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Troy Paiva

Troy Paiva captures the disappearing man-made world with his evocative and exotic night-photography technique. The time-exposures capture the surreal night sky of circling stars and blurred, fast-moving clouds while his light-painting techniques bring these abandoned places back to life with washes of vibrant color. In 2003, Paiva’s first book, Lost America, was published by Motorbooks International to critical acclaim. A second book of his night photography Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration was released by Chronicle Books in July 2008. His work has also appeared in numerous publications, including Automobile, Hot Rod, and Popular Photography and on many CD and book covers.



Troy Paiva always works with a tripod and generally tries several different lighting schemes in an image made with identical framing. His light painting technique is an exacting process and effects can vary greatly from one frame to the next. For an end result with seamless lighting, he will sometimes blend two or more frames in post-production. In this image, a junkyard car is brought to life with a red-gelled flashlight aimed at the car taillights and a pop of purple and green-gelled strobe through the car’s front windshield.

© Troy Paiva
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Lens: 12 - 24mm, 1:4 zoom at widest setting, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: About 2 minutes

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