Bali: Lovely Lake Tamblingan

As I mentioned, I’m going to write about our trip to Bali more in terms of highlights than according to the sequence of our itinerary. On that basis there is only one place I could start: the beautiful, tranquil banks of Lake Tamblingan. It was not a place we had known to list on our desired itinerary, but a suggestion from our driver/guide Putu Arnawa as a place he personally liked. We had sought Putu out in the first place because he is a photographer, and by now I had enough of a sense of his aesthetic to trust his suggestions. I am so glad we did.

Temple After Rain

We arrived there late on a rainy afternoon, the skies still fogged with intermittent drizzle after an earlier downpour. Although there is a walkway leading to this temple, a significant proportion of it was now submerged due to the lake waters encroaching onto the surrounding land after the rain. No matter. It made everything feel that much more otherworldly to see a wooden boat floating further inland than a compound of stone and concrete.

Perhaps due to the wet weather, the village on the banks of the river seemed very quiet. At first, we saw no one except three children and the lady in this provision shop.

Provision Shop

Then we heard them – village men in a pavilion about 300 metres down the river, who had evidently decided to match their alcohol consumption to the day’s rainfall. I was a little absorbed with watching children playing in the lake so didn’t really listen to what they were singing and shouting, though I did notice an outburst of hilarity when they spotted Alec, and was fairly amused by a later bellow of “Can I borrow your wife?” to him.

Like I said though, I was a little distracted.

Lake Children

Lake Children

Lake Child

It started drizzling again soon, and the children retreated indoors. We needed to be on our way too, as we were keen to reach Munduk while there was still some light. But I was enchanted by the spartan beauty of leafless trees and wooden boats, and just had to snatch a few last shots of my favourite place I had seen in Bali yet.

Evening Quiet

Goodbye, Lake Tamblingan. I won’t forget you.

Boat's Eye View

PS: You’ve probably noticed that there is quite a variety of tones across this set of photos, in the sense that the colour of the light looks quite different from one photo to the next. While I have always tended towards keeping things looking “natural” in my photo processing, I recently read David duChemin’s excellent book Vision and Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and was quite inspired by his approach of focusing more on recapturing how the photo felt when he took it rather than sticking to the confines of what it looked like. Things like this may be obvious to those of you who are naturally creative, but I’m the sort of person who has to be taught how to improvise, and usually the thought of tinkering with the tones of a photo anywhere between Colour! and Black&White! would have me rocking in a corner.

So when I was processing this photoset, I used the exercise to try duChemin’s approach on a photo-by-photo basis, and venture a little out of my comfort zone with the processing. I know that a proper photoset should look consistent as a whole, but I’m still a baby at all this artistic vision shit, and I need to walk before I can run. Anyway, I’d love to hear any feedback on the photos. Or even better still, go visit this beautiful place and let me see yours. :)

PPS: The publication of this entry got held up for several hours, firstly because I couldn’t think of any title other than “Lovely Lake Tamblingan”, which kept making me giggle because I couldn’t disassociate it from the Father Ted Lovely Girls Competition, and secondly because I then spent even more time crying with laughter while rewatching said episode. After all that, I decided the title had earned the right to stay.


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