Vertical Churches: Holy Name Mumbai

All photos courtesy of Richard SIlver

After being overwhelmed by the grand architectural beauty of a cathedral in New York City, photographer Richard Silver asked himself, "How can I photograph and capture the full experience in only one single shot?"

It was this moment that inspired his mind-boggling "Vertical Churches" series, in which Silver uses vertical panoramas to give viewers a head-turning look at some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. In the image above, we see the extravagant arches and colorful decor of Mumbai's Cathedral of the Holy Name.

While horizontal panoramas are arguably more common, their impact isn't quite the same as what you would get from a vertical panorama. Take, for example, this cosmic view of the Milky Way, which almost seems to take on a subtle moving picture quality as you scroll down the page.

In the case of these mind-boggling cathedral photos, don't be surprised if you catch yourself physically tilting your head up and down while scanning the winding image.

Vertical Churches: St. Vincent De Paul in Los Angeles and a church in Iceland

(L-R) St. Vincent De Paul Church in Los Angeles, Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland

Although he appreciates all the different architectural styles, Silver is especially drawn to churches with especially ornate decorations or lots of windows. He explains, "If I can capture the beauty of the colored stained glass windows along with the ornate workings of a pew, I did my job."

Of course, as with any location, there are often varying stipulations or restrictions with photographing cathedral interiors. Some churches prohibit tripods or photography altogether, so shooting opportunities are often the luck of the draw.

"My perfect situation is to go into a church and be the only person in there, set up my tripod, take my photos and leave," Silver tells MNN. "I can do all of that in a matter of less than five minutes."

Continue below to see more of "Vertical Churches," and be sure to check out Silver's website and follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Vertical Churches: Church in Johannesburg, South Africa and St. Ignasius in Shanghai

(L-R) Cathedral of Christ the King in Johannesburg, South Africa and St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai

Vertical Churches: St. Bartholomew in Brighton and Salisbury Cathedral

(L-R) St. Bartholomew's Church in Brighton and Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England

Vertical Churches: Church of the Transfiguration in Krakow and Yangon Holy Trinity

(L-R) The Piarist Church of the Transfiguration in Krakow, Poland and Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Yangon, Myanmar

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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