Cellpic Sunday – Roosevelt Dam and Lake

Roosevelt Lake and Dam

Phoenix, Arizona.

Lynn and I borrowed a friend’s van to carry some of our belongings home to Fargo when we sold our house in Buckeye last March. When we got back to Fargo, I hopped on a plane and flew to Mesa where a friend (with the van) was keeping our car in his driveway. From there, I would drive back to Fargo for the second time in a week.

On the plane trip inbound to Phoenix, I got some photos of the chain of man-made lakes on the Salt River. This week Cellpic Sunday begins a multi-part series of images captured while inbound to Phoenix.

The dams and reservoirs on the Salt River are a major source of water for the Phoenix metropolitan area. As we flew toward Mesa, I happened to notice the largest lake and dam in the watershed. The Theodore Roosevelt Dam was constructed in the early 1900s to equalize the flow of water and provide irrigation that turned the desert into farmland.

At the time, the world’s tallest dam was dedicated in 1911, and in 1996, it gained an additional 357 feet (108 m) which added to Lake Roosevelt’s storage capacity by 20 percent. The lake at maximum depth is 188 feet (57 m) and has 128 miles (206 km) of shoreline. I gleaned these basic facts from the webpage of the Salt River Project, managers of the watershed. More details and history can be found here.

About the photo: Captured by my Samsung S20U, I processed it in Lightroom and Luminar Neo. The dam looks small from altitude, but if you saw it from the downriver side of the Salt River, it certainly would not seem small at all. Click on the image above to view it in 2K HD on my Flickr site (and get a preview of upcoming Cellpic Sunday images.)

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone or even a dashcam, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge-response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


    • Luminar Neo’s Structure tool did a great job of bringing out those contours. Photos from airplanes often look flat because there is so little difference in elevation changes in the terrain compared to the distance from the camera to the subject.
      The lower altitude as we approached the Phoenix metro and the tweaks in Luminar really brought out the terrain details.

    • I discovered that by accident some time ago, and glad I did. For these lake images in the next couple of weeks, it was invaluable in helping me determine which lake is which. 🙂

      • I saw some fascinating views of the Rocky Mountains on the trip, but I only got one shot. I’d had my camera off, and by the time I turned it on and got it booted, we were all but south of the Rockies.

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