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Shooting Challenge: Day to Night

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Day and night. They occupy the same space but different times. (Please, geeks, don't confound this with discussions on spacetime.) For this week's Shooting Challenge, you'll capture day and night in a single photograph. (Click here for better lead shot.)

The Challenge

Capture day and night, occurring at the exact same spot, within a single frame. You can also capture dawn/day/noon/dusk/night if you'd prefer to push the gradient to extremes.


The Technique

Lock down your camera on a tripod, or mark a spot very precisely with tape. Take a photo from this spot during the day and at night, then blend the two in post production.


Keep in mind, you can use more than two exposures to create the look. And you can even advance time through the image front to back or diagonally if you'd prefer that to left to right. You can see excellent, honors-level examples of the technique by photographer Stephen Wilkes [via PetaPixel and tipster Jesus Zendejas]. Sadly, we were refused republishing rights to this work, so we're not sharing the images here.

Of course, those working with film and manual cameras can make attempts to do this on the strip of film itself. It probably won't be perfect, even if you pull it off. But then again, it'll look pretty stunning if it works at all.

The Example

Our lead photo is by flickr's 55Laney69 (again, click here to see the whole image). From what I can tell, it's simply two exposures of the same place with a smooth gradient blending it all in the middle, but the effect is striking.


Your work doesn't need to be a panorama. In fact, panoramas look a bit horrid on Gizmodo, so it's almost preferable if it isn't.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Tuesday, September 6th at 8AM Eastern to with "Day to Night" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameDayNight.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameDayNightWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.