To illustrate the effect of atmospheric and light pollution, photographer Thierry Cohen has created a stunning collection of pictures that shows what the night skies above major cities would look like if the light is turned off.
Against the unnaturally darkened cityscapes of metropolises that are usually brilliantly illuminated, the star-strewn skies blaze with an iridescence that would outshine any artificial lighting.
To construct these breath-taking images, Cohen ventured to wild, deserted places—such as Atacama, the Mojave and the western Sahara—that are situated precisely on the same latitudes as his cities and are free from light pollution.
He would then superimpose the night skies captured at these locations—which are the exact same ones that would be appearing in the cities—upon images of darkened city skylines that he had actually shot in daylight.
Not only do these photographs show us the beautiful spectacles that city-dwellers miss out on every night, it also reflects on how the “city that never sleeps” disconnects us with the natural world.
Check out the photographer’s website for more of these fascinating night scenes.
Rio de Janeiro
[via Thierry Cohen]