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Loch and lake
Most of Britain's upland lakes are glacial in origin. They were formed when great sheets of ice gouged out the valleys and deposited rock and rubble at the lower end, creating a natural dam. These deeper still waters have a complex structure and light struggles to penetrate, adding a layer of mystery to their darker depths. I always sense a unique atmosphere when I approach a lake - from the largest expanse of Scottish loch or Lakeland water to the smallest lochan or tarn.
For this intrigue to intensify, I need to be able to see the water hemmed in on all sides by land. Then I must spend time tuning in to its voice, listening to its rhythm and flow, and letting my eye adjust to the lake's colour and luminosity. Then, just as I develop an understanding for its temperament, the mood changes. Still waters are anything but. There is a heartbeat to them, a pulse that can rest in motionless serenity or be whipped by wind into a seething ferment. Anyone who revels in the visual must surely find an endless source of fascination on the glassy surface as it constantly shuffles colours and textures.
The ever-changing characteristic of lake and loch makes them the ideal location for many landscape photographers, especially if their main reward comes from seeking out a never to be repeated alignment of time, weather and light. The same quality entices me, but I am also starting to develop an understanding for what a unique and hugely productive habitat still waters are and the delicate way nature uses them to create more luxurious growth and to prolong the seasons.
Most people who feel the need to connect with the natural world will know a piece of still water close to home. Like woodland, they are a superb destination for all-year-round creative photography.