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What NYC, Paris, and More Would Look Like Without Electricity

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For his Darkened Cities series, French artist Thierry Cohen pulled the plug on major metropolises—Shanghai, San Francisco, Paris (above)—by grafting architecture images to those of night skies unsullied by millions of incadescent bulbs, street lights, and neon signage. It's all an attempt to reveal unseen realities, a manifesto he says is integral to everything in his field. "Photography is a way to dream," he recently told Wired, "I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence."

To get the shot, Cohen overlays his night sky photos with those of the nine cities he's featuring. The architectural shots are actually daytime photos (hence clarity of details); he plays with exposure and filters to make them look like they were taken at night. He told Wired it's best when shooting on grey days, because intense shadowing can be problematic in post-production.

Anyway, more shots, below:

· What Cities Would Look Like if Lit Only by the Stars [Wired]
· All Artistry Posts [Curbed National]