Central London isn’t the best place for stargazing. Light pollution creates a coloured hue which makes it harder to see the stars.

But a new film, created by Nicholas Buer, helps to show what London could look like at night without the glow of street lamps, office buildings, advertising and much more affecting the view.

Or as Blackout City tantalisingly puts it “if the lights were to be switched off…”

The project has been a year in the making.

Buer, a landscape/night sky photographer, said: “I started shooting this project back in August 2013 and have been slowly gathering footage when conditions were right. Although each shot in this film is a composite, all footage is real.

“The city shots were captured during the day and processed to look like night and the night sky shots were captured from dark locations around the South of England to ensure that the stars are astronomically correct for the latitude of London.”

London skyline showing City Hall and The Shard
(Nicholas Buer/via Vimeo)

The work pays off to creates a beautiful video of London under a starry sky. But the idea was inspired not by London, but Los Angeles in the US.

“I first got the idea for the film when I read an article about a blackout in LA in 1994,” said Buer. “People called 911 reporting these strange clouds floating in the sky. Those clouds were in fact the Milky Way. It made me think about how the lights from cities have made many of us lose our connection to the night sky.”

Nicholas is hoping to recreate the video for other cities across the world and to inspire people to get out of the city and appreciate dark skies where the stars really do twinkle.

“The film’s agenda could not be more simple,” he said. “To inspire people to get away from the city lights, go somewhere quiet on a star-filled night and simply look up.”

Get in touch with Buer to find out more via either his website or Facebook.