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03 - San Franscisco

It’s Amazing How Beautiful These Famous Cities Would Look Without Any Lights at Night

Dec 3 • Unbelievable • 9582 Views • No Comments

The results are stunning.

Since 2010 Thierry Cohen has devoted himself to a single project – “Villes Enteintes” (Darkened Cities) – which depicts the major cities of the world as they would appear at night without light pollution, or in more poetic terms: how they would look if we could see the stars.

1. Paris

01 - Paris

Cohen photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure.

2. Rio de Janiero

02 - Rio de Janeiro

As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution.

3. San Francisco

03 - San Franscisco

By noting the precise latitude and angle of his cityscape, Cohen is able to track the earth’s rotation to places of atmospheric clarity like the Mojave, the Sahara, and the Atacama desert.

4. Empire State Building, New York City

04 - The Empire State Building New York City

There he sets up his camera to record what is lost to modern urban dwellers.Compositing the two images, Cohen creates a single new image full of resonance and nuance.

5. Los Angeles

05 - Los Angeles


The work is both political and spiritual questioning not only what we are doing to the planet but drawing unexpected connections between disparate locations.

6. Sao Paolo

06 - Sao Paulo

Equally importantly it asks: what do we miss by obscuring the visibility of stars? As the world’s population becomes increasingly urban, there is a disjunction with the natural world which both Cohen and science posit causes both physical and psychological harm.

7. Shanghai

07 - Shanghai

Cities that never sleep are made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Cohen’s photographs attempt to restore our vision, and in beautifully crafted prints and images offer the viewer a possibility – to re-connect us to the infinite energy of the stars.

8. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

08 - The Brooklyn Bridge New York City

9. Hong Kong

09 - Hong Kong

10. Hong Kong

10 - Hong Kong

11. Los Angeles

11 - Los Angeles

12. Tokyo

12 - Tokyo

13. Paris

13 - Paris

14. Paris

14 - Paris

15. Shanghai

15 - Shanghai



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