A Tale of two Reservoirs

April 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A Tale of two Reservoirs

It's Semana Santa (or Easter) and the weather is nice so it's been really quite busy down on the beach and along the sea front. Easter is kind of a mini season here when lots of people flock to the beach and we have the lifeguards here for the first time in the year.

After next week it will quieten down a bit for a few weeks before the proper season gets underway in about June.

After all that talk about beaches I find that my photography this week has been focused away from the sea and more inland. In fact I have been seeking out freshwater in the form of two very different reservoirs.

First, a return trip to Tibi. You may recall that I visited Tibi for the first time last week and posted about it in last weeks blog.

This week I wanted to explore a little more.

I followed the same basic approach. Coming off the motorway at the services, finding the narrow road off the back of the car park and then driving down as far as I could. Once parked up I set out on foot down the road heading for the bottom of the dam.

I had, by virtue of scouring the earth view on Google maps, worked out a number of possible routes to get on to the top of the dam. before I tried any of these I wanted to check to see if I had missed something obvious on my last trip.

According to information written about the dam there were supposed to be steps leading all the way from the bottom of the dam to the top. I hadn't seen them when I had been here before, could I really have missed them or was the information wrong?

I followed the path down the side of the cliff to the bottom of the dam. Tucked right into the corner I could see a few stone steps that appeared to dead end in the cliff. I looked closer, peering around the corner, and lo and behold it wasn't a dead end. The steps went through a small gap in the cliffs and carried on.

Tibi dam is 46 metres tall (151 feet). The path I was on was about 3 metres (10 feet) up from the bottom so I had quite a climb ahead of me. The steps are cut into rock and there are some handrails, mostly steel cable mounted on posts sunk into the rock, for most of the way. The steps wind their way between parts of the masonry of the dam and sections cut out of the cliff and it can be a bit tight in places.

To cut a long story short (I know, too late), Some reasonably stout legs and a reasonable head for heights was required, but I made it to the top of the dam.

The top of the dam is pretty much flat and there are some pieces of machinery here that don't appear to have been used in a long time. Although the dam is still in use I believe that the reservoir is not used for drinking water anymore as it is too difficult to arrange the necessary filtration.

I took this shot of the top of the dam:




From this vantage point I could actually see that the other paths I had considered to get here were blocked off. I'm sure I could have made it past the obstructions but I began to wonder if I was actually supposed to be here. Near the base of the dam is a sign saying that only authorised personal could access the 'workings' of the dam. I had assumed that meant going inside the dam walls but perhaps it also meant climbing up to the top.

Anyway, I decided to return using the same route as I came and, if anything, the steps were more of a challenge on the way down.

When I eventually reached the bottom I started the trek back up to where I had left the car, but the exploration wasn't over yet.

I had found a trail that looked like it headed down to waters edge and that might provide some interesting views.

About 20 minutes of hiking got me to some areas quite close to the water and I started to look around for an interesting composition.

I wanted to get the distant Maigmo mountain in the shot as well and, once I found a vantage point that would give a nice view of the lake and showed the mountain I tried out a few ideas for compositions.

In the end I went for a panoramic view to fit in all of the scene while avoiding the mountain looking too tiny and far away (as it would if I had gone for a wide angle shot). As with all panos I recommend clicking on the image to open it in the gallery and see it larger:

So, by this time i was starting to get a bit tired so I headed back to the car and then drove home.

As the week went on I kept looking at the weather forecast. I had intended to do an early morning shoot on the coast but I needed some clouds and the weather just wasn't playing ball. Oh well, maybe next week.

Instead I headed out for an afternoon shoot back at Amadorio reservoir. This is a location that I just keep working and it keeps on delivering for me. It's a very different place to Tibi. Just considering the age of the construction highlights some major differences. The dam at Tibi was finished in the 1590s,  the dam at Amasorio was built in the 1950 (same numbers different order). 

After arriving and parking up I started walking around looking for opportunities. The sun was a bit too high when I first got there so I was really just scouting around.

One of the things I noticed was that there were a lot of big insects flying around. These turned out to be some very pretty coloured dragonflies and, after a bit of patient waiting I managed to get a shot of one when it settled on some rocks near the water edge:

Because the water level is still very high here there are a lot of trees that have been partially or totally swamped. I found a spot tucked in amongst some trees, with my feet almost, but not quite, getting wet, and found that there were some lovely colours in the leaves and also out on the water:

I was employing my "alternative approach to landscape photography". Instead of the traditional approach of finding a location and then planning to be there when the light is good my "alternative approach" is to wander around looking at what the light is doing and, when I find it doing something interesting, I set up and take my shot. It's a more opportunistic approach and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

As I began to extricate myself from the trees there was a loud quacking sound and I realised I was almost tripping over a duck. Having warned me off it then seemed to be quite comfortable with my presence and I noticed that the light coming through the trees was quite nice with its colouring and so:

I then decided to leave it in peace and continue my explorations.

As I was crossing the dam I noticed the light on a small group of trees on a little spit of land sticking out of the water. The little piece of land was the top of a hill a few months ago but the high water level meant that now it is only a little out of the water and, unusually, the water immediately in front of it was nice and flat, meaning there was some nice reflections. I lined up for this shot with the Aitana mountains visible in the background:

I briefly explored further to the North and managed to find my way onto a cliff top that I hadn't been on before. The valley beneath was flooded and I immediately noticed that the water here had a really strong green colour. A bit of working around some bushes and trees and I managed a shot:

I then started to head back towards the car. After I crossed the dam again I headed up to one of the 'observation' spots which gave me quite an interesting view over the dam. I've been up here before but the light has never seemed quite right. Today I thought it looked promising and this was the end result:

So, that's it. Two dams. Two reservoirs. Two very different scenes. I enjoyed both of them but, although Tibi certainly has some nice scenery it doesn't quite have the same appeal for me as Amadorio. I may go back to Tibi at some point but probably not for a while, whereas I will probably be back at Amadorio pretty soon.

As for next week... I'm not sure yet. I'm still watching the weather forecast and hoping for the right conditions for some early morning shoots on the coast. Maybe I'll have some to share with you in the next post.

Until then, have a great week




No comments posted.

Subscribe for free to get an e-mail whenever there's an update

* indicates required


January February March April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December