingly cooperative). Each stunning image is the result of an incredible process: Stephen remains at a fixed position with his camera for 26 to 36 hours, hitting the shutter almost by instinct, resulting in anywhere between 1,000 and 1,800 exposures that he sorts through expertly. Once this expansive amount of imagery is brought back to the studio, Stephen begins the process of bringing the exposures together to reveal the entire day in one single composition. He compresses time into one image, almost inverting the limits of photography, removing the boundaries of the medium.
In photographing this way, Stephen is able to reveal more than a stolen moment from one group of birds, and is, instead, able to provide us with a larger context to give us a taste of what it’s like to experience these creatures and their behavior in a deeper way. “The flamingos create extraordinary patterns and the sky becomes an undulating piece of fabric,” Stephen explains, a notion he’s able to deliver to us thanks to the sheer volume of work that goes into the photographs.
If you want to experience the images beyond the limits of your screen, they will be on view at The National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C.) as a part of ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes.’ Also included in the show will be aerial imagery he captured as a part of the global exploration. The show opens Tuesday, February 13, and will be on view through April 22.
For more on Stephen Wilkes' innovative 'Day to Night' process, check out his interview with the BBC.
Bill Gates and Stephen Wilkes Have Good News in TIME Showing the Grand Canyon from Day to Night
There’s good news!
The good news is that as a culture and as a world we’re doing better than ever. It may not feel that way every day, in fact, as Warren Buffett points out in the latest issue of TIME, pessimism is on the rise. But it’s a feeling of malaise that’s not tied to the real numbers of what daily life looks like today. The reality is more beautiful, and sometimes we need to step outside to remind us how beautiful. In the latest issue of TIME, guest edited by Bill Gates (the first time the magazine has ever had a guest editor), that reminder comes in the form of Stephen Wilkes’ Day to Night photograph of The Grand Canyon. Stephen created the image over a full day of capturing thousands of images that he then digitally stitched together into a single composition. For those of us who can’t get to this amazing natural feature, better yet spend a whole day there, this is the closest we can get to the lived experience in nature. And that’s exactly what TIME wanted to do by inviting Stephen’s photograph to be a part of this monumental issue.
The days may feel darker today than they have in a decade, making Gates the perfect editor for an issue of TIME. The magazine accused him of “relentless optimism,” an incredible and influential quality. His response was astounding. “Improvement is kind of a silent thing that happens gradually. The world is unjust, but it’s way more just today,” he told the magazine. “When you say you’re optimistic you’re not saying you can just stand back, and you’re not saying there aren’t reversals. But you can say, ‘Okay we’ve done really well, let’s take the examples of where we’ve done super well and spread those.’"
Stephen’s image is paired along with a piece by Warren Buffett that goes through the numbers of why we should all be more optimistic about what the future holds. The issue also includes contributions from Ava DuVernay, Malala Yousafzai, and Bono. They’re here to give us the good news, even if it’s couched in hard shots of reality. But if we keep our heads up and our eyes open, we can start to see the world the way Stephen Wilkes is showing it to us: broad, bold, beautiful, and fleeting.
Let’s get out there and see it.
Stephen Wilkes Celebrates Canada's 150th Anniversary
Canada Day marks the foundation of the country as we understand as Canada today. On July 1, 1867 the separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick came together to be recognized as a single entity within the British Empire. It marks how Canada united from disparate communities into a single state. It’s a statewide celebration of oneness, unity, and identity. It’s a huge, country-wide celebration, but from his perch across from Centre Block, the main building of the Canadian parliamentary, Stephen Wilkes caught some of the most exciting bits. Using his signature technique from his “Day to Night” series, Stephen spent the entire day and night watching the festivities below, photographing thousands of images, and blending them together into a single composition. The result is a day of celebration and night of fireworks on the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
The Embassy of the United States in Ottawa invited Stephen to create the image as a symbol of American-Canadian friendship in this magnanimous year, and in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada the photography will be on view at the National Gallery through the entire month of December.
“I’m thrilled to partner with the National Gallery of Canada to welcome Stephen Wilkes for the unveiling of this special work for the people of Canada,” said U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft. “It’s incredible to be in Canada during such a momentous year and an honor to present to the Canadian people a work by one of America’s most iconic and accomplished photographers.”
“We are pleased to pursue these enriching conversations to bring the perspectives of American artists to Canadian audiences,” said National Gallery of Canada Director and CEO, Marc Mayer. “The partnership between the Gallery and the Embassy of the United States has created an important forum for cross-cultural exchange.”
