On a typical day, Richard Silver’s photography website gets about 1,000 views, but within the last couple of days, he has watched it climb from 65,000 to 72,000 to 192,000 viewers.
What’s gotten people interested in the New York City-based photographer’s work? His time slices.
Instead of standing in one place for an hour to watch the sun set, Silver has compiled slivers of photographs taken within a specific timespan before dusk and stitched them together to create a time-lapse in one image.
“I tried to figure out how to get progression from day to night in one photo. I came up with a few different ways and then started slicing them,” Silver explained to TheBlaze about his “Time Sliced” project, which he drummed up a couple of years ago and is going viral on the Web now.
For the last four years, Silver has made his living as a travel photographer, after previously working full time in New York real estate.
Silver’s time-sliced images include the Colosseum in Rome, the Bird’s Nest in China, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, several sights around New York City and, his personal favorite, statues on Easter Island.
“It was like I was the only person there on this deserted island,” Silver said of the rare opportunity to photograph an iconic landmark without throngs of other tourists. “[I felt like I was] the only person taking photos at sunset.”
Here’s how Silver captures his time slices:
1) Pick the building or focal point you plan to photograph. Set up your tripod in a location where you can capture the whole image.
2) Begin taking photos an hour to an hour-and-a-half before sunset (Silver uses an app to know when sunset will occur exactly while he’s traveling internationally).
3) Click away at random, a few seconds to a few minutes apart. This, he said, gives him enough photographs in each phase of light to be choosy depending on tourists or traffic that might get caught on camera as well. Silver said he’ll keep taking photos through sunset as it gets darker depending on how dark he wants his end slice to be.
4) Using digital editing programs, Silver then narrows down his images to 40 or less and begins create 1-inch slices. Then all the slices are digitally put together to show the progression of the sinking sunlight. This processing part usually takes Silver about an hour.
“It’s all exactly same photograph but of course the light is different,” he said. “I try to do as little corrections as possible so it’s actually [reflecting the] time of day and color of sky. I try to keep it as realistic as possible, that’s why some of them aren’t quite as smooth.
“The light…it plays tricks on the camera. I want to involve that natural trickery in the photos,” he said.
For his New York City time sliced photos, Silver includes a timestamp of the exact second when the slice was snapped. He doesn’t do this with international landmarks because he doesn’t change the settings on his camera.
“I live on New York time for all my photos,” Silver said.
See more of Silver’s work on his website.