Today we are tipping our hats to the other side of the light spectrum. Michael Castro (aka Kaotical) uses urban photography as a study of life’s darker moments, of the stories that happen at night, of vacant spaces typically void of natural light. Where the movement of a city leaves the remains of a moment, Castro’s camera captures a story — possibly a ghost story.

Most of the time, the streets of Los Angeles after dark act as his canvas. Having picked up photography merely a year ago, we are mind-blown by Castro’s talent. His style has a dangerous vibe to it, making you feel like you are sneaking around way past your curfew.

He turns the desolate into something poetic. His photography takes an otherwise haunting subject and makes it feel familiar. Browsing through his Instagram account feels a bit like each photograph is challenging the viewer to confront their fears.

His work often features seemingly stray belongings—bottles and cans, dolls, basketballs, a rocking horse—in seemingly abandoned locations, or individuals disguised in a variety of masks. Like a stocky man donning Marvel’s Venom mask in front of the neon lights of a dry cleaner, with the caption: “Sucks when ur evil villain outfit is at the cleaner’s and it just closed.”

There’s an air of mystery to his subjects, which is only heightened by their surroundings and the darker color palettes of his exposures.

Castro has a knack for capturing the world that lives in shadows, in allies, among graffiti-ridden ruins where we otherwise might not dare to look. We are really excited to see where his talents take him and where his vision takes us.

(Follow him on Instagram!)