This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

Science & Tech

How we chose the winners of the Hydro Power Photo Competition

Contest submissions revealed unexpected and unique angles on hydro power

  • Jan 13, 2016
  • 494 words
  • 2 minutes
The winners of the Hydro Power Photo Competition Expand Image

With the Hydro Power Photo Competition, we wanted to explore how people saw renewable electricity. Much like hydro dams, the photos entered came from all across Canada and were varied: people submitted pictures of beautiful waterfalls, abstract photos of dams, and even some shots that showed us an unexpected and unique angle of hydro power.

Picking the three stunning winners was tough, and our three judges—Jessica Finn (Canadian Geographic photo editor), Javier Frutos (Canadian Geographic art director) and Jacob Irving (Canadian Hydropower Association president)—had their work cut out for them. Here are the judges’ comments on the final three photos.


Expand Image
Winner: Louise Mathieu
Daniel-Johnson dam and Manic-5 generating station in Baie Comeau, Que.
Nikon D90, 1/320 speed, f/11, iso 250, 78mm
(Photo: Louise Mathieu/CanGeo Photo Club)

JFi: The photographer cropped tight, successfully eliminating distractions from the monochromatic, geographic lines captured here, and producing a fine art shot.

JFr: By zooming-in and capturing the curves and parallel lines of the dam, this photo makes a fantastic abstract composition. The details and textures also give a sense of time and strength.

JI: This photograph reveals hydropower as architecture. Hydropower projects can be powerful, bold and beautiful. There are visually striking installations across Canada that attract tourists and photographers.

Runner up

Expand Image
Runner up: Dean Ducas
Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Cornwall, Ont.
Canon PowerShot G1x, f10.0, exposure 15 seconds, iso 640, lens 41.3 mm
(Photo: Dean Ducas/CanGeo Photo Club)

JFi: There’s an eerie beauty in this dark image thanks to low hanging cloud and mixed lighting. The photo is nicely framed by the foliage in the foreground and soft halo of light behind the generating station.

JFr: This night shot is very well balanced, and a perfect representation of hydropower. The reflection on the water produces an energetic photograph, while the backlight and the fog create the perfect background to shape the horizon line.

JI: Hydropower facilities use water to turn turbines and make electricity without consuming this precious, shared resource. Having the hydropower facility reflected in the source of its very power at night, under man-made illumination speaks allegorically to the energy and environment relationships that are at play.

Honourable mention

Expand Image
Honourable mention: Steve Irvine
Fanshawe Dam in London, Ont.
Canon 6D, f/9 and 35mm.
(Photo: Steve Irvine/CanGeo Photo Club)

JFi: The photographer found an abstract way to capture the power behind hydroelectricity, producing this great perspective shot of water turbulence. Nice capture.

JFr: This fast shutter speed photo shows what the eye can’t usually see, revealing details and intricate shapes. A simple but effective composition that leaves the texture created by the fast-moving water speak by itself.

JI: This photo simply and elegantly demonstrates the power of water. It leads the imagination to consider what could be done with the sheer force that is on display. It reminds us of the ancient proverb that nothing is as soft and strong as water.


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

The main spillway for the Hydro-Quebec's Riviere des Prairies dam

Science & Tech

Hydroelectricity in Quebec

Four experts discuss Hydro-Quebec and the driving force behind its gigantic network of generating stations

  • 1614 words
  • 7 minutes
The Chaudiere Falls in Ottawa

Science & Tech

Canada’s hydroelectric potential

Canada has about 160,000 megawatts of untapped hydro power. How can we access it?

  • 950 words
  • 4 minutes
Labrador — Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric generating facility

Science & Tech

Aboriginal hydropower

Navigating the the collaborative future between First Nations and the Canadian hydro industry

  • 1135 words
  • 5 minutes
a silhouetted carbon capture industrial plant against a white mountain background as the sun rises, casting a warm glow over the landscape


The truth about carbon capture

Carbon capture is big business, but its challenges fly in the face of the need to lower emissions. Can we square the circle on this technological Wild West?

  • 5042 words
  • 21 minutes