Stephen Wilkes Folds Time for the Cover of Travel + Leisure
Historically, photography has been a medium for capturing a single moment of time – typically a fraction of a second, as ephemeral as time itself. Any more than that and we look to moving images, film, video, cinemegraphs. Those were the rules until Steven Wilkes took the tradition of time-lapse imagery and compiled that magic into a single composition. His ‘Day to Night’ series, soon to be a monograph with Taschen in 2018, brings hours and hours (up to 30) of time, and thousands of photographs, into single images. From one edge of the frame to the other we see an entire day turn into night (or vice versa), condensing a full day of experiences into a single viewing experience. It’s a remarkable feat, remarkable enough that Travel + Leisure chose Stephen’s work for the cover of their Photography Issue.
The cover features Stephen’s photograph of Campanile of San Marco in Venice, showing how this square changes over the course of the day while crowds ebb and flow, pigeons feed and flee, restaurants fill and empty, pictures are posed and selfies are snuck in.
Inside the magazine they feature Stephen’s photograph of the river Thames that he photographed on top of the Savoy Hotel, finding the London eye at night while a man sleeps riverside in the morning.
It’s a fantastic, if quick glimpse at Stephen’s work and a reminder that his work is on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York through November 11.
Check out this issue of Travel + Leisure on stands now!
Things Get Strange for Stephen Wilkes and Netflix
There’s something strange happening in Hawkins, Indiana. Teenagers are missing, mysterious white vans filled with armed men are rolling around town, and there’s something trying to claw out of the walls. And everyone loves it. When Stranger Things, the Netflix series that follows the events in the fictional town of Hawkins, debuted last summer it was an immediate fan favorite. Within hours, calls for a second season were already deafening. That second season is almost here and we’ve gotten our first taste of it thanks to a foreboding poster photographed by Stephen Wilkes that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con.
Part of what makes the series so successful is the amazing team that puts the episodes together. The writers, directors, actors, production team, and marketing team at Netflix are all top notch, but the series also plays on sci-fi and horror conventions that were cemented in the 1980s. It’s harping on a level of nostalgia that’s built into the genesis of many fans’ passions. Stephen and Netflix knew it was crucial to include that in the poster. “The hope was to create something that was really iconic 80s in feeling and I really felt like we really achieved it, and still very much spoke to the soul of the show,” Stephen says. “There’s always kind of a wink and nod to the 80s in everything within Stranger Things - it’s almost like a period piece, yet it’s so contemporary in the storytelling.” Not only did the Stranger Things team host Stephen to shoot on location in the fictional town of Hawkins, but all of the props and wardrobe were from the actual show to keep it as aligned as possible with the aesthetic and detail we’ve grown to love.
Getting all the details perfectly is a labor of love, and requires work from dozens of people to balance everything. It’s evident in the show, it’s evident in Netflix’s team, and Stephen made sure it’s evident in the poster. “One of the things I was very struck with was how everyone involved in this show feels a really vested interest in it and that’s rare to see,” says Stephen. All the extra work and love turns up in every frame.
In the poster, the four young male main characters stand straddling their bikes on a road headed into town, facing a stormy sky and the shadow of some kind of creature from another dimension that we’ve never seen before. It definitely ups the ante for this season while encapsulating what the show is all about. That’s by design. “It really is about the ensemble of these four kids and the way they see the world and the context to this very supernatural thing that’s happening within their small town,” explains Stephen. “I’m a huge fan of the series so I’m very much into the characters and I wanted to make sure that each character, even though you’re viewing them from behind, that their gestures were very much in keeping with the series.” We already know who these kids are, so Stephen had to stay faithful to our expectations while showing us something new. He did just that.
As soon as Netflix released Stephen’s poster, fan attention spiked and the image was immediately shared all over social media, in a variety of formats – including being blended into a few animations. “It’s exciting, I’m excited about it,” says Stephen. “And seeing the reaction that it’s had has been really quite incredible.” We have to wait until the end of October for Stranger Things to return to Netflix, but until then we have a first look thanks to Stephen’s poster.
