Time lapse in Grand Canyon, Arizona

Photo: Gavin Heffernan

Harun Mehmedinović and Gavin Heffernan at the Grand CanyonPhotographers Gavin Heffernan (at left) and Harun Mehmedinović capture some truly spectacular time-lapses in YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ, a project named after the Navajo term for the Milky Way or "That Which Awaits the Dawn."

Heffernan came to Northern Arizona University as an artist-in-residence this past April to talk with photography students about his experiences and techniques with shooting time-lapses. While there, he and the class also embarked on some shooting field trips to Grand Canyon National Park and Monument Valley Navajo Park.

"The weather was very intense at times, with high winds, frigid temperatures, and stormfronts passing over us, but the locations were absolutely stunning," Heffernan says. "The clouds parted for long enough to reveal some incredible starscapes, meteors and the clearest Milky Way I've ever seen!"

The gorgeous night also proved a perfect opportunity for a first-time collaboration between Heffernan and Mehmedinović, who currently teaches photography and film at NAU — the pair are actually old friends and former classmates of the American Film Institute.

Continue below to see the time-lapse video and a selection of still images by each of the photographers. For maximum immersion, Heffernan encourages viewers to watch the video in HD using headphones with the volume cranked up.

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Time lapse of the Milky Way in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Gavin Heffernan

Time lapse star trails in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Gavin Heffernan

Time lapse of Milky Way in Monument Valley

Photo: Gavin Heffernan

Time lapse of the Milky Way through the trees in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Harun Mehmedinović

Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Time-lapses reveal dazzling starscape over Grand Canyon, Monument Valley
In 'YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ,' photographers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović team up for some truly spectacular time-lapses.