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Water Currents: Gorgeous New Dreamlapse From Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa Lakebed

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In January, we posted a “dreamlapse” video made in Death Valley by Sunchaser Pictures. Some 9,600 Facebook users clicked the “like” button. Today, I received notice from Sunchaser’s Gavin Heffernan that part 2 has just been released (view above).

In an email, Heffernan wrote: “This time our timelapse adventure took place at the infamous sliding stones of Racetrack Playa Lakebed in Death Valley, where we got lots of cool shots of the stones themselves, as well as some epic starscape stuff — including a desert aurora, crazy star trails, and an awesome milky way pass. The initial intention was for this all to be done in one shoot with the Dunes of Part 1 — but time restrictions and work etc. caused us to split up the shoots — and so we visited the Racetrack on March 17-19th 2013 to film this second installment. Try to watch in HD and with headphones if you can! :)

(Related: “Pictures: What Drives Death Valley’s Roving Rocks?“)

Heffernan added, “It’s a crazy place to shoot at, as the horizon is so strangely uneven/malleable. I don’t know if the valley was cut by water or underground magma, but it’s almost impossible to find a straight horizon. In many cases it took me 5 to 10 times as long as usual to try and ‘straighten’ the camera.”

EarthSky pointed out that the pink aurora seen at 1:36 and 2:22 “was made possible due to a CME [coronal mass ejection] that happened the night of March 17, 2013 and is a rarity at latitudes as far south as Death Valley.”

The Sunchaser team also had a friend follow them around to make a four-minute “behind the scenes doc” called “STARCHASERS: BEHIND THE DREAMLAPSE“:



Death Valley dreamlapse

Still from Death Valley Dreamlapse 2


Brian Clark Howard covers the environment for National Geographic. He previously served as an editor for TheDailyGreen.com and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for Popular Science, TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen LightingBuild Your Own Small Wind Power System, and Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater.

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