Stephen Wilkes Discovers Disney's New World for Bloomberg
When James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ released in theaters in 2009 it was a phenomenon. The film set on the invented planet of Pandora required 15 years of development andin only 19 days became the fastest movie to hit $1 billion in ticket sales at the time. Since then, Cameron has scheduled no fewer than four sequels. Fans are thrilled at the prospect of getting to explore more of Pandora on screen, but this Sunday they’ll get even more. On May 27, Disney opens “Pandora — The World of Avatar” as a part of their Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando and ahead of the release, Bloomberg Businessweek invited Stephen Wilkes to help show off all the work Disney's done on the incredible, immersive experience. “It’s this extraordinary marvel that they’ve created in terms of the physical structure, recreating Cameron’s vision of Pandora,” says Stephen. “Floating mountains, bioluminescent plants… It’s kind of astounding during the daytime but really crazy at night with the bioluminescent lights beginning to come on and suddenly you really feel like you’re in another world.” Stephen even noticed birds nesting in the false plants that are mixed in with real ones. “When you fool nature you know you’ve done the right job,” he says.
Stephen’s ability to blend epic landscape with minute detail was the perfect combination of skills to show off this incredible piece of art. It’s not just that they got the big ideas right, figuring out how to get mountains to float above guests’ heads, but all the way down to vine textures and magnetic rock formations. Over the course of the 16+ hour shoot, Stephen got to spend time with Joe Rohde, lead Imagineer at Disney, to hear about the process so he could do it justice. “Everything is grounded in reality and by example, so when they recreate something they actually experience it first hand, they don’t just look at pictures on the Internet and try to render something,” says Stephen. “That’s one of the things I was trying to capture, they don’t ever really get to see photographs showcasing all the nuanced detail that go in to making this such a unique experience for everybody who comes to the park.” Not everyone will be able to get to the park immediately so Stephen did everything he could to show us what it’s really like.
There was one more element that made Stephen the right choice for this project: Rohde was familiar with Stephen’s Ellis Island project and actually used Stephen’s images for inspiration when they were designing elements of the park. Within the Pandora experience, there are ruins of a previous world and Disney wanted to make that realistic but also beautiful. So they looked to Stephen’s work before they even met him. When Stephen was at Disney he recognized it immediately. “You could see that language of ruin within the context of rebirth as it comes together in this very unique way,” says Stephen. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting place to go. It is completely different and unique from anything I’ve ever seen.”
Stephen Wilkes Lands on Ellis Island at the Peter Fetterman Gallery
The Statue of Liberty is the most recognizable symbol of American freedom. Lady Liberty represents the promise of America, holding a tablet as a call to our shores to anyone looking for a brighter life. But it’s a different island in New York Harbor that has welcomed twelve millions to our country. Twelve million stories and countless dreams have passed through the doors of Ellis Island, but in 1954 the Federal Government shut down the center to process hopeful Americans through different facilities. Although much of the island has undergone renovations to turn it into a museum, a lot of it hasn’t been touched since the 1950s, holding all those stories and ripening in the face of time’s march. Stephen Wilkes was let into the closed off areas of the island that were one used as quarantine but after a first glimpse at what the other side of the island was like, it became an obsession.
“For two weeks after shooting the first group of pictures of Ellis I was obsessed. I couldn’t sleep; I couldn’t erase the buildings from my mind. So I went back, many times, every chance I could. What began as a one-hour editorial assignment became a five-year passion. In a place few were ever allowed to enter, I was blessed to study through every season. I photographed every corner, every crevice, in every imaginable light.”
The result is a look behind a curtain few even know hangs across America’s history. Stephen’s photographs show the rooms where the hopeful sat, not knowing if they would get the future they wished for, the future that sings across Lady Liberty’s tablet, and the future still in debate in our contemporary political climate.
The Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica, California recognized the prescient nature of this collection of images, bringing the portfolio to their space this spring, so that all of us can remember the adolescence of our country and the pathways built by those ahead of us, and how we leave them for those behind us.
Check out Stephen Wilkes’ Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom at The Peter Fetterman Gallery through May 27.
If you cannot make it to Santa Monica this spring, Stephen compiled the collection into a book published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2006 with an introduction by Bill Bradley that you can find at major booksellers.
Out Now: B&A Journal 9
Bernstein & Andriulli is more than an international agency with some of the best agents in the world, we’re a home for artists. Our roster represents creative forces that we truly believe in and whose work we want to spread to every corner of the globe. These artists are incredible talents and incredible minds, and as much as we show off all the best projects that they work on sometimes you need to get a taste of it yourself. That’s why we introduced the B&A Journal.
