Data + Design Project

Heavenly Panoramas: The Church Ceilings of New York

Wednesday 11.14.2012 , Posted by
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Whether part of the religious faithful or not, churches and their lofty edifices inspire people around the world with their beautifully detailed ceilings. Their stunning array of geometric details draw observing eyes skyward towards the heavens, bringing a sense of awe and quiet contemplation to many who crane their necks for a full view of the splendor above. New York based photographer Richard Silver has created a series of photographs which captures these places better than anyone we’ve seen before: vertically oriented panoramas of New York church ceilings that create that same neck craning experience.

By orienting the images vertically Silver has created long panoramic views much like what we experience being within these churches. His more than 180 degree images, give us a view from floor to vaulted ceiling to floor all in one look. Because we see the whole place at once, it’s perhaps the most clear way to experience the massive amount of pattern and classic design which went into many of these famous buildings.

See Also Vaults: Mesmerizing Patterns on Cathedral Ceilings

Silver’s work has taken him not just to his native New York, but all over the world. The project for his recent book “Tilt-Shift” ing the World, took him to as far reaching places as Las Vegas, Dubai and even tiny Easter Island to create high-quality tilt-shift photographs on location. You can find out more about Silver (be sure to see his time based series New York Sliced) at richardsilverphoto.com.

Above: St. Francis Xavier
Below: Church of the Village

Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Grace Church

Trinity Church

Riverside Church

Most Holy Redeemer

Serbian Orthodox Church

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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