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  • Writer's pictureGareth Partington

Cregennan Lakes Wales - The Lady Of The Lake

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

As I was doing some research for a photography project about the lady of the lake, I came across an article explaining about a place in Wales called "Cregennan Lakes" which was the home to one of the legends of the story. I had never been here before in all my trips exploring Wales, so decided it was somewhere I needed to visit.

Planning the trip

I had recently purchased a photographic guide book entitled "Photographing North Wales" by Simon Kitchin and low and behold there were details about the lake and how to get there.

I only had a weekend in which to photograph the lake but I needed to make contingency plan incase the weather was not great.

My experience of visiting Padley Gorge made me consider I did not want to drive all that way, find bad weather or be over run with hikers. So I came up with a list of locations all within the same area to visit and move to throughout the day.

Saturday morning clouds

I arrived at the lake desperately trying to get there before the sun rose and the world was filled with cloud.

It wasn't overcast but had some definition to the clouds so perhaps my luck was in. The lake its self was so beautiful with a single lonely island.

I frantically tried to find the view point I wanted to photograph. I wanted the hills to either side of the lake but where ever I put myself, I could not fill the frame. The sun was rising and light was starting to fill the landscape and then I remembered I could try the technique I had been using at Padley Gorge, stictching the scene together.

I positioned myself on a small hill overlooking the lake and began to get set for the image. Unfortunately the rising sun was not the magical light I was hoping for. Instead a grey stormy sky started to emerge but I continued to make the image anyhow.

I had no idea if the photo would be a success as it relied on me getting into Photoshop and processing the image, but I quite liked the result.

How to deal with disappointing light

As the sun came up the day turned out to be another drab overcast affair. People started to arrive at the lake, so I decided it was time to put my contingency plan into place. My friend Paul, his dog Obi and my dog Dylan all went for a hike over one of the hills to explore.

The walking was great and we had a scramble up and down as we explored. I couldn't find anything which was attracting my camera but we stopped for a chat and to admire the view. The light was very flat, but how could I not enjoy the environment in this amazing place in Wales and the company of my dog and friend?

As I looked out across the hills I started to see a potential photo. The dry stone wall from the farm where we were stopped, led out into the hills. It wasn't going to be anything amazing but something was telling me to create the shot.

If the image didn't turn out to be great but at least I had tried. Perhaps it could be a record for somewhere for me to return to in the future.

When the light isn't working for you, sometimes you just need to appreciate being out in the landscape. Take time to look around and don't hunt those epic images. I know this photo won't win any competitions but its a nice record and memory of where I was at this time in my life.

Sunset was a bit disappointing too

I spent most of the day exploring the different locations I had found but there were no great photo opportunities. Again I just enjoyed walking, hiking, chatting to my friend and spending time with the dogs.

We returned to the lakes for sunset but the sky was clear of clouds, and there was no dramatic light to be seen anywhere.

The two dogs were having a great time chasing and playing with each other as they entertained themselves as me and Paul searched for photos.

If the landscape wasn't playing ball for my photo hunting, Dylan was more than willing to be my model.

Blown away by sunrise

The next morning I awoke before the sun had risen and again hoped that I would be able to catch some magically light.

I really wanted to create a wide dramatic view of the lake so I positioned myself back on top of the hill where I tired the previous morning. As the Sun rose the sky was illuminated by this vivid pink hue. There were no clouds as such, just some whips in the air and I began to shoot the panoramic image.

The atmosphere was so still and as I was photographing another person was up and watching the sunrise. They stood next to the lake and managed to give the scene some sense of scale.

As I was shooting this in sections again I had quite good detail in the image, so here's a couple of zooms of the panoramic.

close up of the man on edge of water

I felt so privileged to be here in this magical location. It shows that returning to the same place can create a very different photo, so if you've not captured that dream photo, keep going back. I will be back here to try again.

close up of the boat house

After creating the wide scene I moved round to the side of the lake looking for other vantage points and I captured this last photo before the sky colour faded into a perfect blue day.

Planning, perseverance and hard work

It goes to show though that planning, perseverance and hard work can sometimes pay off. I will be returning here in the future to explore the shores of this lake further. I feel there are some better compositions then what I managed to capture but I am pleased with what I produced.

Have you any suggestions of locations for me to visit which are steeped in history and folklore? If so let me know in the comments or send me a message as I'd love to explore some more locations throughout the country.

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