On Location - Lake Overholser Dam

December 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

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I have been quite busy lately and not had much time for my own work, but I finally managed to get out yesterday morning. We had some great fog blanketing the city so I headed out to Lake Overholser, one of local reservoirs. This lake is the oldest in the meto area with the dam and lake being completed in 1918. The entire facility is now on the National Registry of Historic Places showcasing some interesting architecture from the last century. The lake itself is only about 14 feet in depth and is now only used to supply the demands of the Summer months but at one time was the city's main source of drinking water. This lake is fed by the North Canadian River and crosses old Route 66 on its north end.

The dam and locks are located at the southern end of the lake where I spent the morning photographing. There are many subjects that make for really cool imagery and I will share a few of them here.

 

Locks & KeysLocks & KeysThe dam control building for the lock system at Lake Overholser in Oklahoma City. Completed in 1918, the structure is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Shrouded in fog, the dam architecture is still evident in this scene.

"Locks & Keys"

This is a view of the dam and associated architecture looking northwest. The fog was alternately thick and thin, so the scene was constantly changing. I created both color and B&W versions and although both images have their merits. I like the color version for its dark mood. You can see the spillway below the dam showing how low the water level has been as we are still in a continuing drought in Oklahoma, so the locks have not been opened for some time. The lake itself is down 4 or 5 feet since this time last year.

 

Water MechanicsWater MechanicsA foggy morning on the Lake Overholser dam in Oklahoma City. The dam is still used to handle overflow from the North Canadian River which flows into the lake. The dam is now on the National Historic Register. It was completed in 1918 and is the city's first reservoir. In recent years, the dam has seen little use due to the ongoing drought.

"Water Mechanics"

Despite the obvious distortion from the 18 mm focal length, I very much liked the leading lines in this as well as the fading lamp posts into the distance. This scene is on top of the dam and shows how the lock system is set up which repeats itself for each lock of the dam.

 

Helter SkelterHelter SkelterA spider's web coated in dew from fog reveals its haphazard pattern. Buffeted by the breezes, it stands in mute testimony to resilience. "Helter Skelter"

I found many of these spider webs built between the spindles of the guard rail fence on top of the dam. As there was a bit of breeze blowing across the lake, I had to make multiple exposures to get one that was sharp. I used f/10 to keep a hint of the landscape in the background.

Hope you enjoyed this little diversion :)


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