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My Dam Story :: HDR :: Vertorama :: Panorama

Hoover Dam


I hope you enjoy my dam picture and my dam story.


A few days ago, during our little get-away to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to drive to the Hoover Dam. Neither of us had ever been to this particular dam, and figured it would be a dam like any other of the dams we've seen over the years. We were wrong.


The first thing we noticed, a few miles away from the dam, were all of the dam power lines. They were everywhere. I learned later, from a dam employee, that some of the dam power travels from the dam generators directly to the nuclear power plant, which is over 100 miles away. There is a LOT of dam electricity generated as the water travels down the dam intake towers. It's an amazing piece of dam engineering.


The next thing we noticed as we arrived within a few miles of the dam was the new dam road that's being built. It will by-pass the current dam road and will travel across the new dam bridge. That, by itself, was truly amazing. This new dam bridge was supposed to have been completed this month, but there have been a lot of dam construction delays. The arch for the new dam bridge is scheduled now to be completed on July 4th of this year, with the dam bridge scheduled for completion at the end of 2010.


If you've ever been to the Hoover Dam, especially on the weekend, you're familiar with the dam traffic jams and a lot of dam tourists. We were two of them that day. The smart (or possibly foolish) dam tourists were high above, taking a dam helicopter ride. Their dam views were probably better than our dam views. However, whether you're on a dam helicopter tour or simply walking as a dam tourist, you can feel the dam excitement. No matter where you are on the dam, the dam views are thrilling. No camera can capture it all. The dam concrete, the dam colors, and the dam walls are all incredible.


As dam tourists, we did some of the dam tourist things. We found the dam parking, did a lot of dam walking, but decided not to be too dam touristy. We didn't visit the dam visitor's center or participate in the official dam tour. Even without these official dam things, we learned a lot of new dam information, which I'll pass on to you:


- There is a dam closing time. I learned this from a dam police officer while taking some dam blue hour shots.

- The dam bathrooms also close at sunset, whether or not you're inside or out. My wife learned this the hard way after getting locked inside the dam women's room.

- The dam water levels are very low right now, which reduces the amount of dam power that can be generated.

- There are grumpy dam police officers and really nice dam security guards. The dam guard we met shoots black and white with his medium sized camera, and does his own developing of his dam pictures. I'd like to see some of those one day.

- There are more dam suicides that I had anticipated. The dam security guard told us that they'll go a year without any, and then have a bunch within a few months.

- During World War II it was expected that the dam would be a target for enemy bombers. There were a bunch of dam pillboxes constructed around the dam. These dam pillboxes were manned around-the-clock by dam soldiers. The dam security guard told us about the last dam pillbox still standing, and we visited it the next day. (I'll show you that dam shot tomorrow.)

- There are two dam states, Nevada and Arizona. All dam employees work for Nevada, but work/park/live in both.


If you want to become a dam tourist, please follow the dam rules. Don't feed the dam squirrels, don't get on the dam walls, stay away from the dam edge, use the dam crosswalks, and pay for dam parking. It's closer.


That's about all the dam things I can think of. If you have any dam questions, please ask.


Here's the official dam website:

Here's the dam Wikipedia entry:


Vertorama & Panorama HDR Info:

(This dam image has a total of twelve dam exposures, with two sets of dam panoramas stitched vertically to create a dam vertorama.)

- Shot two sets of two horizontally-oriented bracketed dam images, each set with three dam exposures. (Bracketing set to 3F with 2.0 EV.)

- Each set of three dam exposures tonemapped using Photomatix. Dam HDR generated using default detail enhancer settings.

- Four resulting dam HDRs stitched vertically and horizontally using Photoshop CS2, with manual alignment adjustments, to create a single dam image.

- Lightroom 2 used to adjust colors and black levels on single dam image.


View dam large on black

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Taken on January 17, 2009