Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: "Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration"

Many night photographers credit Troy Paiva’s light painting work as their introduction to night photography. Troy has been shooting abandoned towns and salvage yards under moon-lit skies for over nineteen years. After building a large following of admirers through his website Lost America: The Abandoned Roadside West he published his first book, Lost America: The Abandoned Roadside West, in 2003. Although this book filled a big void in the world of color photography books, and it included great textual descriptions of his explorations in the desert, many readers felt that the print quality did not do justice to Troy’s photographs.

Since 2003, Troy has switched from film to digital photography. Fueled by the new possibilities of the digital medium, and the great reception to his new work on the photo-sharing site, Troy released his second book Nignt Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration in mid-2008.

When I interviewed Troy in 2003 for my short documentary film Night of the Living Photographers, he told me that part of his fascination with abandoned locations was the reality that many of them ceased to exist soon after he visited them. We talked about how we were heading to a point where all of the good photo locations would be gone someday. Fortunately, photo-sharing sites such as Flickr have opened up the possibility of exploring many new, previously-unknown locations thanks to new limitless social networks. Many of those “new” locations are featured in this book.

Readers of Troy’s Flickr site Lost_America, will already be familiar with most of the photographs in Night Vision: automobile wrecking yards, abandoned resort hotels, abandoned train stations and Naval shipyards and, everyone’s favorite, airplane salvage yards. If you’re wondering, “Should I buy the book when the photographs are already online?” The answer is “yes”. Far superior to the first book, the print quality of Night Vision is excellent. The photographs are larger, and immaculately printed on a black background. Although Night Vision does not include the long writing that was present in the first book, each photograph includes informative captions.

If you already own Lost America, then you’ll be very impressed with Nignt Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. If you don’t own any of Paiva’s books, yet; then start with the second book.

BTW, Lost America
is out of print. Remaining copies are going for as high as $116 on Amazon Marketplace.


Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Andy ,i have long been haunted by your pictures ,they are just amazing & inspiring,and this blog is great for the night photography aficionado.I just add this blog and your website to the links in my blog to come back.Thanks

12:46 PM  

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