'SKYGLOW' Is a Mesmerizing Experimental Timelapse with a Timely Environmental Message

Skyglow Experimental Timelapse
The night sky is rapidly disappearing, and two filmmakers are on a mission to raise awareness.

More often than not, the primary purpose of timelapse filmmaking is to be aesthetically pleasing; in other words, to look pretty. Sure, it can be used as a narrative device to show the passage of time, but it's almost always used to be visually pleasing in and of itself. But what if timelapse could be used for something more? What if the medium itself could be used to deliver a salient environmental and political message at a point in time where that message was direly needed? 

That's what filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic set out to accomplish with SKYGLOW, an experimental piece that places beautifully-shot astro timelapses in the urban environment of Los Angeles (via compositing of course) in order to make a point about light pollution. Check it out:

Gavin and Harun are currently Kickstarting an astrophotography book and video series in which the pair will share the beautiful images they've captured from the premiere night-sky locations in North America. Here's a brief description of what the pair hope to accomplish with the project:

Both a book of astrophotography and a series of timelapse videos, SKYGLOW will also examine the increasing impact of light pollution on our fragile environment, a grave threat not only to a clear view of beautiful starscapes, but also to the very ecosystem of our planet itself. Light pollution affects human health, animal migratory patterns, obstructs astronomical research, and leads to over two billion dollars of lost energy every year in the USA

If you're interested in helping out the cause of raising awareness of light pollution, the campaign is entering its final stretch and could really use some help.      

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7 Comments

To me it looks like two separate shots, the sky and the urban view, put together in one. In other words, it doesn't seem genuine. However the idea isn't bad.

P.S. I'm pretty sure you can only get the circular drawing of the stars from either of the poles - the rotational anchor points of the Earth, that way it would be logical to see the stars spin round.

April 29, 2015 at 4:03AM, Edited April 29, 4:03AM

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I believe it is fake to show how it WOULD look if it wasn't for all the light pollution...

April 29, 2015 at 7:26AM

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Viktor Ragnemar
Director/Cinematographer
1276

This is exactly why we as film makers can't appreciate amazing work like this, because we can clearly see this is 2 different images put together therefore making it "fake". I knew it was fake right away because I shot time-lapses in a couple of the same spots a few months ago, but it still put a smile of amazement on my face at the idea this person created because it looked amazing. Anyone who isn't a film maker wouldn't know this was 2 images masked together, and would only see what is in front of their eyes

April 29, 2015 at 9:58AM

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Frogy
370

It's easy to forget the message and just critique what our eyes see.

April 29, 2015 at 11:43AM, Edited April 29, 11:46AM

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John D. Smith
Cinematographer
372

My thoughts exactly. As soon as I saw the effect, I couldn't help but think "That's awesome, but there's got to be a way to do that composite better." And now that's going to be bugging me all day, haha.

April 29, 2015 at 11:22AM

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I agree that it's a good idea. It says right in the article that they used compositing to make a point, they aren't trying to fool anyone.

April 29, 2015 at 11:43AM

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John D. Smith
Cinematographer
372

sick

April 29, 2015 at 6:54AM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1238