The Art of Darkness

Darkened Cities

April 16th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Paris

French photographer Thierry Cohen is concerned that city dwellers never experience the starry sky visible in truly dark conditions, so he’s done a photo series to show people what they’re missing. His technique is interesting: He takes photos of cityscapes, carefully records the time, angle, latitude and longitude of each shot, then goes to remote areas at corresponding latitudes and takes nighttime photos of the sky. He superimposes the images to show what the cities would see if all of their lights went out.

The photos are supposed to be a commentary on light pollution, but I find them surreal and haunting in a way that has nothing to do with astronomy. There’s a post-apocalyptic, “not even any humans to build campfires” quality to them that’s really rather eerie.

Smithsonian Magazine has an article about the project with more photos, and there are additional photos here.

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