Lights Out!

Mar 27, 2018 @ 14:34


It’s the scene you see in science fiction movies all the time. The lead character looks out the window, watching the lights wink out grid by grid until the wall of black engulfs the window. You really have to be in the right place at the right time to capture that by accident. Last night though with a little help from Algoma Power’s scheduled outage – Wawa-news was able to capture it!


Sitting at William Teddy Park, overlooking Wawa, the cameras were ready. Trial shots were done to prove that exposures were good. The first picture was good. You could see the lights of town, and the snowbank and lake. Even clouds in the sky were visible. A still photograph, however was a still, and wouldn’t show the cascade of lights going off – or simply sudden blackness. There was no way to tell which opportunity would present itself. In the end though, the decision was made to shoot video.


So quickly put the camera on a dash tripod, secure, and check exposure. All the while watching the clock coming closer and closer to midnight. Can a good exposure be found in time? Finally at 5 minutes to midnight, the camera was focussed, exposure setup, and ready to go – RECORD!


8 minutes later…


A frantic push of the record button to save the file, cause the lights of Wawa were still on. The power outage was not happening. Did I have the day wrong? Record another few minutes, save and record again. Probably, I misunderstood the date and this was to happen Tuesday. Well, I’m sitting here, may as well explore video with the iPhone at night. Start the car up to warm up again, 40 minutes or so waiting has meant that the car is now cold. I set the iPhone up on the dash beside the camera – play with the zoom to frame it – and the sky is black! Where did Wawa go? I missed the crucial moment. Stop recording on the iPhone, cause I missed it, and stop recording on the camera. With no way to view the video (have to read the manual), I head back into Wawa.

The Tourist Information Centre.

Everything is dark. The only lights to be seen in Wawa are emergency lights in businesses, solar powered yard lights sprinkled here and there, and the hospital had lights. Very quiet, and very dark. No goose lights, no welcoming banners – in fact, no lights at the goose either.


Heading back into Wawa, I park in front of the vacant lot that once upon a time held the Texaco/Esso service station. Rolling down the window, I grab a couple of shots of Broadway Avenue.


Then just as my camera is taking a 2 second exposure, a police cruiser drives into my shot. “Wonderful, just wonderful! Way to go, mess up my photograph”, I muttered.

Just for the heck of it, I grab shots of it driving down the street. Did you know that Broadway is very long, especially long in the dark. The first photo is of the cruiser, probably down by the Lakeview. The second photo is a crop, zoomed in and lightened to show some of the town. Those taillights were visible until the cruiser turned down Government Road.

Well, enough playing. The lights will be back on by 4, Algoma Power. So, time to head home, and call it a night.  Enjoy!