Night Photographer Troy Paiva.
1. Name / occupation / location:
Troy Paiva AKA Lost America / Artist / NorCal
2. How long have you been doing what you’re doing?
Night photography, since 1989, but I’ve been a working artist my whole life.
3. What was your last ‘day’ job (or what is your current day job)?
I was a toy designer / staff artist / illustrator / project manager for Galoob Toys, mainly on the Micro Machine line. We were bought out and all laid off in 1999. I’ve freelanced (ie: struggled) ever since.
Surreality TV © Troy Paiva
4. Favorite writer / artist / photographer?
Stephen King / DaVinci / Roger Deakins. I’d probably have 3 different names for you tomorrow, and the next day.
5. Who or what inspires you to create?
I have no idea where creativity comes from. I think the less thought given to this kind of thing, the better your art is.
6. Describe your last DIY project:
I had 2 new amazing locations open up to me this winter and I’ve been shooting the hell out of both of them for the last couple of full moons.
Shiny Side Down © Troy Paiva
7. Decade you wish you could visit?
The 1970s, but with modern camera and lighting gear, so I could shoot all the drive in theaters and roadside towns before they all got bulldozed.
8. A place you’ve visited that was almost too beautiful to capture?
I’m blanking on this, I’m a guy that finds junkyards and rotten decaying buildings beautiful, so my interpretation of beauty is skewed.
9. Describe your pre-work ritual:
It usually involves a long drive across the desert in the middle of the night listening to ’70s prog/art rock.
10. An image you’ve created that is nearest and dearest to you:
I shot these back in 1990. I think these images and several other lighting and exposure experiments I was doing from back then were like a proof of concept for a new way to shoot these kinds of sites. Now the abandoned/night/lit with flashlights aesthetic is fairly common, but back then it was pretty screwy.
DC-8 and 880 © Troy Paiva
I 8 Puppies © Troy Paiva
11. Something you care deeply about:
My wife. I love her.
12. Current project you are working on:
Gearing up for my Spring Night Photography and Light Painting workshop. I rent a junkyard / movie prop storage yard and lock in a small group of photographers to shoot until 2AM for 3 nights. It’s probably the weirdest photo workshop on earth, but I have a 50% return customer rate. I’ve become very absorbed with creating some oil paintings lately too.
13. Goal for the future:
Get my work seen by more people that make decisions in the Fine Art world.
Backstage Pass © Troy Paiva
Troy’s incredible night photography is a visual reminder that there is beauty in EVERYTHING; you just have to shed some light on it. ;) You can view more of Troy’s work on his <a href=”http://lostamerica.com/”>website</a> and join one of his <a href=”http://lostamerica.com/night-photography-workshop/”>workshops</a> to learn how to lightpaint from the master himself.
Muscular Atrophy © Troy Paiva