thierry-cohen

10

Photographer Imagines What World Cities Would Look Like Without Lights

French photographer Thierry Cohen wants to show you what the cities might look like if they went dark on a clear day, and if the photographer focused on bringing out the stars. His project Darkened Cities shows recognizable cityscapes in darkness under the night sky.

To create the images, Cohen first traveled to locations that are untainted by the light pollution of large urban areas, capturing beautiful night shots of the Milky Way floating overhead.

He then combined these photographs with manipulated photographs of various cities (e.g. San Francisco, New York City, Tokyo, Rio de Janerio) to complete the effect.

10

10 Stunning Cityscapes Without Light Pollution

There are many advantages to city life, from conveniences like 24-hour delis and reliable public transportation to all of the culture that’s right at our fingertips. But there’s one thing that’s sadly missing from our lives starry skies. In Thierry Cohen’s thought-provoking series Darkened Cities, we get to see what various cityscapes worldwide would look like minus all of the light pollution.

The Paris-based photographer’s work is very precise; the skies that he superimposes into his photos are taken from locations that are situated on the same latitude as the original cities, and shot at the same angle. The resulting images are beautiful. Click through to see what some of the world’s brightest cities look like when the lights are off and the stars come out to play.

  1. Hong Kong, China
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  4. São Paulo, Brazil
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Tokyo, Japan
  7. Paris, France
  8. Manhattan, New York
  9. Ground Zero, New York
  10. Shanghai, China

source

10

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen

Artist Thierry 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.

In Thierry Cohen’s series, Darkened Cities, we think we see bright night skies over cities. Very traditional, very poetical. Actually, what we’re seeing is the opposite. These skies are an indictment and a lament. These are the skies that we don’t see. They are also extremely clever photography, in which highly skilled execution provides rich layers of meaning.

                                                        &

2

Thierry Cohen thought of an ingenious way to show what the night sky would look like without light pollution. 

He starts by photographing the stars above less populated areas that fall on the same latitudes. He then replaces the polluted skies above the cities with pristine views of what they could be seeing every night. 

Photos Depict The Unpolluted Night Sky Above Major Cities

via The New York Times

9

‘Rio de Janeiro’
'Tokyo’
'Shanghai’
'Hong Kong’
'New York’
'San Francisco’
'Paris’
'São Paulo’
'Los Angeles' 

“Cohen’s method is original and precise and harkens back to the methodologies employed by early 19th century photographers like Gustave Le Grey.  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.” - Danziger Gallery

Darkened Cities' by Thierry Cohen

(Via Beautiful Decay)

5

Thierry Cohen (b.1963, France) - Darkened Cities

Thierry Cohen has been a professional photographer since 1985 and from the end of the 80s, a pioneer in the use of digital techniques. Since 2006, he has devoted most of his time to his personal work. Since 2010, from megacities to deserts, he has mainly worked to achieve “Darkened Cities”, giving back stars to cities for the viewer and raising public awareness to the problem of light pollution. His works are held in private and public collections. Thierry Cohen lives and works in Paris.

[more Thierry Cohen]

5

Currently based out of Paris, France, Thierry Cohen is considered a pioneer in digital photography and technique since beginning his career in the mid-1980′s. In Cohen’s newest series, “Darkened Cities”, he photographs cityscapes to reveal the night sky that is impossible to see due to modern light pollution. The truth is…these images are actually unattainable and do not exist.

Cohen traveled to remote rural locations (the Atacama, the Mojave Desert, the Western Sahara) that precisely shared the same latitude as the cities that he selected for his series to take photos of the clear night sky. He, then, superimposed the stars with their respective darkened cityscapes in order to get the most accurate image of what the night sky would look like. (via)

6

Darkened Cities | Thierry Cohen | Via

At first glance, these images seem to be of fantastic nightscapes taken from some of the most celebrated cities in the world. They are that, but much more, both a poetic exploration by Cohen and a message about  these cities and how their  light and atmospheric pollution blocks the view of the skies above. 

For centuries the stars have guided human existence, whether explored through the study of our complex universe, or more artistically in poetry, painting, music and most definitely in photography. The night calls to us and we feel deeply moved by the stars and their trajectory across the sky. Wishes are made on them, sometimes we say our destiny is written in them, songs penned about them, and yes, of course, we dream of catching one or travelling on one. We look to the stars for guidance and inspiration. 

2

What do you feel when you think of being in the dark? Afraid? Uncertain? Alone?

Thierry Cohen offers another perspective of darkness in this photo series that strips major cities of all their lights. So the next time you think of the dark, think of also being able to see the stars. Think of being still, quiet. Think of the many other people, all over the world, who might know that darkness too.

7

See “The City That Never Sleeps” (and other always-awake metropolises) get star treatment in Darkened Cities by Paris-based photographer Thierry Cohen.

Using a composite technique pioneered in the nineteenth century by Gustave Le Gray, Cohen merges cityscapes with starscapes from places free from light pollution situated on precisely the same latitude.

The resulting images convey a powerful message. Writes Francis Hodgson

In Thierry Cohen’s series, Darkened Cities, we think we see bright night skies over cities. Very traditional, very poetical. Actually, what we’re seeing is the opposite. These skies are an indictment and a lament. These are the skies that we don’t see.

There is an urban mythology which is already old, in which the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. All roads lead to Rome, we were told. Cohen is telling us the opposite. It is impossible not to read these pictures the way the artist wants them read: cold, cold cities below, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.