Every few months we pick some of the best work that’s come out of the agency and feature it in a large format, printed journal for friends, fans, and clients to thumb through at their leisure and experience the work of these world class artists in an intimate and tangible way. This week we’re releasing B&A Journal 9, and we couldn’t be more excited.
In addition to a beautiful cover shot by Ben Rayner, and dedicated pages for dozens of our artists (featured here are Platon, Marco Grob, Stephen Wilkes, Rose Blake, Guillaume Lechat, We Are The Rhoads, Serial Cut, Shotopop, and Radio), we’ve also included a special insert with this edition that formally announces our Murals department that includes a roster of public artists that rivals the best in the game.
B&A Journal 9 should be hitting your mailbox very soon - and if you want to make sure you get a copy reach out! We’d love to hear from you.
The First Presidential Debate
If everything goes as planned tonight’s Presidential Debate will be the most watched debate in American history, and likely the world. The 90 minutes that the candidates will spend on the stage together with Lester Holt will be the most viewed political discussion in human history, an event that will not soon be forgotten by those who watch it.
As an artists agency we’re lucky that we constantly butt up again history, and tonight is no different. A handful of our photographers have met with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for various projects and we present a selection of that work here.
Most recently, Hillary Clinton sat for Joe Pugliese with her Vice Presidential Nominee Tim Kaine. It was a quick, productive shoot for People Magazine that struck the tone Clinton was probably angling for. She comes off as warm and open, both elements her fans love and her detractors say are missing.
Joe has also photographed Trump. Last fall he tailed The Don for a day from the office to the street, to receiving adulation from his fans. It was the early days of the campaign long before anyone could even guess he’d be the nominee. But here we are a year later and it’s all eyes on Trump as he prepares to take on Clinton who has, arguably, been preparing for this moment her whole professional life.
Through his own storied career Marco Grob has also had the opportunity to work with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, bringing his signature gravitas to these two political animals that have their own versions of what leadership means. Marco also embedded in Obama’s White House, giving us looks at what the Presidency means that we haven’t seen before.
In 2012 when Barack Obama was Inaugurated for the second time, Stephen Wilkes set up for his signature ‘Day to Night’ series, photographing the whole day that hundreds of thousands of Americans collected on the National Mall to watch their President take the oath of office for the final time.
Finally, Douglas Friedman had the opportunity to photograph Hillary Clinton in 2013 for the cover of New York Magazine in a shoot that decontextualized this woman who brings with her a career of work and controversy, offering her up unadorned and markedly human.
Stephen Wilkes Looks to the Future of Photography
Stephen Wilkes’ Day to Night series has become a signature for the artist. When he started working in this way it was to explore a more interesting way to create a beautiful and evocative image, but as his work has evolved it’s captured the imaginations of more and more people. Similarly, before becoming a worldwide phenomenon, the TED conferences began as a place to share ideas, but are now considered a hub for innovators in the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design. Stephen’s Day to Night series exemplifies all of these traits using technology to fuse time, in photographs that are reliant upon impeccable design, resulting in images that are entertaining (at the very least). A chance meeting in London with a curator from TED Europe resulted in an invitation for Stephen to speak at TED’s main conference in Vancouver this year that he accepted immediately.
Given the opportunity, Stephen wanted to offer his audience something that would be memorable but might also give them a taste of how working on Day to Night has changed his own life. “The greatest TED talks are things that leave you with a gift, with something can inspire you, that really makes you reflect on in your daily life that is different and unique,” says Stephen. “My work is based on two pillars: one is art and the other is science. And so my talk really shows how those two worlds collide.”
Stephen’s series is different from most traditional photography because it takes our experience of time and turns it on its head. We’ve seldom been able to see photographs interacting with time in this way, and because of that particular expression Stephen noticed that his viewers have unique responses. “It taps them on an emotional level not just a visual level,” Stephen explains. “Being able to put a face on time is a very, very powerful thing. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the space-time continuum are such abstract visualizations of what is actually happening but we’ve never really been able to hold it and look at it and experience in it in a singular way.” Time rules our lives as a faceless force, but Day to Night gives us something to hold onto to better examine and understand how we interact with this power.
