What Major World Cities Look Like at Night, Minus the Light Pollution
French photographer Thierry Cohen worries about city dwellers not being able to see the starry sky. With light and air pollution plaguing urban areas, it is not as if residents can look up from their streets and roof decks to spot constellations and shooting stars. So, what effect does this have? Cohen fears, as he recently told the New York Times, that the hazy view has spawned a breed of urbanite, sheltered by his and her manmade environs, that “forgets and no longer understands nature.”
The photographer crisscrossed the globe photographing cityscapes by day—when cars’ head and taillights and lights shining from the windows of buildings were not a distraction. At each location, Cohen diligently recorded the time, angle, latitude and longitude of the shot. Then, he journeyed to remote deserts and plains at corresponding latitudes, where he pointed his lens to the night sky. Through his own digital photography wizardry, Cohen created seamless composites of his city and skyscapes. Continue reading and see photos of darkened New York, Paris, Tokyo and more at Smithsonian.com.
Photo: Rio de Janeiro 22° 56′ 42″ S 2011-06-04 Lst 12:34. © Thierry Cohen