Troy Paiva is a commercial artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. For his entire adult life he has been an abandonment explorer and back-roads wanderer, especially at night. Sneaking around in junkyards and dead roadside towns in the middle of the night, he was doing Urban Exploration years before the term even existed.
In the late 80’s, he sat in on a few night photography classes and when the subject of light-painting came up briefly, he had a revelation. Here were techniques that were perfect to capture the atmosphere and mystery of these modern ghost towns. The time-exposures allow the stars to spiral in space and the clouds to smear ethereally across the sky. Through the 90s he developed and perfected his technique of simple, yet effective, hand-held lighting. Since 1998 lostamerica.com has been online in one form or another. Over the past 9 years his low cost / high impact lighting techniques have been implemented by amateur and professional photographers all over the world.
Many of the places and objects in these photos are already gone; bulldozed, burned down, subdivided, melted for scrap or just vanished under the shifting desert sand.