We don’t want to spoil what Stephen says in his talk before you watch it, but Stephen is quick to say how much of an honor it was to be invited to speak. “I think TED is an extraordinary platform,” says Stephen. “The whole experience was really one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Stephen Wilkes Makes Time Timeless with National Geographic
National Geographic Magazine isn’t just a content creator of some of the most beautiful photography on the planet or the most illuminating stories about how humans interact with the world, it’s a cultural zeitgeist that has captured life on this planet. As an observer of the human condition no other publication has harnessed history and experience to talk about who we are like National Geographic, and Stephen Wilkes has been a student of this visual history since he was a kid. “Since I was 12 I’ve been taking pictures. I’ve been a photographer all my life,” Stephen explains. “And National Geographic has always been the apex of the world of photojournalism and magazine photography.” This month, Stephen’s work graces the cover of the magazine launching a yearlong study on America’s National Parks. National Geographic asked Stephen to help them launch this project because of his distinct ability to condense time and place into a single composition through his ongoing study “Day to Night.”
In this process, Stephen roots himself into a space and observes at least a full day from one location from 15 to 24 hours, photographing thousands of frames from that point of view. After he captures all that life, then Stephen and his team seamlessly blend the best moments together to create one final photograph based on the progression of time. It’s a totally different way of understanding how time and photography interact, and changes like this are not always quickly understood. But National Geographic understood exactly what Stephen was doing. “When you push boundaries in any medium or field, there’s a sort of resistance, even if you look at the history of photography,” explains Stephen. “National Geographic saw what I was doing, trying to change the way we look at the world in a way by using technology and photography in a different way. It’s very exciting that somebody at that level got behind it. When they chose my work as a cover story to launch what will be a year long project on the National Parks it was very, very, very gratifying, very exciting for me personally.” Through the pages of this issue you can see Stephen’s take on the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and even West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.
The plunge into working with a new visual technology is a rich part of the historical heritage of looking at our national parks. More than a hundred years ago, at the foundation of the national parks system, the earliest innovators of photography were pushing their own boundaries to make communication possible. “If you look at the history of the national parks with Eadweard Muybridge to Carleton Watkins, some of the greatest masters of the time, they were embracing state of the art technology at the time to showcase the parks,” explains Stephen. “And my idea was to pay homage to the work of those guys. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate the 100th anniversary to create a body of work and show the parks in a way that no one had ever seen before based on this new way of seeing? So that’s how it evolved.”
These parks are a huge part of our American heritage, places that we, as a people, have decided are of crucial importance to understanding our country and the land that has shaped our past and our future. But the ability of a single human being to take in any experience of these places is limited. Stephen’s work makes it possible to understand them in a totally different way. “When you’re in the park physically, you stand there and you take in these places. So much of your experience is based on the time of day that you’re there,” says Stephen about being at The Grand Canyon. “No matter what time of day it was, there was a unique thing happening in terms of light, in terms of shadow, in terms of clouds, in terms of color, that you really can’t perceive unless you are there. You can’t take that in unless you are physically there seeing it or staying all day long and watching it.” Stephen’s photographs take those massive stretches of time and presents them to us in one image that we can tease apart, devouring each change, each moment, from one position and gain a deeper understanding of the space. “Now everyone gets to see the changes and how dramatic they are from day into night. When you put that together it just has a profound effect on you, on an emotional level,” Stephen says.
Stephen goes through all this work not just to create beautiful images; it’s to speak to his audience. Millions of people have been to these parks, if only for a few minutes or hours out of a day. By bringing the entire day into each image, there’s something in every photograph that they will recognize and that’s something he knows they’ll appreciate. “There’s an element that viewers will connect to in my pictures, a time period they will connect to,” says Stephen. “But few have ever been able to see these places through all those stages, and that’s where the magic comes in.”
Happy Holidays: 2015 in Review
As we come together with loved ones and friends to close the year, we’d like to take this time to reflect on some of our favorite moments from the last year. Included here is a list of some of our favorite stories we’ve had the pleasure to share with our community and friends. This year our artists helped usher in the next generation of Star Wars stars, discovered what bacteria lurk in NYC’s subways, sent hundreds of mean postcards to adoring fans, and put their own stamp on the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Our artists have done amazing things, so let’s take some time to remember some of the best stories from 2015 before turning our focus to the New Year.
We hope you have Wonderful Holidays, and a Happy New Year.
Weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, Marco Grob photographed the cast of the highly anticipated movie for Time Magazine. Not only did he get to photograph the human stars, he also got to spend time with the famous R2-D2 and meet the newest favorite: BB-8.
Riding the New York City subway can be a precarious situation, not because of the unpredictable riders but because of what lurks on the handrails. Craig Ward wanted to see what exactly he has holding onto every day and the answers were both beautiful and revolting.
