Built and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1942, the Sepulveda Dam has been used for locations for countless films and commercials including “Escape From New York”, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai” and most recently “Gattaca”, “Bones” and “Iron Man II”. Last year the Deadmau5 music video “Professional Griefers” was lensed here.
Today the dam is part of the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Refuge. In December 2012, on the other side of the spillway featured in this image, the Army Corps of Engineers clear-cut an estimated 80 acres of what some say were mostly native shrubs — and homes for many local and migratory birds. Environmentalists say the damage was done in excess of posted plans, and without opportunity for public input. But the Corps says it was necessary to help police an area known for homeless camps and lewd behavior.
While taking images on this side of the spillway I observed a group of teenage boys and girls sliding down the sides of the concrete embankment on folded chairs while others circled around on skateboards carrying torches of burning branches presumably found on the river banks. These adolescents were generally friendly but they seemed to be in an altered state. I didn’t stay much longer after dark for fear of my personal safety and the remoteness of the location.
It is my intention to “shoot the truth” in my panoramas, that is to say WYSIWYG. However in this instance, I photoshopped out and removed a huge painted phallus on the side wall here only because it was in poor taste plus it was an incredibly bad artistic rendering (if you could even call it art). Since minors visit this blog and the social networks in which my panoramas are featured, I felt this censorship was necessary.