Alpine lake reflections at sunset

Alpine reflections in a half frozen alpine lake called Lej Pitschen (Bernina pass, Pontresina,  Switzerland), with the Piz Cambrena (3606m) in the background. (Johan Peijnenburg)

Last light at a small Alpine lake in Switzerland

[ 19mm – f/11 – 1/125sec – ISO200 – D3x with 14-24 f/2.8 ]

I published many black and white (long exposure) images lately, so I figured it was time again to post in color :-)

This photograph features a small Alpine lake called “Lej Pitschen”. It’s located at the top of the well-known Bernina pass in Graubünden (Grisons), Switzerland. In the background you see the mountain Piz Cambrena, which has an altitude of 3606 meter (11.830ft).

I captured this image at the end of May (last weekend). The lake was still partly frozen. As I was shooting fairly close to sunset, I ran around like a maniac to try to capture this lake and the surrounding mountains with differing compositions, perspectives and focal lengths. About 10 minutes after I shot this one, the light was no longer hitting the scene. Timing is everything in landscape photography!

For this image I used my 14-24 f/2.8 wide angle lens. No filters were used. The image was process in Adobe Lightroom 4.1.

Click on the image, if you are interested in buying a print or license. For more images like this, please visit:

The Lakes, Seas & Oceans gallery

The Graubünden – Switzerland gallery

205 Responses to “Alpine lake reflections at sunset”

  1. Absolutely incredible shot Johan!

  2. Beautiful crisp photograph…Brilliant!

  3. Nice work with the reflection.

  4. Anson Jett says:

    Awesome shot. Great capture!

  5. Thanks Mark and Anson!
    Thanks you Milena and Fabrizio :)

  6. very very nice! I love the reflections the light and the last shine on the mountain at the background. a wonderful image.

  7. Thorsten: thank you! Glad you like it!
    Thank you as well Alessandro Brandolino !

  8. Fantastic, Johan . Great foreground, great sky!

  9. Shelly and Dane: thanks your for the compliments and the visit again!

  10. Breathing freshness… wonderful. Thanks for this, Johan !


  11. Tim McAdam says:

    Beautiful view Johan !
    Thanks for sharing it!

  12. Stunning, Johan. I love the little bits in the foreground and the reflections are great.

  13. Beautiful Landscape Johan, love the wide sweeping panoramic view.
    Are you coming out with me and Athena on tuesday??

  14. David Orr says:

    Tremendous capture !

  15. Debby Vos says:

    Beautiful image Johan :-)
    My hanging around, waiting and seeing you run around like an idiot to shoot all, was worth it apparently ;-))))

  16. Thanks a bunch David and George!
    Debby: for sure! Thanks for the patience :D

  17. Very nice image Johan :)

  18. This is amazing Johan! Beautiful, fresh and on the edge of the season. I loved your description of hurrying around taking shots. I love that feeling of seeing something very special and having the opportunity to capture it like this.

  19. Just a vibrant, bright, popping result. Great image but really great, natural looking processing. Fantastic!

  20. Feels like ice on a crisp day. Gorgeous!

  21. Gorgeous landscape, love the reflection

  22. Sumit Sen says:

    Wow! That is a cracking shot! Top class and great in colour!

  23. @Scott: thanks Scott!!
    @Kurt: thanks Kurt! Yeah, it must have looked really funny. I think I had 20 minutes at this location, so tried different things. I got lucky that the wind eased at some point as well, so that the reflections were actually worth while :)
    Thanks as well Jim!

  24. Thanks Terrill! Wasn’t sure whether it was appropriate to also tag +Breakfast Art Club for this one ?
    Thanks you very much Hengki and Patricia !
    Dank je wel Nikola!!!

  25. Tom Tran says:

    The wide angle is giving us such a treat with this beautiful landscape, Johan. You managed to stay out of the lake during your maniacal running around, I take it? :D

  26. I love the deep blue sky reflection on the water surface. Fantastic photo !

  27. … but you coloured ones are not bad at all either 😉

  28. Beautiful photo Johan!

  29. wonderful shot as usual, so clear and fresh image Johan

  30. A great image Johan 

  31. what an absolutely stunning scene very well captured, Johan !!!

