Where do I start?
I have a love of the highways and byways… Lost America as it were.
When my cruiser is done, I’m going to hit the road and go explore all of it. Probably with [this]
My friends and family have fed that with pictures of all sorts of abandoned places.
Some of them are quite colorful… a technique a photography friend told is called “light painting”, and some guy named Troy Paiva was a legend at it.
So yeah, all those pictures that I thought were so awesome?
Turns out Troy took a bunch of them.
How did he contribute to this site?
Troy Paiva, AKA Lost America, has been creating light painted night photography in abandoned locations and junkyards since 1989.
His documentarian, yet surrealist-sometimes playful, sometimes haunting work examines the evolution and eventual abandonment of the communities, infrastructure and social iconography spawned during America’s 20th century expansion into the cities and deserts of the West-and the intensely exhilarating, yet strangely comforting act of sneaking around in the middle of the night, creating art from its ruins.
Over the last eleven years his website has gone viral repeatedly, spawning millions of hits.
Troy’s imagery has appeared in print, in over a dozen countries-including three Stephen King book covers
(Christine / From a Buick 8 / Mile 81)-and two award-winning monographs:
Lost America: The Abandoned Roadside West (Amazon Link) in 2003 (Motorbooks International).
Out Of Print.
The classic that started a cult!
A stunningly photographed examination of the roadside icons that dot America’s landscape. Lost America celebrates the boom-to-bust towns, aircraft bone yards, and filling stations of days past that were sacrificed at the altars of speed and technology and relegated to windswept desert plains and abandoned fields. The eye-catching and memorable photography is complemented with a succinct text history that details the rise and fall of each subject. The result is an impressive tour of an America still standing, yet largely forgotten.
Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration (Amazon Link) in 2008 (Chronicle Books).
This 10×9 softcover book is 144 pages long, containing 115 excellent reproductions of Troy’s night images. Rounding out the project are essays on the derelict Byron Hot Springs Hotel, the abandoned desert roadside, decommissioned military installations, the abandoned Southern Pacific Train Station in Downtown Oakland, CA, and Aviation Warehouse, an aircraft boneyard in the high desert of Southern California. Winner “Best Photography Book” at the 2009 New York Book Fair.
Troy’s work has appeared in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Sweden and San Francisco. In 2010 and 2011 he appeared as a guest judge on the Singapore reality TV show The Big Shot (dead link).
The current craze over light painted night photography in abandoned places started at Lost America back in 1999. As a result, Troy’s low cost, high impact light painting techniques have been emulated all over the world. The “Lost America” body of work is a true original.
Light Painted Night Photography: The “Lost America” Technique (Amazon Link) in 2012 (Troy Paiva Kindle E-Book)
If you don’t have a kindle, I would suggest that you order the pdf directly from Troy here: Lost America
Light painting and night photography specialist Troy Paiva (AKA Lost America) has finally written a “How To” book. It explains in full detail his easy to learn techniques for creating elaborate studio-style lighting effects with a few simple flashlights and a single, pocket-sized strobe. The book demystifies LP/NP, so even a novice can create amazing images.
All the secrets of his working process, never revealed before; from light settings and gel types, to white-balance methodology and post-production techniques are revealed. Each of the 44 images gets the full treatment; not only full explanations of his lighting and exposure methodology, but also anecdotes on compositional strategy, waiting for the decisive moment and making the best of difficult working situations.
• The ultimate resource guide for getting started with the art and science of light painting and full moon-based night photography.
• Written by a photographer with over 20 years of experience on the leading edge of this complex and specialized type of work.
• 81 pages, with over 20,000 words.
• In-depth analysis of 44 zoomable images.
• Loaded with tips and tricks for accessing locations, working by moonlight vs. total darkness, manually focusing in the dark, time-exposure portraits, post-production techniques and many other subjects.
Tons of info, great photos, how-tos, walk-throughs etc etc. To all aspiring (and existing) night photographers, how can you NOT afford to buy this? No excuses – it’s LESS than ten dollars!!
This book is excellent both for novice night photographers and those with experience. Troy reveals many secrets that have taken him years of trial and error to discover. The book is well worth the price of admission, as it will jumpstart you on the road to successful night photography and provide novel ways of approaching many different subjects. If you already have some experience shooting at night, you will learn techniques that will give your images that extra edge. Highly recommend.
I really can see this becoming a must read for all photography students, even those not doing night photography–as there is a lot of sound knowledge that can transfer across a number of disciplines. Reallly good.
I would suggest that you order directly from Troy here: Lost America
This e-book contains over 60 full sized and zoomable light painted night images, shot in two separate aircraft graveyards, “The Secret Boneyard” and “Aviation Warehouse.”
50 of these images have never been shown before. These are not outtakes or stiffs I never bothered to do anything with. Half is a body of work from 2008 that I have only now been allowed to display publicly by the property owner. The others are a fresh set of A-list images shot in the summer of 2012.
These images will remain exclusive to this collection and will not be posted online.
The only place you will see this body of work is in this e-book!
This 82 page e-book also contains essays by Both Troy Paiva and Daniel Levis Keltner.
“The best gift for the photographer on your list this year is the new ebook “Boneyard” by Troy Paiva. Since most of us will never be able to see or get close to these aircraft, this book is the next best thing. It is full of evocative images of decaying airframes from 2 sites in the Mojave Desert. The images are amazing, and the essays by Troy and Daniel Levis Keltner are worth the price of admission alone. Troy writes both about his evolution as a photographer and aircraft aficionado, as well as the experiences of shooting in the boneyard, while Keltner places the images in a broader perspective. The book is a visual feast with a lot of learning to be done from the images.” –D. Evans