This amazing composite picture by photographer Stephen Wilkes shows the different animals that visited a watering hole in the Serengeti over the course of 26 hours. The photo transitions across time as you move across the frame starting with sunrise on the right.
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.
The image is part of 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.
National Geographic reports that for this particular shot, Wilkes spent 30 hours sitting behind a crocodile blind 18 feet above ground in Seronera National Park in Serengeti, Tanzania.
As Wilkes shot photos over 26 of those hours, the watering hole was visited by a large number of different animals, including elephants, hippos, zebras, wildebeests, and meerkats.
Wilkes shoots an average of 1,500 photos now — about 20 gigs of storage — for each of his Day to Night pieces. He then selects choice frames and spends many weeks editing the interesting areas together to show the passage of time in a single composite photo.