Colliford Lake, Cornwall, UK

February 16, 2017


After my trip across sunny, South East Asia, I arrived home to freezing temperatures, leafless trees and wintery weather. Inspired by the change in climate, I had a place in mind that I really wanted to photograph - an unnamed lake on Bodmin Moore. 


Because of the direction that the lake's pier pointed, I thought that the shot would be best at sunrise. Thankfully, I decided to scout the place out first though... Firstly, the journey was a lot longer than expected due to traffic and road works through Bodmin. Secondly, when I finally got closer to the lake, I saw a sign that read "no through road", followed by a gate that blocked the way and another sign that read "Defense Infrastructure Organisation". That meant that the land was being used for military training! Obviously, I didn't want to get into trouble and turned the car around. The evening then came to an end after I got lost in the nearby, creepy village of Cardinham.


The following morning, I got much more than I bargained for in terms of the weather... An incredible, thick mist rolled in over night and made everything feel incredibly eerie... It was perfect, but really spooky! I plucked up the courage to to return to the lake, but I didn't get very far before I had to turn around once again out of paranoia and panic.


Not wanting to waste the morning, I drove 15 minutes down the road to Colliford Lake. I'd never been here before so I didn't know where to go or what was in store for me. I quickly found a long, large dam that I thought was a good place to start. I then found a bit of a beach on the other side and, fortunately, it was easily accessible, though I did have to climb over a locked gate. Here, I focussed on the structure in the middle of the reservoir whilst looking for an interesting foreground. The compelling colours and beautiful, burgundy grass grabbed my attention, and I also liked how the shoreline jutted into the water.



After an hour and a half at Colliford Lake, I exhausted the photographic opportunities. So, with freezing feet, I headed back to the car and thought that I would give the other lake one last try. By the time I arrived, the mist had been burnt off by the sun and the landscape lacked the drama that I wanted. Plus, the light wasn't epic enough and the pier was just plain and boring. That said, the landscape was pretty impressive in all other directions, with massive, mountain-like clay tips and many derelict buildings. Considering I also came away with a pretty cool self portrait, I'm definitely glad that I made it there in the end!


Related Links:

Cornwall Photo Gallery

Crowdy Reservoir, Bodmin Moor



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