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Stephen Wilkes

White flags planted on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. represent each of the American lives lost to COVID-19. When the art installation opened in September 2021, the country had surpassed 670,000 deaths. For more than 30 hours, photographer and National Geographic Explorer Stephen Wilkes watched people move through the sea of white flags, capturing individuals as they grappled with the enormity of loss. Wilkes took 4,882 photographs of the exhibit, then blended them into a single composite image as part of his Day to Night series.

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