Stunning Film Shows How London's Night Sky Would Look During A Blackout

What if all of the lights in the South East of England suddenly went out, eliminating the light pollution that blocks the stars from London's view? This fantastical timelapse video imagines just that, pouring oceans of stars into the London sky.

Nicholas Buer explains on Vimeo how he created Blackout City and the work he did to ensure a somewhat accurate vision of London's hidden night sky:

I started shooting this project back in August 2013 and have been slowly gathering footage when conditions were right. Although each shot in this film is a composite, all footage is real. The city shots were captured during the day and processed to look like night and the night sky shots were captured from dark locations around the South of England to ensure that the stars are astronomically correct for the latitude of London. I have also processed the astro shots to be more sympathetic to what the naked eye would see in terms of saturation and detail. The internet is saturated with well-processed images of the Milky Way that show phenomenal colour that are the result of fantastic low light DSLR technology. Don't get me wrong I love these images, I am one of the people who endeavours to create them! But in reality the Milky Way does not look like this; so in order to make this film more believable I have chosen to process the shots this way.


His reasons of taking on the project are also pretty amusing:

I first got the idea for the film when I read an article about a blackout in LA in 1994 where people called 911 reporting these strange clouds floating in the sky, those clouds where in fact the Milky Way. It made me think about how the lights from cities have made many of us lose our connection to the night sky. We live in a fast paced man-made world whereby it is all too easy for us to become disconnected from the natural world around us, isolated from what is actually real. There are many other aspects of the human condition that this film could touch upon which could make its' intentions appear somewhat complicated, but is essence the film's agenda could not be more simple; to inspire people to get away from the city lights, go somewhere quiet on a star-filled night and simply look up.

We've also seen still photographic riffs on this idea with Thierry Cohen's images of different cities during a global blackout.

[via Vimeo Staff Picks]


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"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!"

Ralph Waldo Emerson


"I think they would go mad instead."

—John W. Campbell