Based in Toronto, Joshua Silver shoots a wide range of subject matter in film media. From Dublin to Paris to New York, he allows us to see through a lens that sometimes feels as if he is sharing with us a great secret. By capturing “normalcy” from a wide spectrum of different subcultures and locations, Joshua Silver documents a unique vision of the everyday.
Where are you from?
I was born in Toronto but grew up in Calgary.
What camera do you use?
I use a Nikon F-401X. It’s seriously indestructible.
What inspires your photography?
There’s not really one thing that does. There’s a desire to take snippets from the everyday, this includes the cities I’m in and the subcultures I’m involved with as each one has their own “normal” that comes out in really interesting ways. My background in architecture is definitely an influence too. I like to photograph buildings and urban landscapes or spatial relations. Those are the two main ones, but I continue to internalize all the things I experience – music, art, books –into my photography.
You travel a lot. What is your favourite city to take photos in?
I can’t say I have a favourite city to take photos in since each city has its own feel and it comes out in the shots taken there. Although I did really like shooting in Paris.
Why do you prefer film media?
I like film because it makes me slow down and think about the shot. I say that I could shoot 1,000 photos on a digital camera and all of them would come out terrible or I could shoot a 36-roll and a few would come out really nice. Plus, there’s a mystery in film, a bit of a waiting game.
What is the biggest obstacle in shooting with film?
The biggest obstacle is that it is an “obsolete medium.” Film, slide film especially, is getting more expensive and is hard to come by due to increasing processing costs and such. It really sucks because film photography is still a rich medium.
What is an image by another photographer that changed your life?
There really isn’t one image in specific, but Fred Herzog’s series of Kodachrome shots are berserk! The colours are super vivid and the way they intertwine in the shots is impressive. Plus, he captures everyday city life in a nuanced way that is really powerful.
Best place to grab grub in Toronto?
Queen Mother is always classic, definitely has never let me down!
Who are you listening to right now?
My playlist is all over the place. Classics like Miles, Coletrane and Horace Silver. Then some new stuff: Lab Coast, Fidlar, COUSINS, TV Freaks, UN BLONDE.