  32. Fantastic reflections, wonderful composition and perfect processing.
    One of the best alpine landscape…..
    congrates…. Johan

  33. Very nice Johan. Would be seriously nice to spend a couple of evenings in a tent next to the lake :-)

  34. Very nice shot Johan !

  35. Thanks Tom! No I didn’t get myself wet …. this time. It does happen once in a while though :)
    @Carsten: danke vielmals Carsten!! Glad you like it!
    @Matthias: hehe phjew ;)

  36. @Michael: thanks Michael!
    @Gemma: thanks for the kind words and the share :)
    @Vitor: thanks for the compliment Vitor!!!

  37. Thank you for the kind words Morkel and nice to meet you!
    Javier: gracias!!!
    Peter Paul: thanks. Very kind Peter Paul. I think I will do a black and white version of this in the future as well :) 

  38. @Dylan: I think that would be awesome indeed. Would be a perfect location for shooting a starry sky reflected in the water :) Thanks for the visit again and the compliment. Hope all is well in SA!
    @Christa: danke dir Christa!
    @Dominique: merci beaucoup Dominique! 

  39. This is Fantastic Johan _:)_

  40. Wow, beautiful Johan! What a scene and I love the colors!! Great shot! :)

  41. Johan, you do color so splendidly! And you know how much I love that. This is an absolutely perfect image. Everything just as it should be, clouds, mountains, snow, lake, ice, grasses, and those two foreground rocks make me smile! I am a little bit jealous that I was not also there running around like a maniac trying to get different compositions! I’ll just have to enjoy seeing them all as you post them. :)

    • Thanks a bunch for the very kind words Athena 😀 Yeah, this is one of those scenes that you just have to run into at the right time of day. I had already given up that day after a disappointing visit to another lake, Then we ran into this one. Big smiles :))) I think I have about 7 or 8 different good captures from this area!
      Hey, if you figure out when your kids are free from school in Autumn you could visit this as part of a Graubünden trip ;)

  42. @Julia: thanks Julia!!! Glad you like it :) Hope your being busy is getting less by now!
    @Meg: and it is not even a Monday. How can that be? 😉

  43. Jim Davis says:

    Nice Johan, I long for the mountains!

  44. There is such a nice clean feel to this image, I feel refreshed just taking it in. Beautiful work Johan !

  45. @Michael: thanks for the kind words Michael. I will be going back to this place in a few weeks and might try to imitate one of your starry sky shot above this scene :)
    @Aileen: thanks Aileen. Glad you like it!
    @Alan: thanks Alan. Hope all is well in Ireland! 

  46. Reflections are fun… always! Great photo Johan…

  47. Beautiful reflection…wonderful image.

  48. Excellent alpine scene Johan !

  49. Such a gorgeous landscape Johan! I love the reflection!

  50. Fantastic Johan beautiful colors, reflection, ……

  51. Stunning! Colour, B&W…doesn’t matter Johan, you’re a master of all types of landscapes!

  52. Awesome view with cool reflections Johan!

  53. @Patrice: thank you and yes you are right :)
    @Candace: thanks for the compliment. Hope all is well with you! 
    @Dominique: thanks again Dominique!
    @Andy: thanks a lot Andy!

  54. @Charles: thanks Charles!
    @Steve: simply beautiful works for me. Thanks!
    @Brian: thanks Brian and nice to meet you! 

  55. merci beaucoup Thierry!
    @Sudip: too much honor Sudip! Thanks for the very kind words :)
    @Paul: glad you like it Paul and hope all’s well in Austria! 

  56. Great shot Johan (^_^(

  57. Johan, the effort was worth it. You’ve created an ultra-clear, crisp photograph! I like the fact that I can see more in the foreground than in the background. This provides a refreshing look of this wonderful gem of a lake. Glad you took the time, my friend!

