In Search of Star-Studded Skies

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” ~ Helen Keller

The Architizer starts this very interesting conversation:

“Cities have got a lot of things going for them, but starry skies are not one of them. All those lights and the pollution they bring with them tarnish the star-studded nights the less populous parts of the world enjoys. Photographer Thierry Cohen solves the problem, sorta, in his “Darkened Cities” photo series. His solution—to rid cityscapes of their electric lights and reintroduce the celestial vistas hidden away under the thick veil of pollutants–is a bit excessive, but the results are dazzling.”


A friend at work notes: I grew up in New Mexico, in a neighborhood which had very little light pollution at the time (sadly, it’s succumbed to urban sprawl as well).  The night skies were crystal clear and I could see an amazing expanse of stars.  But the Milky Way was not visible like in any photo.

You had to use long exposures and high-ISO film to get that (and to avoid getting a big streaky blur you also needed a barn door tracker or similar, but this was back when you were limited by physical film ISO and couldn’t just crank the sensor up to ISO 12800 or whatever).

Still, looking at these pictures I can’t help but think: No wonder our ancestors attributed divinity and supernatural powers to the stars. These pictures are amazing.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Art, Everyday Science, Photograph, teachers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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