For photographer Richard Silver, “home is where his camera is.” As a traveling creative with an eye for architecture, Silver skillfully showcases an awe-inspiring approach to capturing structures around the world. We first noticed Silver’s striking practice in 2012, when he wowed us with his one-of-a-kind vertical panorama shots of sky-high interiors. Since then, he has continued to exceed our expectations with his growing body of work—which exhibits his skills as both a traditional travel photographer and an inventive artist.
Silver has taken his love of adventure and his dedication to documenting a step further with his latest endeavor, Remote Silver. Simply described by the photographer as a “year-long travel project,” this unique undertaking consists of Silver traveling to 12 cities, 10 countries, and 3 continents, where he photographs everything from amazing architecture to stunning landscapes.
We spoke with Silver to learn about this exciting and ambitious passion project. In our interview below, find out more about his unique photographic practice, lifelong interest in traveling, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences abroad.
When did you first begin to explore photography? Similarly, has travel photography always been your genre-of-choice?
I have been taking photos for almost 30 years, since high school. I first became more serious about photography was when I was in my 20s living in Brooklyn and working in Long Island, NY. I would drive home from work at night and go to the Brooklyn waterfront and shoot the skyline of Manhattan at night.
As far as travel being my current genre, it started for me when I fell in love with traveling. I was always the one person with the camera and my friends would always make me take pictures of them (didn’t like it then, don’t like it now). When I got the itch to explore the world, I purchased higher end camera equipment and took classes to better my skills.
What inspired you to undertake this year-long project?
The idea just came up one day as I was on Instagram. I saw a post from Remote Year and did some research on what the company did. It just blew me away, and I wanted in.
There are a few companies that also offer remote work and travel but Remote Year is by far the largest and best in the industry. My life was heading in this direction anyway. For the past five years I have been traveling to 3-4 international destinations for weeks at a time and New York was just turning into a home base for me.
How did you prepare for the trip?
I had to give up my apartment in New York, give away and store my furniture and clothes, and ended up moving in with my mother in Florida for two months. Physically, you prepare by packing and leaving but mentally, it is impossible to prepare for the unexpected. But you try and predict your future as best as you can.
What has been your preferred subject matter to shoot?
Architecture is my passion. In recent years, photographing churches has become a large part of my photography portfolio, which has been an amazing part of my travels. My series, Vertical Churches, features vertical panoramas of churches around the world and has brought me many accolades in the photographic community.
For my Time Slice series, I photograph iconic buildings and locations at sunset. I slice 36 photos together of the same shot taken before, during, and after sunset, showing the change from day to night in one single image.
What’s an especially memorable experience you’ve had thus far?
When I did a two-day trek to Machu Picchu, I was very nervous about finishing as I am not a hiker. My group was made up of 12 people and 2 guides who allowed all of us to go at our own pace. When I finally reached the Sun Gate and saw the clouds clear, what I had just accomplished hit me.
That was my second time to Machu Picchu, but the first time I did it by train only. This time was much more special as I feel that I truly earned my view.
Have you found anything—whether related to photography or not—particularly challenging throughout the course of this project?
For me, it has been finding the time to do everything I want to do—to see the world I am traveling through. Many of my fellow travelers make fun of me for never staying and settling in any of the cities we live in, as I am always taking side trips to other places.
As a group, we are living in each city for a month, which gives us an opportunity to feel like locals. But, for me, all of the locations become a base for me to travel to other cities.
Has the trip met your expectations?
It has. In a way, I have been living this lifestyle for the past few years, so I felt I had a good feel for what I was in for. I expected to go and see as much as I could while in each city, but I have traveled and experienced much more than I had hoped to.
There were other factors in my expectations that have been exceeded, such as the people I am experiencing my life with. The housing has been very good, too. My goal was to experience this year with the new people I’m traveling with and I have done that and more.
Lastly, we can’t wait to continue to follow your journey and see more of your work! What does the rest of your remote year have in store? And do you have any plans post-Remote Silver?
I am answering these questions as I am in Rio de Janeiro on a side trip with some friends from our apartment in Buenos Aires. These are our last days in South America. We will journey on to Europe for three months, then to Asia for our last three months, ending in Kyoto, Japan. When I am in Europe, I expect to see at least 10 different countries, and maybe the same in Asia.
Post-Remote Silver, my intention is to stay in Asia for the first few months of 2018 and just see where it takes me. Honestly, I am in no rush to get back to the States and I yearn to keep traveling and seeing the world.
For his year-long travel photography project, Remote Silver, Photographer Richard Silver visits and documents beautiful destinations around the world.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Richard Silver.
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