Sawdust and Nike Reach New Heights
One project with international powerhouse Nike is celebration enough, but when Sawdust teamed up with the athletic juggernaut for three bespoke typefaces it was an honor. Not only were they creating these solutions for Nike, but they'd be paired with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, three of the most powerful names in basketball. What they created turly elevated the game.
This year Joey L joined Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, and David LaChapelle as a photographer for Lavazza's annual calendar. With the theme “From Father to Son,” Joey L examined how the tradition of sustainable farming is passed on from generation to generation, and how food gets to our tables from around the world.
People's Sexiest Man Alive is always a hotly watched and eagerly awaited issue, and frequently their most popular. When Marc Hom got the call to photograph their non-traditional choice this year, David Beckham, it was an honor and a thrill. And on the day of the shoot, Beckham didn't disappoint.
For more than a decade Stephen Wilkes has been pursuing his ongoing personal project of condensing an entire day into a single photograph. This year, Stephen showed off some of his favorite shots at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, a great way to look back on all the work he's done, and look forward to what's still to come.
Over the course of months with locations stretching from The Costume Institute to the Louvre's vault, and even the private archive of Yves Saint Laurent, Platon captured the epic vastness of the Met's latest blockbuster. "China: Through the Looking Glass" examines how China's history has impacted the rest of the world through design influence, and Platon was able to photograph every step along the way.
Mr. Bingo's ongoing series "Hate Mail" pits the artist against those who pay for the pleasure of being berated by him through the post. Enough fans have gotten their kicks this way that he turned them all into a book that catalyzed an enormously successful Kickstarter. Books are available for purchase now!
Living a life in the limelight isn't always easy, so when We Are The Rhoads teamed up with Taylor Swift for their latest Keds campaign, they immediately found common ground. By creating a safe space the mega celebrity was able to focus on the moments with Sarah and Chris, resulting in images that are effortlessly Taylor.
Style is communication and a stylist has the power to shape how their subject communicates to the world. For Uzo Aduba's cover of As If Magazine, Stacey Jones dove into feminine luxury, offering the Emmy Award winning actress the opportunity to step away from the orange jumpsuits that her fans so often see her in.
Paris is a hotbed of fashion and style, making it a dream destination for many and attracting artists from all over the world. Tom Corbett is no different. On his latest assignment for Somerset he really sank his teeth into the city, taking advantage of every block and street corner, capturing the beauty of the city and the ease of its powerful energy.
It's hard to describe Donald Trump's political rise, so sometimes the best option is to not even try. When The New York Times Magazine tasked Stanley Chow and Jamie Chung with an image that spoke to the story they got right to work on something that felt honest but was also a lot of fun.
When Marcus Bleasdale began his work as a photojournalist it was to make a difference, but an artist can never be sure if their hopes are going to come to fruition. Marcus' has. His work with Human Rights Watch has lead to changes in law, and even helped end a war. Their joint gallery show, "Impact," proved it.
Chipotle has seen better days, but before their troubles they made a very solid decision when they asked Harriet Russell, Sarah J. Coleman, Adam Hayes, and Dave Homer to create illustrations for their bags and cups. Each illustrator was paired up with a writer whose pieces were to serve as the inspiration, and the results are as delicious as you can imagine.
Ken Fulk is a master at interior design, and Douglas Friedman is a master at photographing interiors. When the two came together in a show-stopping shoot of Elle Decor, Fulk's vision leapt off the page thanks to Douglas' unique ability to translate space into flawless photographic composition.
Bernie Sanders represents one of the most interesting political stories this season, and like any political character his whole persona is hard to distill into a single image (even a photograph!). Ryan McAmis took his time, and dug deeply into his bag of tricks, creating a portrait for the cover of National Journal that is as honest a representation as we've ever seen.
It's not every day that passion projects turn directly into corporate campaigns, but when UPS saw Brian Doben's "At Work" series they knew they needed it for themselves. Brian extended the project, meeting with read UPS customers that happened to run their own small businesses, to see what it's really like to work with a company that caters to their needs.
Cinemagraphs are becoming more and more popular, but Chloe Aftel was there since day one. In fact, she's sort of become a go-to photographer to create these captive moments that she finds particular expressive because of their ability to inject more emotion and more story.
Sometimes the best way to talk about serious issues is with a good laugh, so when Todd Selby linked up with Evolve on a series of gun safety PSA they imagined what other things kids get into. Whether it's playing with condoms like balloons, or tampons like Wolverine's claws: the kids will get into anything and, most of the time, it can be hilarious.
