Thierry Cohen

In this haunting series, Thierry Cohen rids urban areas of their electric lights to reveal luminous celestial vistas.

Cities have got a lot of things going for them, but starry skies are not one of them. All those lights and the pollution they bring with them tarnish the star-studded nights the less populous parts of the world enjoy.

Photographer Thierry Cohen solves the problem, sorta, in his "Darkened Cities" photo series. His solution—to rid cityscapes of their electric lights and reintroduce the celestial vistas hidden away under the thick veil of pollutants–is a bit excessive, but the results are dazzling.

Cohen crisscrossed the globe in pursuit of his project. His itinerary matched large metropolises like Hong Kong and New York, with more deserted spots, like the Mojave and the Amazon, according to their latitudinal alignment. He photographed the cities by day to capture the silhouette of their skylines, then darkened them in post-production. He then dropped in the more vibrant skies he found in places like the Western Sahara behind blacked-out skyscrapers. The result is strange, to say the least, but beautiful, especially in those images depicting coastline cities, where supernovas and star clusters are reflected in the harbors below.

All images courtesy of Thierry Cohen.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  2. A woman wheels a suitcase on a platform toward a train.
    Transportation

    In Denmark's Train Dream, the Next Big City Is Only an Hour Away

    A newly revived rail plan could see Denmark’s trains catch up with its reputation for other types of green transit.

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. Life

    Are These the Last Vape Shops in San Francisco?

    The city wants to stop the rise of teen vaping by banning the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes. It could also mean the end of a particular kind of store.

  5. A photo of a refrigerator at a dollar store
    Equity

    To Save a Neighborhood, Ban a Dollar Store?

    Some local governments hope that more grocery stores will blossom in “food deserts” if the number of discount convenience retailers can be limited.

×