Ruins and moonlight

Often enough these go together, creating a spooky atmosphere. Not this time, though. Going out with a bunch of fellow photographers to the Pinawa Dam was a hoot, far from spooky.


Pinawa Dam is the oldest hydro electric dam built in this climate. It lasted for about 50 years, until it passed the torch to a bigger hydro electric station a few kilometres away.

What is left today is a number of ruins, a small, but pretty dangerous lake and a quiet place to spend an evening with friends around a fire pit.

Dandy lions in the sunsetDandy lions in the sunset

When I first arrived, the sun was shining over a small patch of dandelions, a good start for the evening. A view fit for the Little house on the Prairie, if you still remember that TV show. Then it was off to the dam, to get a shot of the setting sun over the spillway.

The last of the raysThe last of the rays

I have been in the area a few times now, so I had an idea of what I wanted to shoot and how. That helps. But sometimes, even planning your shoot and preparing the tools for it doesn’t help… if you forget to use the tools on time. I bought the Photographer’s Ephemeris for my phone, with the intention of using it to get a decent moonrise shot…

Double upDouble up

Only to discover that the moon was already way up in the sky when I remembered to look at the phone. Oh well, it became a good opportunity to shoot that moon as well as its reflection in the water.

Too late for moonriseToo late for moonrise

Another idea I had for shooting here was the flowing water. I am not much of a filter guy, meaning that my bag is not packed with filters of all sorts. I bought some ND grads some time ago. Only to discover that the separation between the clear and the darker part never was in the spot where I wanted it. Duh!

Silky smoothSilky smooth

But this time I had thought of taking the ND filters in order to slow down my shutter speed long enough to get the water silky smooth. The tripod is always in my car, indispensable for this type of job.

Bench on the waterlineBench on the waterline

Honestly, who doesn’t want to have a bench like this in his garden? Along with the view and environment, of course Smile. The water freezes up during winter, so the nights can be very quiet by then… Hmmm, I have to stop dreaming. After all this is now a Provincial Park, not a chance to have this as my private property.

Water flowing quietlyWater flowing quietly

The water still flows into the retention lake. It used to rise as high as the lower part of the “wall” you can see in the background. Those who have been reading my blog for some time now, may remember this post and this one, about the use and history of the Pinawa Dam.

A moon shot!A moon shot!

Setting up my camera on one of the many bridges and walkways in the park, I was still able to get some moon shots without tripping over another photographer Winking smile. The calm of the evening was exceptional. Even better, there were not many mosquitoes around.

Ancient memoryAncient memory

On my way back to the fire pit, ready to get myself a few hotdogs, I saw this view. In itself this is a pretty boring view, nothing happening here. But it reminded me of some quiet evenings I spent in France with my parents, long time ago. And some memories come back pretty easily. Call it a déjà vu, I can call this a memory, and a nice one at that.

Below the ancient waterlineBelow the ancient waterline

So where were all the other photographers? I could say they were all around the fire pit, eating, but no. I had to do my best to get these pictures without getting someone in them. Other pictures resemble a game of Counter Strike, but with cameras instead of firearms. All in all a very pleasant evening. An evening that always ends too early.