Few artists are as closely watched as Banksy whose work is discussed and devoured the world over, so when James Joyce got the call to be included in Banksy's latest installation it was a no-brainer. James' contributions ended up including the cover of Dismaland's catalogue, a piece that has now been distributed the world over and marked as a coveted accomplishment for any creative CV.
We cannot pretend we know what the future will hold, but if we had to bet we'd bet on Roof Studios' vision. They were tasked with glimpsing ahead for a spot with Toshiba that envisions how our relationship with technology will continue to deepen and grow, and shows us what that will look like.
Ice Skating GIF by Nomoco.
Stephen Wilkes Brings The New Yorker to Life
The advent of technology has caused many to announce the death of traditional information consumption. Reading is dead, we’re supposed to believe, and the publishing institutions that were a part of that tradition should be abandoned. But as we’ve reported before, that’s just not the case. Readers consume more information today than any time before, and we get that news largely from the same space. The publications that set their roots almost a hundred years ago are still largely read today and The New Yorker Magazine is no exception. In fact, it’s the rule. To illustrate this fact, The New Yorker teamed up with photographer Stephen Wilkes, thanks to SS+K, to visualize what that feels like.
“I've been working with Stephen for many years,” says Jamie Appelbaum, Art Buyer at SS+K. “His level of professionalism and his creative vision keeps me coming back to him over and over again.” That vision brought them to a campaign where they show New Yorkers coming together in close quarters each in their own world of reading The New Yorker. Whether it’s a subway train or lounging on Jones Beach, it’s always the right time to catch up on what’s happening in the world.
The idea is a tricky one to execute, and SS+K were happy to have Stephen figure out how to do it the best. "Stephen was an art directors dream," says Alyssa Georg, Art Director at SS+K. "Very collaborative and a real creative problem solver. It was a pleasure to work with him and we were so happy he could help us bring these ideas to life."
Stephen Wilkes: Day to Night at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Part of what makes photography inherently unique is its ability to take a moment out of time, freezing it in posterity. We get to examine these moments for the brief window they open to that fraction of a second and capture that history forever. But some photographs are able to transcend that shackle of the discipline, showing the passage of time in a single frame. For Stephen Wilkes that is not just a possibility, it’s become his own personal challenge.
Since 2009, Stephen has been traveling the world and capturing an incredible amount of time in his “Day to Night” series that distills the entire passage between those two points into a single image. After choosing a location, Stephen captures 1500 images over the course of 24 hours and then blends them all together to create images that are expansive and evocative, bringing the whole day into one composition. The implication goes beyond a single day offering a look at how life moves in the environments that Stephen chooses, as a living place, even if that life is just light from the sun.
CBS Sunday Morning caught up with Stephen a few years ago when the series was focused mostly around sites in New York City. They followed him when he shot his image of the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. That 15-hour day resulted in 1400 images that he edited together in a process he showed Martha Tichenor. This conversation, and the resulting piece, is a unique view at how an artist works.
More recently, on a trip to Botswana, Stephen took time out of a lengthy safari to capture a full day at a watering hole in the Serengeti. Each species of animals comes to water at their own time so as to stay safe in their own numbers, so only Stephen's technique shows just how much life a single water source brings in the heat a dryness of the African desert.
Stephen’s ongoing series will be on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery starting November 5 through January 9 of next year, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 5.
Stephen Wilkes Opens "Remnants"
As the world braced for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we knew it was going to be big but few knew that the devastation would reach far enough into the future to affect communities to this day. The largest Atlantic hurricane on record hit every east coast state of the United States, affecting 24 states in all and costing $75 billion dollars, a figure that continues to rise as the days go on even all these years later. Immediately after the storm, Stephen Wilkes strapped on his camera to help communicate to the world the breadth and depth of the damage for those who weren’t able to understand it. With boots on the ground and shots from the air, Stephen captures the devastation from every possible angle, creating a visual time capsule of the storm’s effects.
Stephen does work like this because he finds his skills as a photographer go a long way towards making these stories digestible to the larger population. “I’ve often found that there is great power in telling difficult stories in a beautiful way,” says Stephen. “There are moments in journalism when the media captures the visual details of a disaster, yet sometimes misses the true scale of devastation.”
