Stunning pictures imagine the starry night skies over cities after a global blackout

Illustration for article titled Stunning pictures imagine the starry night skies over cities after a global blackout

Thierry Cohen imagines the gorgeous side of a Revolution-style blackout with his pictures of cities that have gone completely dark. When the lights go out, brilliant stars are visible over New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro.

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Cohen doesn't merely stick a random sky over the cities in his pictures; he travels to regions at roughly the same latitude where the stars are visible, capturing the same sky that likely traveled over the city in question just a few hours before. It's a beautiful commentary on light pollution, but there is an apocalyptic tone to his pieces. Without the lights on, these bustling cities seem empty, as if all human life has fled.

You can see more pieces from Cohen's Darkened Cities series at Galerie Esther Woerdehoff and Le Journal de la Photographie.

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Darkened Cities [Galerie Esther Woerdehoff via It's Okay to be Smart]

Illustration for article titled Stunning pictures imagine the starry night skies over cities after a global blackout
Illustration for article titled Stunning pictures imagine the starry night skies over cities after a global blackout

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DISCUSSION

Back when the Northridge earthquake struck, we were hit pretty bad. All the lights for miles around went out and when I went outside to check on the gas lines I was amazed by the sight of the night sky crowded with stars. But, impressive as it was, it didn't look anything like these images. The human eye is just not going to pick up gas clouds and distant galactic swirls no matter how dark it gets. These are very pretty, but not at all real.