Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stephen Wilkes: Night and Day Photoshop Magic


Sometimes, the simplest Photoshop ideas can turn out to be the hardest to execute. Erik Johansson's epic Photoshop images are testament to his creativity and his technical prowess at making seamless pictures. In Stephen Wilkes case, the transitions are just as consistent, but the different elements of time are immediately perceivable, allowing for the perfect combination of Night and Day with some Photoshop magic.



Stephen Wilkes is a professional photographer known for his fine art images, exhibited in dozens of galleries in the past decade. His first groundbreaking work was his 1999 series on the decaying health and mental facilities of Ellis Island. This project helped secure funding for the restoration of the south side buildings.

One of his latest projects is Day to Night which gives viewers are a taste of the New York city landscape with a time twist; morning and evening are shown in the same image, melded together to give an overview of what the NYC neighborhoods look like 12 hours apart.


The Day and Night images allow Wilkes to combine two of his favorite photography subjects, "...people on the street melded with epic cityscapes, and the fleeting moments throughout the day and night". Creating one of these amazing collages wasn't easy however; the photographer had to keep his camera fixed at the same spot for at least 10 hours, at times adjusting the exposure settings to make sure the light stayed consistent.

He then selects some 30 to 50 individual images to create one of his masterpieces, resulting in the hustle and bustle of the city in the day transitioning slowly to the street lights in the night.


Even with the large scale of his images, Wilkes still loves to capture little moments, which, when combined together, give viewers a "visceral experience" of the city. Thus, readers can see the Coney Island beach-goers and sunbathers on one side with the vibrant carnival on the other. Tourists walking around Times Square in broad daylight are suddenly engulfed in the advertising lights.

If you've never gone to New York City, then Wilkes images give you a cross-section of the vibrant city in one image.


This is Stephen Wilkes' website, with the Day to Night series over here. If you want to see some more epic Photoshop, you might want to check out Erik Johansson's images over here. His previous project, Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom is available for purchase here.

9 comments:

Ray Rousell said...

very unusual pics!!!

Fang said...

Oh that's cool, blending together two pictures like that. Sometimes makes it look like night-time is on fire.

D4 said...

He molds it together extremely well, I like it.

G said...

wow that last one is especially amazing

Bonjour Tristesse said...

They look cool. Perhaps a bit too artificial but still very cool. These would make great desktop wallpapers.

Bart said...

very cool pictures.

tigey said...

Wow, really beautiful, I really like it.

Damon said...

Amazing!! Good! :)

Rob Murray said...

Thanks, great inspiration for my GCSE art project!

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