  58. Thanks Henrik!
    Thanks a bunch for the kind words Wilfried! I guess your favorite Piz Palu is connected to this mountain no? We should try night photography above a lake like this with our new babies 😉 

    • Sure we should! Gargl! Piz Palue is definitely connected 😉 Let me send you a night shot of Palue from Boval hut soon, with my camera rammed into the icy snow as a tripod substitute 😉 It was full moon. Again, your photo is fantastic!

  59. Debby Vos says:

    @Wilfried: we went to the Boval hut last week, too much snow for the last part though…. So we should redo it…. It is a beautiful area 

  60. Awesome Composing great light and stunning reflections!!

  61. A great shot, but it has such a clearity, that I could stare at it a very long time for that quality alone. I taste the cold but fresh air. Fantastic work

  62. Fantastic landscape Johan !!!

  63. Thank you Bertrand and thanks for the visit!
    Thanks for the kind words Markus!
    @Sassi: still here staring?

  64. E.E. Giorgi and David Herreman: thank you both very much! 

  65. Ada M says:

    when I see marvelous mountain pictures like that I get transported in them, I feel like I am there feeling the cold air, touching the ground, hearing the silence and enjoying the miracles of mountains. Superb!

  66. I think that running around the lake to find the right composition was a good run! Really wonderful picture Johan!

  67. Great image. There is a lot to look at. Partly frozen lakes are interesting. Hope to capture one or two myself soon. 

  68. cracking shot Johan, looking forward to more

  69. Ada: thank you Ada! Really glad you feel like that!
    Emanuele: hah yes definitely! Thanks Emanuele!
    Rikard: don’t wait too long or you’ll have to go up too high :) Glad you like it!
    Guy: I love the “cracking” bit Guy. Thanks a bunch and nice to meet you! 

  70. this is nothing but stunning

  71. stunning capture my friend! love how the clouds hug the mountain and the reflection is so crisp! beautiful!

  72. Jorunn: thanks! Glad you like it!
    Shane: he he, catching up? Thanks for all the great comments. Really appreciated!!!

  73. looks gorgeous Johan, you were lucky that the remote was not picking up the shacking, of all that running :))) Glad you made it in time, otherwise I could not enjoy this :)

  74. Johan, the more I look at this the more I think this may well be the best image you ever shared . It works on every level. 

  75. Mike Sh says:

    nice one Johan, you´r photos might make me to have to visit Switzerland with the gf some day for a photo walk amongst the “roof of the world” :)

  76. Gorgeous image Johan. I really like the crisp feel it evokes. Definitely worth your dashing around.

  77. @Anette: I was surprised that you haven’t been there yet :)
    @Charles: thanks again Charles. Hope I can keep it up :)
    @Mike: thanks! You should if you like hiking in the settings we hae here. I love it :)
    @Stan: thanks for the kind words Stan! Glad I could serve some fresh air 😉 

  78. @Glenda: thanks for the compliment and the sigh :)

  79. Magnificent work Johan – a pity we cannot stretch those times with good light :)

  80. Johan, whenever one of your phenomenal photos pops up, I go and pop some popcorn, I make some lemonade, and I sit back and study your photos for a LONG time. They are SO good!

    This beautiful photo has such amazing depth, but my favorite facet is found in the rock protruding from the water on the left. I think that is because it breaks up the reflection in the water in just the right way.

    O.K. I’ve finished my popcorn and lemonade so I had better get back to work. :-) Well done as always and thank you for sharing this with me.

  81. Wow Johan , thank you for posting this breath taking mountainscape!!!!
    And the reflection, clarity, the clouds who are elegant majestic…Impressive in every way!! :-)

  82. Lol Jerry :) Your comments always make me smile! Really glad my images have this effect on you :)
    @Sophie: thank you Sophie!!! Love the way you describe it. Thanks :)
    @Lisa: thank you very much as well :D

  83. Encompassed a beautiful setting with all the right elements Johan, creating a stunning image. Glad it all came together for you! Nicely done man!

  84. This is glorious Johan! Love the blue sky, the clouds and those reflections! 

  85. This is a fantastic sweeping scene. I really like this view…Excellent quality work, Johan.

  86. Thanks a bunch Ian! Yeah it’s cool when thinks work out like this :)
    Merci Laurent! I am tempted to also do a B&W version btw :)
    Thanks David and thanks for the visit.

  87. Absolut fantastic shot Johan Peijnenburg 

  88. Thank you very much Alan and Markus !! 

  89. Fabulous photo Johan; this looks like a nice spot!

  90. That’s beautiful Johan ! Especially the reflections. So still seduced by colors Johan?:))

  91. @Maurizio: thank you Maurizio!
    @George: thank you very much! It definitely is! 

  92. Nora Carol says:

    Stunning shot! such an amazing location.

  93. Stunning work! Love it!

  94. Thanks Patricia !
    @Nora: thank you as well. Nice to see you back. Hope all is well!

  95. A pure delight mate

  96. Beautiful place!! well captured as usual :))

  97. Eric and Diego: thanks for the kind words and the visit. Much appreciated!

  98. reading the post for the 2nd I realized I cam across that one with my mountain bike once … excellent capture and thanks for bringing back good memories :-)) Johan 

  99. such amazing magicl you captured here Johan! realy amazing glowing of colors and light and what a magical view! so beautiful!

  100. Thanks a bunch Sandy and Mikko !!!

  101. Gorgeaus image, Johan!! What a beautiful landscape!!! Love it!!

  102. Lilia Lin says:

    Beautiful, so pristine :)

  103. awesome place and photo, Johan!

  104. Johan Peijnenburg, I really enjoy your work so much:-)

  105. @Maggy: thanks a lot Maggy! Glad you like it!
    @Lilia: many thanks Lilia! Nice to meet you :)
    @Fabio: thanks again Fabio. Yes indeed. And almost in Italy :)
    @Simply: very glad you do. Thanks for checking it out again :D

  106. Beautiful!!!, your images help me stay positive to think about our move to Canada, I will be changing red scenarios , sun and cactus for lakes, ducks and mountains…

  107. Tremendous!! The reflections are fantastic!

  108. Thanks Neil and Randall! Very much appreciated!

  109. schitterend, is me een goegen om jou en je fotos te bewonderen…..

  110. I’m just going to drool all over this! It’s so gorgeous Johan !! I love the great texture in the foreground and the wonderful mountains and clouds so beautifully reflection. This is stunning!!

  111. @Encarnaciòn: dank je wel. Leuk om te horen :)
    @Sandra: not sure about that but it is nice to hear Sandra 😀
    @Margaret: hey thanks Margaret! I was nervous about being able to capture what I saw. I managed though 😀

  112. Johan Peijnenburg : amazing image, congrats!

  113. Sir very nice photo

  114. woonderful, love snowy mountainscapes… expecially like the feeling of width and depth to this

  115. Thanks Anna and thanks again Scott !

  116. I like the light, the colours and the nice reflections. Great work Johan ! Have a good day.

  117. @Jean-Michel: merci beaucoup!! It was one of the nicer photography experiences this year Jean-Michel 😀
    @Paul: many thanks Paul!!! 

  118. must special l like more of manners ,l like of colour uis more beauty,well all have your time space and use then our mind use a cretive ,ok good week,l need will go,by by:)

  119. jany viala says:

    The Alps are beautiful. In addition to the clouds, just grazed the mountain and is reflected in the lake. Beautiful. Thank you for this show.

  120. wooow ! Just for this – when the skyes touching the earth !

  121. This is my fav the light, contrast, colours and details on here..Amazing!

  122. Ric Lav says:

    Jolie la vue paronamique bel couleur et reflet tres poncher

  123. Thank you Edwin!
    @Ric: merci beaucoup!

  124. Ric Lav says:

    Jolie photographie bel couleur 

  125. Impresionante paisaje y muy buena foto . Un cordial saludo

  126. Sweet frame, lots of elevation! Johan very beautiful

  127. Thanks Randall !
    @Matt: many thanks Matt! Btw for some of my images I was up lots higher :) 

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