John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
These surreal photos use as many as 36 different shots taken throughout the day.
A lot of photographers aim to capture one, perfect moment in time. Richard Silver might argue that's aiming low. His surreal productions are multilayered temporal sandwiches, showing how world landmarks morph in appearance from dawn to sunset.
The Manhattan-based photographer has deployed his "time-slice" technique during extensive travels around the globe (he has reportedly visited "more than 200 cities in his life, traveling to 13 countries last year alone"). Silver must have a superhuman tolerance to jet lag, because his process requires torturous amounts of labor and alertness. He describes it this way to In My Bag:
What I do is go to a position to set up my camera on my tripod to take photos from 30 minutes before sunset, during sunset and about 30 minutes after sunset. I take the same exact shot, clicking away randomly as the sun sets capturing the changing of light to dark in the photos. Once I have my images, which are usually anywhere from 40-60 shots, I upload them into Lightroom first then to Photoshop. I came up with the technique of Slicing the photos together from left to right to show the progression of light to dark in one single photograph.
The final images incorporate about 36 slices apiece and are quite satisfying to make, Silver tells the site, because he is a "very symmetrical person." (It's true!) His explorations into the fourth dimension aren't new; West Virginia's Stephen Lawson has used hacked cameras to play with time since 1980, for example. But they are an ambitious and dreamy-looking take on the genre: