Changing Planet

“Borrego Stardance” Timelapse Shows Beauty of Desert Sky

Gavin Heffernan, the filmmaker behind the mesmerizing timelapse “Death Valley Dreamlapse,” has released a new video, “Borrego Stardance” (also view above).

This new gem was shot in Borrego Springs, California, a small desert town surrounded by the 600,000-acre Anzo-Borrego State Park. (It’s roughly three hours south of Los Angeles.)

Via email, Heffernan said, “In addition to being an astronomer’s dream (one of four communities in the WORLD to be classified a “Dark Sky Community” by the International Dark Sky Association), this crazy hidden gem also boasts a number of amazing steel sculptures set against the night sky — dragons, dinosaurs, giant insects, wooly mammoths, and lots more.”

On Vimeo, Heffernan and crew wrote, “This crazy combination of amazing steel sculptures and protected sky led to some pretty cool results, as the giant creatures awoke for a midnight “Stardance.”

Heffernan added, “Despite the grueling 112 degree temperatures, my team and I had an amazing shoot, with some of the clearest milky way footage we’ve ever captured, as well as some exciting creature-filled star trails, and more experiments with “Starscaping” (switching from stars to trails mid-shot).”

About the sculptures, Heffernan wrote, “While visiting, we also learned that the philanthropist who commissioned and erected the statues (Dennis Avery) passed away almost a year ago, but allotted the land surrounding the statues (Galleta Meadows) to be free for people to camp on and enjoy. His mantra was supposedly ‘Blessings are meant to be shared.'”

The team also made a brief “Behind the Scenes” video of the shoot:

  • Tyler carl

    It is such a shame that National Geographic has shared this video. The production value is so poor here. Im not sure how this was allowed to post as every shot is either extremeley over saturated, or out of focus. Also with timelapse films, the idea is to show timelapses. The first 20 seconds was a pan in on a photo… Too bad.

  • Toby Harriman

    I am going to have to agree with Tyler. I am all for processing photos and know that my photos are not really suited for National Geographic so I was really surprised to find this here. Especially after reading a message from your director of photography after editing shots.

  • Toby Harriman

    Why is this listed under Water Currents. Starting to really question who is in charge of this blog?

  • Diana Lindsay

    For more information about these awesome sculptures and the artist who created them, see “Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist” available at Amazon or at the publisher’s webiste Also available is a laminated map to the 27 sites: “Sky Art Metal Sculptures of Borrego Valley.” There are over 130 sculptures in the valley. It is a 15 miles drive to visit all of the sites.

  • Michele Iannone

    fantastic how the new technologies can permit to the human beings to “see” the sky !!!
    Wonderful movie

  • @Toby Harriman
    Hi. I know this one isn’t really related to water, but it follows on the filmmaker’s previous work, which did have more of a water/desert connection, so it seemed to make sense.

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