15 Of The World’s Greatest Cities Lit Only By The Stars

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Today, the biggest cities of the world are well-lit at night (except for one), and it’s become increasingly hard to see stars at night through light and air pollution.

In this series of photos, photographer Thierry Cohen creates stunning compositions of what the skies would look like in the biggest cities of the world if they were pitch dark at night.

Paris

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 1. Paris

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 14. Paris

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 15. 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.

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Tokyo

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 13. Tokyo

Rio

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 2. Rio

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.

San Francisco

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 3. 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.

The Empire State Building, New York City

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 4. 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

Los Angeles

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 5. Los Angeles

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 12. 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.

São Paulo

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 6. So 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.

Shanghai

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 7. 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.

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 16. Shanghai

The Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 8. The Brooklyn Bridge New York City

So tonight, Viralscape readers, live a little.

Hong Kong

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 9. Hong Kong

Go outside and take a look.

Viralscape Cities Without Lights - 10. Hong Kong

You might just live your life a little differently.

Share these dazzling photos with all your friends. It might change their perspective of the world.

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