Coloratti Stephen Wilkes on The Power of the Still Image | NEW Video
by Brenda K. Hipsher – January 14th, 2013
A new video has just been released today featuring Coloratti Stephen Wilkes talking about The Power of the Still Image, his own projects to document parts of American life and culture that are fading into memory, some of his disturbing and compelling images of the Gulf oil spill, and his latest project called Day to Night. In this video Stephen talks about the “subtext” beneath his photographs. “The power of what’s underneath is much greater than what’s on the surface,” he says. “And I want you to go underneath what I’m showing you but the only way I can get there is to draw you in with beauty.”
Wilkes is an amazing photographer. His passion for the still image is fueled by his ardent belief that it is the still image that “burns” into our minds. “I don’t think that, in terms of memory, things stay with us unless we have the image,” says Wilkes. “I think there is infinitely more power in a visual than there is in anything that is verbal or even written.”
One of Stephen’s most recent projects was documenting Hurricane Sandy for Time. Stephen’s 22 image photo essay on the super-storm disaster is available on Time Lightbox. The aerial photos he captured are both beautiful and horrific. Here’s a quote from his words accompanying the photo essay: “On the Sunday after Sandy made landfall, I decided to rent a helicopter and fly over some of the most devastated areas, including the New Jersey shore, Breezy Point and Far Rockaway. It was a beautiful day to fly, but unfortunately that beauty quickly eroded into shock as we began to get close to the coasts. It was everything I’d heard about, but it was difficult to believe what I was actually seeing. Once we got above the shoreline, I really started to understand the scale of the destruction. The expanse of land it ruined, the totality of the devastation — it was like a giant mallet had swung in circles around the area. It was mind numbing.” Read more about the Hurricane Sandy project online and see all 22 photos in the essay at Time Lightbox.
Stephen Wilkes uses X-Rite color management solutions to make certain every one of his photographs is perfectly color managed. From Ellis Island, to the Gulf oil spill, to Hurricane Sandy, to the 1400 photographs he captures for each image in the Day to Night series X-Rite color management solutions keep everything under control in Stephen Wilkes’ digital workflow. He begins with shooting X-Rite ColorChecker targets in the capture and later uses critical monitor calibration and printer profiles to insure perfectly accurate and repeatable color every time the shutter clicks.
The Power of the Still Image is a compelling look at the internal process of this amazing photographer. Enjoy this new video featuring Stephen Wilkes.
I remember the first one of these Day to Night images that I was privileged to see in Stephen’s studio over a year ago. I was just captivated by the reality that I was looking at a still photo that depicts a span of time from daylight to darkness. One of the reasons that still images are so compelling is that they are frozen, split seconds of time preserved for observation in intimate detail. We have the opportunity to create a relationship with the still image by holding it our hands, hanging it on a wall, “living” with it in our daily life, studying its detail, and taking in the back story behind the image. Stephen Wilkes’ Day to Night project allows us to have a similar kind of relationship with multiple images combined into one photograph allowing us to have a relationship with frozen “moments” combined into one masterful still image depicting a scene outside of time.
Stephen’s Day to Night project was recently featured on the popular weekend CBS show Sunday Morning. I watch this show nearly every week in real time and often DVR it and watch it later in the week. Imagine my surprise on November 11, 2012 when a feature called “As Time Goes By” was mentioned in the opening sequence. This feature on Stephen Wilkes’ Day to Night project gives us even more critical insight into the inner process of this 21st century master.
See more of Stephen Wilkes’ amazing photographs at www.StephenWilkes.com. Enjoy portfolios of his work there including his Ellis Island project where light meets texture in decay leaving us with memories of the beginnings of our American history for many families along images from Bethlehem Steel and other projects. Visit Coloratti Stephen Wilkes on the Coloratti pages at www.xritephoto.com/coloratti.
Learn more about X-Rite ColorChecker targets, i1Photo Pro 2, and the other X-Rite solutions that Stephen Wilkes uses to keep his digital still image workflow under control at www.xritephoto.com. Color Perfectionists like Coloratti Stephen Wilkes don’t rely on guess work for their projects. They depend on professional color management solutions from X-Rite.
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