Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stephen Wilkes, The Power of the Still Image




Via X-Rite Photo Blog


"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.”
 
Hurricane Sandy on the Jersey Shore by Stephen Wilkes
Seaside Heights, N.J
©2012 Stephen Wilkes

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."


Full post with links here.

See Stephen Wilkes Day To Night and Hurricane Sandy photographs during Photo la, January 17 - 21, at Monroe Gallery of Photograph, booth M-150.