An artificial lake in the middle of the nation's Capital is turning 50 and I feel like I can't let that landmark go by without giving my perspective on this wonderful place. I've fallen in love with Canberra in the 8 years I've been here now. It's a town that stirs emotion when you tell people you live there, but I delight in being able to snap off dozens of reasons it's the sleeping giant of 'places to visit' in this country. (Although perhaps not so sleeping with some of the press it's gotten lately!)
One of the most photographed locations in this town's history would quite comfortably be Lake Burley Griffin and you can put my hat in that particular ring also. Looking through my photos of Canberra, photos of LBG far outweigh photos of any other location. And for good reason in my opinion. No matter how many places I trek to find the next shot I can never quite better my favourites from the lake. I love it down there.
It gives a landscape photographer exactly what you'd want for an amazing shot. There's foreground interest, background interest, always incredible skies and more often than not some activity happening in or around it. Perfect. The best part is the way it sits gives perfect shots of the sunrise and sunset which I'm particularly fond of!
It's had its controversies over the years and I'm sure it'll evolve more over the next 50 years but Walter Burley Griffin's contest design is a thing of beauty. Wether you're looking up at the National Carillon or doing the popular 'bridge to bridge' walk/run it's hard not to be impressed with its size and charm. Go a little further and you can find places like the Black Mountain Peninsula which is a particularly treasured spot of mine for a lovely sunrise!
A more recent addition to the Canberra family has been the National Arboretum and I'm yet to find a spot more impressive than on the opposite side across the lake. The Arboretum is quickly becoming a family favourite but also a magnet for photographers too. I love shooting it but the angle looking across the lake remains my most liked Canberra landscape. Two of the best features of the town in one shot. Magnificent.
The two bridges across LBG are almost as photographed as the lake itself and are another location I find myself revisiting when I'm after a nice shot. They're popular amongst the fitness community and there isn't a day that you cross them that you won't see joggers puffing there way contently across.
Many an animal also calls the lake home, from swans and the odd seagull (I've never understood that one) to the fiercer and often times more vocal 'rowers of the lake'. It always impresses me the dedication of these people even in the depths of the coldest mornings they are out there on the foggy lake rowing away. I've tried it a few times now but I think I'm happy to stick to the summer weekends when I don't have to risk frostbite in order to have some fun.
It's hard to have a photos of LBG without the iconic Black Mountain Tower and combing the two has been a particular challenge of mine over the last 12 months. They make a great combination and I think I've probably got another dozen or so shots left in me of these two.
When you manage to score 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor you know you must be doing something right! It's a little weird wishing a man made object a happy birthday but it's got a special place in my heart so Happy Birthday Lake Burley Griffin! I'll eat an entire cake just for this occasion. I'm nice like that.