Richard Silver slices through time
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Richard Silver slices through time

Photographing the setting sun in a series of time-lapse
Photographer Richard Silver captures the enigma of twilight, as the light in the sky changes from day to night over iconic landmarks across the world.

by Mrinalini Ghadiok Jun 02, 2019

The Time Slice series started in 2011 as a personal project for photographer Richard Silver. The idea originated for a book about shooting iconic New York buildings at sunset that would show the changing of day to night in one single image.

Having experimented with a number of images, Silver finally set his mind to 36 – the number of individual photographs that compose each of the final images. “I originally added a time stamp onto the photos showing the exact time each slice was taken to the second. That is on all of my New York Time Slice photos, but not for the global series; and that is how I came up with the name, ‘Time’ – ‘Slice’,” says Silver.

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy Image Credit: Richard Silver
Colosseum, Rome, Italy Image Credit: Richard Silver

Now when he travels, he attempts to capture through his lens at least one iconic building in each city that he visits. Having already created 35 to 40 such images, his travel repertoire continues to grow. We talk to him about his ingenious ways.

NY Skyline, New York, USA Image Credit: Richard Silver
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, New York Image Credit: Richard Silver
Mrinalini Ghadiok (MG): What is the process behind creating each image?

Richard Silver (RS): The actual way that I go about taking the photographs is to scout out a location that best suits where I need to capture my image. Knowing as much as I can before I travel to the location, I have an idea of where I want to set up my tripod to start photographing. I try and arrive anywhere from 30-45 minutes before the sun starts to set, shoot through sunset and stay about 30-45 minutes after sunset. By this method, I am able to capture the changing light of the sky from day to night. Ending up with anywhere from 40-60 photos, I figure out which photos I want to work with and I use 36 photos in my final single image. I do my adjustments working in Lightroom and Photoshop, and then line them up in the order from day to night, left to right.

Birds Nest, Beijing, China Image Credit: Richard Silver
MG: What do you find most fascinating about the changing quality of light?

RS: The way the sky gets bluer as the sunset occurs. When I view the photos on my computer it is fascinating how in just a few seconds the blue gets deeper and deeper in colour as the sun sets, especially right before it is dark and black.

Gateway of India, Mumbai, India Image Credit: Richard Silver
Victoria Station, Mumbai, India Image Credit: Richard Silver
MG: What is the one thing that is consistent across the entire series?

RS: I never know what the final photo will look like; I am surprised every time. If there is one consistent thing that happens, that is it, my surprise at the final result.

Luis Bridge, Porto Image Credit: Richard Silver
Atomium Brussels, Belgium Image Credit: Richard Silver

(This article was first published in Issue#12 of mondo*arc india journal - an initiative by STIR.)

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About Author

Mrinalini Ghadiok

Mrinalini Ghadiok

Ghadiok is an architect by training, visualizer by heart and writer by passion. Having worked in the fields of architecture, lighting design, historical research and writing for more than a decade, she is driven by her passion for exceptional design and the narrative that choreographs its experience. As the editor of mondo*arc india journal and now STIRworld, she continues her foray in design journalism and publishing.

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