TORONTO – For Gavin Heffernan, chasing the stars has become a bit of an obsession.
“I started shooting my own experimental projects and the time-lapse passion emerged out of that process,” Heffernan said. “Once I started doing the long exposure shoots of the galaxies and Milky Way, I was definitely hooked.”
WATCH: Amazing time-lapse of night sky
Heffernan’s latest time-lapse captures the starry night sky over King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Park in California.
Heffernan, born in Oakville, Ontario, was able to capture millions of stars, the bulge of our Milky Way galaxy as well as meteors. He also created star trails, an effect that is done by pointing a camera at Polaris, the north star around which the rest of the stars appear to rotate. The camera shutter is left open, and trails of stars seem to wheel around the sky.
Capturing stunning time-lapses like this one requires a secluded location away from light pollution, something that can be a challenge in this day and age.
“It’s really a combination of an area with low light pollution and some kind of stunning foreground to set against the stars,” he said.
Heffernan and his partner John C. Brookins had to travel across much of the combined 3,504 kilometres of the two parks. They were kept on their toes as bears wandered the area.
“Seeing that big bear in King’s Canyon was definitely startling, but it made me feel alive more than worried,” he said.
WATCH: Gavin Heffernan and John C. Brookins take you behind the scenes of the making of “Kings”
Heffernan has shot other amazing night-sky time-lapses, such as “YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ.”
As for future projects, the filmmaker and screenwriter is hoping to find more dark-sky sites like an abandoned mining town or an airplane graveyard.
“I guess I’m trying to keep improving and exploring that creative side, while having a great excuse to see some of the most beautiful places in the world and escape into nature.”
© Shaw Media, 2014