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This Photo Was Shot Over the Course of 26 Hours at an African Watering Hole



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.

The image is part of Wilkes’ Day to Night project, which features composite photos of different locations, captured over many hours using a 4×5 digital camera and then blended into single frames (we featured the project in 2011 and again in 2012).

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. Here’s a crop of the photo that shows more details:


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.

You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A larger version of the above particular photo can be seen here.

Image credits: Photograph by Stephen Wilkes and used with permission