Stunning Photos of Cities 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, which we spotted thanks to Visual News, 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, but there’s something apocalyptic about them too — especially shots of New York City, which recall photos of Lower Manhattan in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 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.

© Thierry Cohen, São Paulo 23° 33′ 22” S 2011-06-05 Lst 11:44, courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff