SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM presents MOJAVE FORSAKEN -- a timelapse journey through ghost towns of the Mojave Desert and the magnificent night skies there.
Flanking the infamous Death Valley to the north, west and east, once-booming mining towns of Bodie, Cerro Gordo and Rhyolite now sit in decay at mercy of the elements. In the late 19th century, as gold-hungry settlers overran the West, thousands of mining towns, some as numerous as 50,000 inhabitants, each with own Chinatown, numerous brothels and casinos, sprung up across the continent. However, as the gold and silver mines were exhausted, mining boom collapsed by the early 20th century, leaving these towns abandoned virtually overnight.
Today, Bodie, managed by National Park Service, Rhyolite, managed by Bureau of Land Management, and Cerro Gordo, managed by private owners, exist in a state of "controlled decay," as the authorities protect the structures there from vandalism, but leave them exposed to scorching sun, vicious winds and freezing winter storms. At night, due to high elevation, clarity of the skies, and lack of sources of light pollution, these town give us a glimpse of the night sky as it would have been seen by inhabitants of these towns a century ago.
Note: The orange skies seen in the Bodie footage came from the August 2015 Walker Fire in Yosemite National Park.
MOJAVE FORSAKEN Photo Stills: http://bit.ly/2ySR0DU
SKYGLOW Book Stills: http://bit.ly/2vXO7Ag
Other Photos from SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: http://bit.ly/2whWSaQ
Shot by Harun Mehmedinovic (Bloodhoney.com) and Gavin Heffernan (SunchaserPictures.com). Edited by Harun Mehmedinovic
Shot with Canon 5DIV, Canon 5DSR, Canon 6D
Music: Jeff Dale & Tim Reilly
Special Thanks: Gala Goliani, Jeff Sullivan, Canon, Aaron McNally, Kevin Noble, Pual C Buff Inc, Alpine Labs, Greg Horvath, International Dark Sky Association, Northern Arizona University, States of California and Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service
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SKYGLOW Press Release:
Timelapse artists and filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović are proud to introduce WWW.SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM, a 192-page hardcover photobook and timelapse video series exploring North America’s remaining magnificent night skies and the increasing impact of light pollution on our highly fragile environment.
A blend of images, stories, essays, and anecdotal captions, SKYGLOW explores the history and mythology of celestial observation and the proliferation of electrical outdoor lighting that spurred the rise of the phenomena known as “light pollution,” a grave threat not only to our incredible starscapes but also to the very ecosystem itself.
After a highly publicized Kickstarter campaign that ended as the fourth-most earning Photobook campaign ever, Harun and Gavin traveled over 150,000 miles and logged more than 3,000,000 photos on their grueling three-year quest. From incredible locations like the active Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii to Alberta’s majestic Northern Lights, SKYGLOW takes viewers on a visual journey through time, exploring our civilization’s evolving relationship with light and the night sky through the ages.
See how the ancient Puebloan archaeoastronomy sites of our native elders have now been replaced with the blinding “artificial day” of over-lit modern metropolises, and learn about the “Dark Sky Movement” fighting to reclaim the pristine darkness the Earth had enjoyed for billions of years. The importance of America’s threatened National Parks is also highlighted in a section of stunning landscapes from numerous parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Acadia, Death Valley, Yellowstone and many more. Completed in collaboration with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), SKYGLOW also explores the numerous towns and sites that IDA has identified as official “Dark-Sky” Communities, Cities, Parks, Reserves and Sanctuaries.
Light pollution (aka “skyglow”) affects human health, animal migratory patterns, obstructs astronomy research and leads to over two billion dollars of lost energy every year in the USA. The book includes original essays on the subject from key science voices like BAD ASTRONOMY blogger / author Phil Plait, Eric Betz of ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE, and night sky crusader / poster artist Tyler Nordgren.
Though this is the first time Heffernan and Mehmedinović have put their night sky photos in print, their SKYGLOW timelapse collaborations have been seen by over 50 million viewers, and featured in a vast array of media, like The Rolling Stones 2015 ZIP CODE stadium tour and their 2016 DESERT TRIP shows, the Roger Waters DESERT TRIP shows and his 2016 Mexico concerts.