An Astonishing Time-Travel Timelapse

After the surprise success of Death Valley Dreamlapse 1 and 2, our next adventure takes us to the desert town of Borrego Springs, California—a remarkable hidden gem surrounded by the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Just three hours south of Los Angeles, this unspoiled landscape shines not only for its natural wonders but for the absolutely amazing, enormous metal sculptures left behind by local business leader Dennis Avery. Dragons, dinosaurs, giant scorpions, woolly mammoths, and much more! All created by incredible steel sculptor Ricardo A. Breceda. Also, since Borrego Springs (population 3,500) takes significant steps to protect their pristine night sky, it is one of only four communities in the world to be certified as an official “Dark Sky Community” by the International Dark Sky Association.

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.” Definitely the best Milky Way shots we’ve ever captured, as well as some exciting star trails and more experiments with “Starscaping” (shifting from stars to trails in mid-shot). This was also our first shoot with the Canon 6D, and we were very happy with the pushed ISO results. Star trails shot at 25 sec exposures. No special effects used, just the natural rotation of the earth’s axis. Photography Merging using StarStaX. Shot with Canon 6D and 5Dmkii, with a 24mm/1.4 lens and 28mm/1.8.

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.” We thank him for the vision and the opportunity. Hopefully our little video will help share those blessings even more. To learn more about the man and the location, check out this site

Watch in HD with headphones on and volume cranked, if you can. Hands and arms inside the cart at all times!


Filmed on June 7th–9th, 2013—with temperatures as high as 112 degrees!
Shot and Edited by: Gavin Heffernan
Producers: Michael Darrow, Ben Dally, John Brookins
Associate Producers: Rachel Payne, Briana Nadeau
Music: “Chord Sounds (Ambient)” by Moby (License Courtesy MobyGratis.Com). Plus Unknown Native Chant.
Behind the Scenes Doc: Shot, Edited, and Produced by John Brookins
Thanks: Adam Jeremy Williams, Catalin Anton/Sinesqr Media, Anza Borrego Visitor Center, Michael Leland, Ricardo Breceda.

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To see more of our other Sunchaser Pictures Timelapses, visit our album here.
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A Canadian-born indie filmmaker working in Los Angeles (primarily in the horror genre), Heffernan is also an avid timelapse photographer with a collection of acclaimed projects, including his Joshua Tree Journey series and a number of other popular works of astrophotography and experimentals. His timelapses and other videography can also be found on the festival circuit in his popular Devolution series, a still-incomplete trilogy of shorts examining the cost of mankind's progress. Follow him at: Sunchaser Pictures, Facebook and Twitter.


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  10. Beautiful! I love these videos. This one really called to me, as I grew up around the area of Drumheller, Alberta, home of the “Badlands”. Dinosaurs and fossil finds are plentiful in this area, and the hills of the Badlands are gorgeous. Perhaps this team could come visit Drumheller and do a similar video! 🙂 Here is an article I wrote on the Badlands, just to give you an idea of the beauty:

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