There are millions of factors that make a storm like Sandy happen, but the global warming and rising temperatures of our oceans are some of the largest contributors to the severity of the storm. A higher water line meant deeper flooding and greater damage. Stephen hopes that showing the inevitable impact of human activity in the world can lead to change in how we interact with our environment. “It’s my hope that these images serve as a wakeup call — whether that call is about global warming, infrastructure, or just the recognition that the world is changing, it’s a reminder that we need to take special care of our fragile world.”
Stephen Wilkes’ “Remnants” is on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico through November 22.
Stephen Wilkes Finds Laos with National Geographic
The war that the United States waged in Laos between 1964 and 1973 wasn’t secret to everyone, despite its generally accepted moniker as a secret war. 270 million cluster bombs were dropped on Laos as overflow from the conflict in Vietnam, in addition to four million larger bombs. As many as 80 million of those bombs never detonated, burrowing themselves into the earth in Laos, waiting to be exploded. And explode they do. Laotians frequently set off these ordinances that result in the maiming or death of those who stumble into them.
Despite the fact that these bombs are still a present and prescient part of Laotian life, Laos continues to move forward. In a recent story with National Geographic, “Life After the Bombs,” Stephen Wilkes traveled to Laos to capture what life is like there now, almost a half century after the bombing has stopped – while the presence of the bombs are still acutely felt.
There’s no denying that this is an American legacy. They are American bombs, and the injuries that are caused today are continued violence against a people who were caught in American crosshairs (in the most brutal sense of the phrase). But on Stephen’s trip through Laos what he walked away with is that life is continuing to move forward. As T. D. Allman, the writer of the story that Stephen’s photographs accompanies, reports, a scarred past with a potentially violent present isn’t holding anyone back in the future. “These people have an extraordinary ability to forgive and persevere,” Stephen tells National Geographic. “I hope this piece opens American eyes to the tragedies of the war and that, as a nation, we begin accepting our responsibility to do more.”
Stephen’s photographs tell the tale as consciously as the sentiment with pockmarked rice fields, and the adoption of bomb casings as planters. The bombs are a part of Laotian life more than in their potential destruction: artisans and entrepreneurs are using the metals from the ordinances for the creation of silverware, bracelets, and the inspiration for woven goods. It is no consolation for the violence visited upon a people who never invited it, but it is a testament to their way of life that if they don’t receive deserved aid, they will find a way to make it through.
Stephen Wilkes, Michael Warren, and Joe Pugliese Among Communication Arts Winners
Every year Communication Arts, one of the premier creative publications in the world, releases the "Photo Annual" that includes a list of photographers whose work they consider the best in visual communication around the world. Three of our photographers won the distinction of being recognized for stories they contributed over the last year. We congratulate Joe Pugliese, Michael Warren, and Stephen Wilkes for this honor.
These are the stories that grabbed Communication Arts' attention:
Joe Pugliese had the chance to photograph the cast of Mad Men for the cover of The Hollywood Reporter immediately ahead of the series finale. Joe had been a fan of the series since the beginning, so it was an honor and a personal achievement to help them strike the perfect tone. I didn’t want it to feel period,” says Joe. “I wanted to just ride that line between the characters we all know and their actual real life personalities.” Communication Arts pulls out the photograph of Jon Hamm as the perfect example and encapsulation of this show that was at once a period piece but also a portrait of how the American psyche has developed, how the American dream plays on a life, and what a man becomes to succeed in our culture.
Check out the full story here:
For weeks, Michael Warren traveled the world to understand Total Energy and how they impact the world. As Michael reminds us. “France has no [energy] resources of their own so they have their fingers in all these other places all over the world. They’re trying to do something good.” Total Energy takes responsibility for the world because the world is their partner. Their reach is global, so their outreach is equally global. They are giving back in as many communities as possible, including communities in Africa where they’ve constructed solar powered lights that allow the local workers to continue producing after the sun has set. It’s improving their productivity and changing their local government for the better. Communication Arts highlighted one photograph of some women in Indonesia that perfectly encapsulated how Total is committed to powering people.
Check out the full story here:
Walking through Terminal 3 at the Dubai Airport could be described as walking into the future. But as Stephen Wilkes’ story with Vanity Fair proved: it’s very much the present. The West has fallen behind when it comes to commercial aviation and few reminders are as stark as the hub in Dubai. Stephen was granted unprecedented access to get a full view of the working at Terminal 3, including the opportunity to create a sweeping time-lapse video. Communication Arts focused on the scope of the airport (and their gigantic AirBuses) that looks almost like an enclosed city. Here’s to a lifestyle of travel we can all look forward to.
Check out the full story here: