I've been doing night photography/light painting in abandoned places since 1989 and have been running the Lost America Website since 1998. My How To Do Night Photography page has inspired countless budding night shooters/light painters all over the world. Visit my site yourself and come join the party.

Joe Reifer and I hold 3 day night photography/light painting workshops in a Mojave Desert Junkyard, several times a year. Visit the official Workshop page to learn all the details.

New Book!! by Lost America

My third book, a technique e-book this time, was released in May 2012. Downloadable through iBooks, amazon.com and Flatbooks, it's available for any computer and tablet. It's only $9.97, so go forth and consume! All 3 links are here.

In 2008 Chronicle Books published my second book of night photography-- Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. Order it from amazon here.

Unfortunately, my first book- Lost America is now out of print, but used copies are available.

Yes, of course I sell prints! All the info is here.

Thanks for all the testimonials, comments and favorites over the years.

Join this group and add your Joshua Tree images!
Joshua Trees. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

Photos of Lost America (16)

Lost America's favorite photos from other Flickr members (1,659)

Following (7,874)

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Testimonials (50)

  • view profile

    gothiccarsurban says:

    "Troy and his first book got me started on photographing the old forgotten subjects and have continued to inspire me. His gallery and website warrant repeat visits and are full of outstanding photos."

    September 17th, 2012

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    Matt Grans Photography says:

    "Anyone who tries their hand at light painting objects in the dead of night is merely paying homage to Troy. I most certainly do with my weak attempts at it. The thing I enjoy most about his continuing adventures in this field is that he's far from being in a rut and being stagnant. The man keeps evolving, using new techniques and various imagery, I enjoy visiting his page several times a week. Troy is truly inspirational! …he's a pretty cool guy too!"

    September 28th, 2011

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    Lightsize says:

    "I am so glad I came across your photostream. I was first introduced to your brilliant work by a book Night photography: Finding your way in the dark in which you were a guest contributor. Only later did I obtain the book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration.
    Wonderful and highly inspirational!"

    September 1st, 2011

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    michael alan goldberg says:

    "I've enjoyed your work for many, many years -- thanks for making the world a better (and more interesting looking) place!"

    December 11th, 2010

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    Daniel Llobera says:

    "Troy was one of the first photographers I came across when I first started photography two years ago. His style has directly influenced mine . My technical knowledge really increased after being inspired to go and try his techniques for myself.

    Troy's images are truly unique and special."

    August 30th, 2010

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    I Spy with my Idiosyncratic Eye ... says:

    "Whether creepy, beautiful or sad, Lost America's photos are regularly mindblowingly awesome and stunning. Many of these photos whetted our appetite and provided inspiration for our own Route 66, thanks for sharing them with us all!


    July 31st, 2010

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    Super WD-9 says:

    "Honestly, Troy has to be the best night-photographer ever. He is the single reason that I have decided to try long exposure shots. I didn't even know what a gel filter was, or that such a thing even existed, untill I visited his photostream. Not to mention all the cool abandoned places he's visited. Keep up the great work!"

    March 2nd, 2010

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    Jonathan Ouellette photography says:

    "Cant stress enough how much i am inspired by your photography, you have taught me many awesome techniques and i cant honestly say you are one of the most creative and inspiring photographers i have come across, Favourite part of your photography would have to be the places you take these pictures, the old planes and cars simply amazing, thanks so much for sharing your pictures and experience with us lowly photographers. Cheers

    December 17th, 2009

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    ChainbreakR says:

    "The best part about Troy's work is that he is willing to share his technique with the world. His transparency and helpfulness has created an entire genre of photography which, to me, is the most impressive achievement in art."

    October 7th, 2009

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    catfan552000 says:

    "I've followed Troys work since the early days of Lost America. I've always been impressed with his imagination, and his determination to get a shot just right."

    September 19th, 2009

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    Pro Photo Photography says:

    "Amazing work, thank you for sharing."

    August 7th, 2009

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    Vincze Miklós [grofjardanhazy] says:

    "I think, he's simply the best photographer in the world, and the Master Of Night Photography. I promise, I can learn a lot from his photos!"

    May 13th, 2009

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    Notley says:

    "Lost America presents a unique vision of the American West in his haunting photos. His lonely images are ready made for any kind of narrative the viewer desires. Brilliant."

    April 24th, 2009

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    WAT-Photography says:

    "cet univers et juste à couper le soufle, irréel, figé, mystérieux. Bravo un stream époustouflant !!!"

    April 19th, 2009

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    katianabanana says:

    "Troy's work is superb! Abandoned artifacts, cars and places come to life with creative approach. With all of his valuable information, he's inspired me to play with night photography and light painting."

    January 18th, 2009

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    Anthony Citrano says:

    "Troy's night photography is a wondrous, touching, color-soaked time machine trip. Thanks man, keep it up."

    January 21st, 2009

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    Geofferino says:

    "Probably the most inspirational set of photos I've come across on Flickr. I get lost in Steinbeck Country every time I look at the desert sets."

    October 10th, 2008

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    old hack and friends says:

    "I'm honored"

    September 9th, 2008

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     www.mariorubio.com  says:

    "The best night photographer I've ever met.
    El mejor fotógrafo nocturno que he conocido.
    En España creas escuela amigo!
    You have many supporters in Spain!"

    September 2nd, 2008

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    kruhme says:

    "Du hast eine tolle Atmosfäre für deinen Bildern, sind super."

    August 20th, 2008

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    LightRecording says:

    "Troy is a master of Night Photography. He is my hero and have learned so much from his work. He brings old and forgotten subjects back to life.
    I love his use of color. He is one to watch for sure.



    July 13th, 2008

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    loungelistener says:

    "There's not much I can say about Troy that hasn't been boundlessly (and better) said already before me. What I can say is that his photos are like being a kid on Christmas. Excitedly you unwrap it, finding joy inside.

    If I can someday achieve just a few night shots with the drama and excitement of his, I'll be darned happy."

    July 3rd, 2008

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    Studio 950 says:

    "In the dusty desolation of the American west the ghosts of once shining dreams still haunt the barren landscapes. Troy Paiva gives a voice to those ghosts, infusing them with life for a glorious moment and then capturing that moment forever.
    The sound of those ghostly voices emanating from Troy's work lifts us from our earthly bonds and transports us to a place we always knew was there, but never had the map to find it. That place is called Lost America and each of us has a passport to enter thanks to these truly uplifting, inspiring and wondrous images."

    May 12th, 2008

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    KeithMokris says:

    "Troy takes phenomenal photographs. I really don't know how he does it! His ability to compose shots and add color to them brings the dead to life. Its such a unique experience clicking through his photos and seeing desolate scenes breathe and move. He should be proud of his work. Every one of his shots really shows his dedication, patience, and passion!"

    April 29th, 2008

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    Sebastian T. says:

    "Thanks for your great work over the years, you're an inspiration."

    April 28th, 2008

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    Pierre Contant says:

    "Troy’s work has inspired me (and many others) to explore light painting. He has taught me a whole new dimension in the world of lighting and photography. I am forever thankful for having discovered Lost America. Thank you!"

    April 25th, 2008

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    JibberJaber says:

    "An inspiration to myself and many others. Troy's photos really make you want to just go out there and "try it too"."

    March 23rd, 2008

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    Noel Kerns says:

    "Not that Troy needs any more endorsements, least of all from someone as new to night photography as I am. I just wanted to say what an inspiration he has been to me, as he has been for so many others too, of course. I was completely out of photography, saw one of his images one day and BAM...I was simultaneously hooked and inspired, and I have been ever since.

    There are lots of pretenders out there, but Troy is the original genuine article. His night work, to my mind, stands above all others and continues to impress his many fans in new ways each and every day."

    March 12th, 2008

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    art2promo says:

    "Some of the most compelling and haunting images of all time!"

    February 25th, 2008

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    TheCabaal says:

    "Amazing looking photos, just makes you want to revisit the past and view it all in a different way"

    February 21st, 2008

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    Panos Voudouris says:

    "From the bizarre to the downright alien, these photos are simply amazing!"

    February 12th, 2008

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    spiralmunk says:

    "He has the weirding way."

    January 18th, 2008

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    [Nocturne] says:

    "The main reason i got in to night photography was because of lost america the book, i love abandoned houses and places. troy really brings them to life and make them beautiful with light. i've bin doing night photography for a year or two now and i have influcenced other to do it also. it's a fine art and troy is easily a veteran. keep up the amazing work. lets see some more published :)


    January 14th, 2008

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    MichaelWalton says:

    "My friend showed me your website, and it inspired me so much, I now love light painting and have done a light painting assignment for college, Thanks alot for being so helpful!"

    January 10th, 2008

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    jessica_shannon says:

    "What an inspiration you are, Mr. Paiva!"

    January 7th, 2008

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    Andreas Reinhold says:

    "Any time my friends ask me "Why do you go out at night shooting pictures? Isn't it too dark?", I just give them a link to Troy's photostream. Their reactions are always the same: "Wow!".

    His pictures are full of inspiration for me and I could spent days, just watching his pictures. If you're into night photography, there's no way not to like his work."

    December 14th, 2007

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    rpriegu says:

    "Lugares y cosas abandonadas vuelven a ser nuevas otra vez por medio del arte de Troy Paiva. Se podría decir que Troy nos trae recuerdos del pasado y nos los presenta de una manera tan atractiva e innovadora que les asegura un lugar en nuestra memoria y con ello un pasaje al futuro. Un talento cuya galería (definitivamente una de las mejores de Flickr) merece ser visitada una y otra vez.


    Places and abandoned things are new once again, through the art of Troy Paiva. It would be able to say that Troy brings us memories of the past and presents them in a way so attractive and innovative that assures them place in our memory and with it a passage to the future.
    A talent whose gallery (absolutely one of the bests of Flickr) deserves to be visited again and again."

    December 20th, 2007

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    TunnelBug says:

    "It goes without saying that Troy is a master of night photography. He's a great guy, fun to shoot with, and you will learn a lot from his photography. Rumor is he has a book coming out too, and I can say with confidence that it will be incredible."

    August 19th, 2007

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    mijori says:

    "I came by Troy's art by blogging about some of the cars he captures so effectively. He has also generously allowed the republishing of his work on occasion when the topic is a worthy one. It is easy to write about a subject when the art itself is so well conceived..

    When you think he has a fixed style then he sucker punches you with something fresh and new. Definitely my favorite flickr favorite and a gentleman too. Keep up the great work and good luck."

    July 15th, 2007

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    craigdanielosbourne says:

    "i dont really know lost america that well, however his images always amazes me and he is the master of light painting, keep it up mate !"

    May 3rd, 2007

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    eyetwist says:

    "been following troy's brilliant work for years, always checking for desert road trip updates on his website. good to see him here on flickr."

    March 2nd, 2007

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    Danny Fontaine says:

    "Gotta concur. Troy got me into night photography and replied to my emails when I started out. Thanks a million."

    January 10th, 2007

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    ::emekonnen:Sniper TM:: says:

    "When I first found Lost America, I was looking for night photography techniques. Once I stumbled through his website I got hooked to it- I now spend two to three days a week in his site. “Mesmerising”"

    January 5th, 2007

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    oybay© says:

    "Of all the pics I see on Flickr, Lost America definitely has it's pulse on something special. Every single shot is a jawdropper. Can't say that about too many others. Special stuff. I look forward to every post!"

    January 3rd, 2007

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    rgbwe.de says:

    "I'm one of his greatest fans. I would like to make a trip to america that he involves me in that places and his special technique. He is a great artist. Give us more."

    December 29th, 2006

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    James Thomas Rowe says:

    "He's the reason i spend my nights crawling about with a flash.
    A truly awesome Photographer"

    September 27th, 2006

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    Wil Perry Photography says:

    "Well, what can I say? The reason I got into photography was because of troy. I bought his book and was hooked on the first page. The pictures are haunting and I look at some of them for hours. This is a talent in the photography world. His pictures remind me of a place in my life a long time ago. The technique he uses is different and alluring. No wonder his book sold out. If you don't have it, get it!"

    September 13th, 2006

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    4PIZON says:

    "A testimonial for Troy? Man, the guy is a legend ! If you don't know this, you need his book (sorry Troy, tried to put a link here, no html, damn!)! And just where have you been? On a more serious note, he's a great guy with an awesome sense of humor, and a great teacher. Personally, an instant friend ! Great guy to shoot with and I hope to learn more. Thanks man!!


    July 28th, 2006

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    Annene von Durchgerockt says:

    "The technique is so romantic and seductive, but take away the pretty colors and these photos are epic representations of solitude and the passion that exists between humans and the environments they construct."

    June 28th, 2006

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    Andy Frazer says:

    "Lost America is the guy who got me hooked on night photography. Take a look at his website; you'll be blown away.

    He also has a nice cat."

    November 19th, 2005

Troy Paiva
November 2005
NorCal, USA
Photography / Writing / Illustration / Design
Lost America