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Amazing Death Valley Dreamlapse

Although much of our work in Water Currents focuses on our watery world, we sometimes look at the absence of water, and what that means for human beings and the other species we are privileged to share the planet with. Few places say “absence of water” more than Death Valley, the national park that straddles California and Nevada.

From the National Park Service:

In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.

This week, Gavin Heffernan of Sunchaser Pictures emailed to let us know that his crew just finished a new “Death Valley Dreamlapse” short, “a crazy day and night of timelapsing at the epic Eureka Dunes.
Though we almost froze, we got some amazing stars, Geminid meteors, star trails, planets, and even a UFO :),” he wrote.death valley

“Armed only with boxed wine, firewood, and our DSLRs, we had to conquer epic climbs, sand roads with the 4×4 Jeep, and the occasional UFO,” Heffernan wrote on Vimeo. “But it was all worth it when the skies cleared and showed us an incredible galactic palette! Star Trails shot at 25 sec exposures. No special effects used, just the rotation of the earth’s axis.”

We love the piece, and feel it highlights some of the beauty that abounds even in the most parched landscapes, if we stop to watch and reflect.


  1. Pamela
    US, VA
    May 8, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Stunning, well synced to the score too. Thank you.

  2. kamy mojallal
    February 3, 2013, 1:31 am

    Amazing! very very good job. tanks

  3. James Donald
    New Brunswick, Canada
    February 2, 2013, 7:37 am

    Does anyone know how the blurring star trail sequences were made. I can do star trail photos and timelapse video but can’t get my head around how this sequence of the star trails being created is done.

  4. Joyelle Jewell
    New York
    February 1, 2013, 10:24 pm

    This is stunning; thank you!

  5. mark anthony sulit
    February 1, 2013, 9:53 pm


  6. mark anthony sulit
    February 1, 2013, 9:49 pm

    superb……good job welll done

  7. Cee Advincula
    January 31, 2013, 7:54 pm

    Amazing! Very well done, quiet, serene and immensely powerful video. The beauty of the piece touched, moved and inspired me. Thanks

  8. Safiyah
    United States
    January 31, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Was the three green and orange lights the “UFO”?

  9. Hassan Khorasani
    Belfast, northern Ireland
    January 31, 2013, 4:43 am

    This IS amazing, excellent job,let’s have more of this

  10. Darlene Matthews
    So Cal, USA
    January 31, 2013, 1:25 am

    very nice!

  11. Zvardon
    January 31, 2013, 1:16 am

    Tres bien fait calme et puissant

    Very well done quiet and powerful

  12. Mark Pommier
    United States
    January 28, 2013, 11:51 am

    Totally breathtaking! I love the score also! I was able to discern the Andromeda Galaxy in the star sequences.

  13. Carolina Ospina
    January 28, 2013, 10:31 am

    Awesome. 🙂 I like California and Nevada a lot.

  14. Carolina Ospina
    January 28, 2013, 10:30 am

    Awesome. 🙂

  15. Roberto Pineda
    Puente Alto - Chile
    January 26, 2013, 11:16 pm

    Amazing video…very good Job,