What would the night sky be if lights went out?

Thierry Cohen began his professional career in 1985 and is seen as one of the pioneers of digital photography. Cohen currently lives and works in Paris. Since 2010 he 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 how they would look if we could see the stars.

According to the Danziger Gallery, which represents Cohen in the United States:

Cohen’s method is original and precise…he 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. 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. 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. 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.

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