Slices of life
Richard Silver juxtaposes slivers of time to create fascinating images of whole days at famous landmarks
I’ve been shooting for over 25 years, so way before digital. I took some photo classes in High School and over the years I’ve taken many night classes too. Once I moved to digital photography, my first camera was a Nikon – it was a Coolpix. I stuck with Nikon as I really felt comfortable with their bodies and I have since upgraded at least four times; I’m now on a D810.
The time slice series started in 2011, in New York, like many of my other series. I would go out about an hour before sunset and photograph iconic NY buildings, with the intention of making a book. The book would have had pages that fold out and show the changing of light at sunset from day to night. I shot 38 buildings for the book, but when I researched how much this type of book would cost, it was astronomical and that idea was gone. But having all of those photos I came up with the idea of slicing them together.
I saw Stephen Wilkes’ series ‘Day to Night’, in which he shoots all day and takes over a thousand shots and blends them into one shot showing the transition from day to night. That series inspired me to try and do something of my own. This series has been very popular on the web, and I did
see other photographers take it to new levels making round images (using landscapes, not cityscapes like I shoot) and they were fantastic.
When I started this series I still had my Nikon D300 and used a Sigma 10-20mm lens. Nowadays I shoot with a Nikon D810 and mostly use my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I have a number of different tripods that I use depending on if I’m in New York or travelling. One of my favourite accessories for these shoots is my wireless remote. I keep my camera a few feet away from me and arbitrarily take shots. I usually take around 50 to 60 photos for a time slice, and edit them down to 36 for the final image.
Scouting out my location is really important. Sometimes people think they can walk up and start taking photos wherever they want, but I find that is far from the truth. I always try to work out the best location to shoot from, and the best angle, and I give myself extra time to set up my tripod, making sure it’s legal to shoot if I’m on private property. On a few occasions I couldn’t shoot where I wanted to because it was considered private property and/or I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod on the premises.
The web is the best place to look for iconic buildings before I travel anywhere. I also look in my book of 1000 Buildings to See Before You Die. I research my destinations for their building landmarks before I go. With most big cities it’s easy to choose at least one building to shoot, but in smaller cities there might not be a landmark building, so I sometimes have to think about other shooting structures like bridges.
Scouting out my location is really important… I always try to work out the best location to shoot from, and the best angle
01 Colo sseum, rome Nikon D800, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, shutter speed varies, f/11, ISO200
02 Houses of pa rliam ent , lon don Nikon D800, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, shutter speed varies, f/16, ISO200
03 03 New york skyline Nikon D800, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM, shutter speed varies, f/11, ISO200