Thursday, January 3, 2013

Anderson Dam Sabino Canyon

On New Years day we headed back to  Sabino Canyon to walk and do a little scouting along the creek for an upcoming photo shoot I'm planning so I can try out my new Neutral Density Filter. I purchased the filter to work on my waterfall skills and to force me to use a tripod which I really don't like doing as I find it restrictive and a pain to lug around. Of course using a tripod will help to improve my images by reducing camera shake and the ND filter will allow me to take a longer exposure thus blurring and softening the movement of the water without overexposing the shot. 

The area around Anderson Dam has some very nice movement of water and even a couple of small waterfalls. It also has a great section of Gneiss which should produce some interesting results with the ND filter. Experimenting is a good deal of the fun that comes with a good camera and as an added bonus being out in nature just can't be beat.

We are headed out to Madera Canyon this week to scout for locations along the stream there so that when the fitter arrives next week I won't have to waste allot of time traipsing around looking for good potential areas of flow. Recent snows on the mountains should make streams flow for months so I should have more than one shot at getting the photos I 'm looking for.

The colors this time of year are really conducive to good photos even in bright sunshine. Many shades of brown, yellow and gold along with the blue sky and white clouds can make a real difference in the quality of the photos. I have found that it is not always straight forward when photographing in a canyon such as Sabino. Early morning shadows with the rising sun hidden behind the cliffs can make for dark and dull photos and when the sun clears the eastern peaks virtually one half of the canyon produces washed out shots and sun spots. My answer to this problem is to shoot anyway and sometimes I'll be pleasantly surprised with the result. It is after all digital and if I don't like the result nothing is lost.

The photo above shows the remains of the dam that was built by I believe the Civilian Conservation Corp. in the 40's. I haven't really spent enough time looking at just exactly what they did here but it looks like a combination of natural rock formations and man made sections created a fairly large pool which is no more. One of these days when I have more time to investigate I'd like to figure out just exactly what they did. I haven't been able to find much that's written about the dam but I included a link to some information on the Coranado National Forest that I located online at the end of this post.

The Gneiss has some interesting wear from millions of years of water flowing over it, a process that continues today. This is one of the areas that I hope to get some good water shots.

  The above shot is looking down stream. This is where we had our lunch and got warmed up as the sun had been behind the ridge until we arrived here. The photo below is the view taken from the dam.

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