Frozen World

I was home over the holidays in Toronto during the epic ice storm of 2013 and I managed to bundle up and face the insanely cold temperatures to get some timelapses and document the damage—including a massive tree that crashed through the fence in our OWN yard (0:28-0:35) and a huge array of destruction unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. As documented elsewhere, the ice storm also brought much beauty, with a blue blanket of transparent ice not seen since Schwarzenegger in “Batman and Robin.”

Loving the surreal lighting effect of the ice on the trees, I experimented with utilizing/enhancing this in the second half of the video with a cocktail of light rays/zooms/rotations/saturation—creating the kaleidoscopic “icelighting” effect you see. I imagine it’s gonna be a “love it or hate it” effect, but I found it very transfixing, with a similar trippy rotational buzz I get from watching star trails.

Try to watch the short in HD with headphones on and volume cranked if you can, for maximum immersion!

Camera: Canon EOS 6D with Canon 24mm/1.4F lens and TC-80N3 Intervalometer.
Music: “Mistake,” courtesy of Music Performed by Moby.
Shot and Edited by: Gavin Heffernan / Sunchaser Pictures

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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.


  1. I just want to say that I taught kindergarten, and these, while completely adorable, are: a)too much of a distraction (imagine the kids having screaming, fawning fits from the cuteness); and b) not open-toed. Five-year-olds have an insatiable need to touch adult toes during circle/story time, while they sit criss-cross on thew carpet at your feet. It’s strange, and somewhat endearing. Until they start picking off your pedicure.

  2. Luke WoodI have downloaded the TriggerTrap app and would also like to get the hohtsot mount for my iTouch but can’t find source . . .please send me in the right direction . . .Thx,Luke

  3. I always want to experience winter and it would be perfect for me and my family to go to Toronto, Canada. And thanks to the video you showed about Toronto that made me a decision to book our vacation right away. It was really awesome when you captured the ice forming in the leaves of the trees. The flashes of lights at the end of the video really was great and I know I can see all of it in Toronto, I am just so excited.

  4. Beautiful night lights, I wonder how you manged to click in such cold. We have been reading a lot about cold wave in Chicago and NYC, but nobody talked about Toronto or other parts of Canada.

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