By Jack Williams
Light pollution stops the views of the night sky for many but these breathtaking photos show its real beauty.
Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic travelled more than 150,000 miles to a staggering 500 locations across North America in order to capture the works, which feature millions of stars, far-off galaxies and areas of extreme darkness that are a far cry from glowing cities.
The aim of the series, called Skyglow, was to show of the incredible vastness of the night sky, Gavin, 37, said, in the hope of inspiring people to care about dark skies.
Working in conjunction with the International Dark Sky Association, filmmakers Gavin and Harun created maps that would take them to areas free from light pollution, where they would then shoot the skies using long-exposure settings.
Doing so allowed the pair to capture the likes of the Milky Way and even meteors in states such as Arizona, California and Nebraska.
Gavin, who is based in Los Angeles, California, said: “The biggest challenges to the project were really weather and logistics.
“Because we were limited to shooting on nights with smaller moons – full moons blow out the long exposure photos – we were already restricted on potential scheduling, but we also had to deal with clouds, rain and other crazy elements throughout.
“In order to get the narrative puzzle pieces we needed, we really had to criss-cross the continent with a ton of transportation.
“Sleep deprivation became a real factor, as we were often up all night at each location, continuously adjusting and re-adjusting our cameras to try and make the best of each stop.”
The pair started the series three years ago before a successful Kickstarter campaign a year later allowed them to put more resources into the project.
Recently completed, their collection of Skyglow images were turned into a book, which was released last month.
Gavin and Harun, 34, hope this collection will be like a time machine for their subject matter, helping people explore human beings and their deteriorating relationship with the night sky throughout the ages.
Going forward, the pair plan to release various time-lapse videos from the project over the next year, helping to continue raising awareness for the International Dark Sky Association.
Gavin said: “The response has been amazing so far, with lots of people sharing their excitement with us.
“We’ve been particularly pleased to see how many people are sharing the book with children.
“A big hope for fighting light pollution is to get the next generation engaged and inspired and we’re hopeful our project can play a small part in that.”