Majestically rising above the clouds

Early morning light on the Mont Blanc massif rising above a layer of clouds. In the foreground fresh snow and a line of trees with hoarfrost (by Johan Peijnenburg)

The Mont Blanc Massif rising above the clouds

[ 50mm – f/11 – 1/320th – ISO100 – D800E with 24-70mm f/2.8 ]

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I will be mostly off-line in the coming weeks to relax a bit and to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I will also be out there hunting for pretty winter scenery like in this image. I captured this one around this time last year, during a snowshoe hike in the Swiss canton of Valais near Orsières. In the back you are seeing the majestic Mont Blanc Massif rising above a thick layer of clouds. I went up to an altitude of 2100 meters (7000ft) pretty early, to shoot the massif with soft early morning light. The layer of clouds was a very nice bonus. Yep, catching a scene under circumstances like this definitely gets my blood pumping! Hope you like how I captured it!? :)

For those who are into details: the mountains in the back are the Aiguille d’Argentière, Aiguille de l’A Neuve, Grand Darray, Mont Dolent and the Tour Noir. All of them are 3900 meters (13000 feet) or higher.

I captured this image with my 24-70 f/28 lens and used a Singh-ray gradient ND filter to dim the sky a little bit. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 5.3.

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

Visit the Winter Gallery

Visit the Mountains Gallery

Visit the Fog & Mist Gallery

202 Responses to “Majestically rising above the clouds”

  1. Wishing u a merry christmas and a high altitude conciousness and photos in the year to come…..Sir….

  2. How perfect!! I love this winter wonderland!! Beautiful!

  3. Great view, nice to see. Greetings from a wet and dull Vienna.

  4. And Merry Christmas to you too!

  5. Wonderful shot Johan

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year , dear friend

  6. Beautiful cloud capture and landscape photo

  7. Wow Johan. Fantastic view! You’re making miss the mountains a lot right now! Won’t be seeing any of them for a while…

    • thanks for the wow Michael! Sorry to hear you are missing the mountains. It is a good thing that I share them then ejh 😉 Best wishes and hope all is well in Canada!? 

      • All is well in Canada Johan! Trying to figure out the holidays away from the family
        I knew there would not be mountains, it’s just a different experience! And I can always go to your profile to get my dose of sweet altitude!

        • haha, yes you can Michael! How far a drive is it for you to find something that looks like a mountain? 

          • I don’t think driving is going to cut it… the highest elevation in Ontario (Toronto’s province) is 693m….and it’s in the middle of nowhere at least 5 hours away.
            I think for that kind of driving, we’d better try to go to the US, in the north of New York state… The northern Appalachian Mountains are maybe 6 or 7 hours away.

            Anyway I’ll stick to cityscapes and lake images for now I think ;-)

  8. Such wonderful perfection and perfect wonder here, Johan! Breathtakingly captured :))

  9. Incredible shot! Simply stunning! :)

  10. Gorgeous, and happy Christmas to you, my friend!

  11. How how how :-) Don’t ask a question like that, you know everybody loves your photos. It’s very beautiful! Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to you. Veel plezier nog! 

  12. Merry xmas and a pleasant, fun new year to you too Johan , lovely winter magic going on in your vista as well – have a great 2014 man!.

  13. @Robin: same to you Robin! Hope you will have a relaxing time as well. Enjoy! Thanks :)
    @Dominique: haha :) The fact that you think so doesn’t mean everyone agrees or that I cannot be uncertain about it :) Thanks! Fijne Kerstdagen en alvast een mooi 2014 gewenst Dominique! 

  14. Jany Viala says:

    Jaime la formation des nuages! Superbe!
    Bonne fêtes !

  15. Very beautiful picture of the Mont Blanc massif ! A place I also love very much. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to you :-)

  16. Another fabulous landscape Johan! There’s nothing like getting out in the backcountry like this, and to combine it with photography is a bonus.
    Enjoy the Christmas holiday, it wounds like a wonderful plan!

  17. Very nice composition (especially full screen).. I love the little ‘podium’ with snow at the front, followed by the trees.

  18. Gorgeous, expansive mountain image, Johan…

  19. Fantastic view! so beautiful Johan! have a great wekend! ho hoho! ;)))

  20. Wow… this is stunning shot Johan and happy holidays for you

  21. Superb landscape.
    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones ! 

  22. Ho ho ho Mikko! Thanks and merry Christmas :)
    @Leyla: thank you and happy holidays to you as well Leyla. Enjoy! 

  23. Gerda Smid says:

    Ik zou er zo op willen slapen. Mooi!!!!

  24. I really like the ultimate crispness of your image ’cause that’s exactly what mountains are about… At least for me ;-). Thanks Johan!

  25. @Delcour: thanks a bunch Eric and merry Christmas to you too! :)
    @Gerda: dank je!! Dat ligt best lekker denk ik 😉 

  26. Amazing! Johan …So crispy, I can almost feel this snow.

    I need to go to the mountains and leave” my” lake!…:)

  27. Many thanks Johan and a wonderful photo. I wish your family and you also a good christmas time and a good start into the new year.

  28. @Angela: thank you very much Angela ! :)
    @Annick: ow, yes you should and I can give you some tips of where to go for photography :) Thanks for the nice comment! 

  29. Merry Christmas my friend!! and Happy New Year too!!

  30. Absolutely beautiful shot Johan. 

  31. Stunning capture ! :) Love this wonderful scenery of the winter.

  32. Snow! And mountains! 😀 <3

  33. Simply stunning photography my friend!

  34. Breathtaking shot! Happy Holidays to you, too!

  35. Ian Good says:

    Wonderful image Johan – Merry Christmas to you too. :)

  36. Fantastic shot Johan, wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too ! :)

  37. Ow my god it’s gorgeous!!

  38. Fantastic cloud mood and excellent exposure!

  39. For sure I like this a lot Johan great capture :))
    Wish you & Deborah relaxing Holidays. Enjoy family and friends :)

  40. @Brian: thanks Brian! :)
    @David: thanks for the compliment David :)
    @Anette: thanks Anette! Likewise Anette! :) 

  41. Thanks Ian! Enjoy! :)
    @Dalibor: glad you like it Dalibor. Enjoy the holidays and snow! :)

  42. This is an awesome image ! love it Johan ! have a Merry Christmas my friend ! 

  43. Nice winter scenery Johan! I hope you’ve a little bit snow at Christmas, too:)).
    Merry Christmas! Enjoy your feast days:)

  44. Beautiful capture. Really nice with the snow capped mountains popping out from the clouds. 

  45. Lovely layers of majestic beauty! I do not simply enjoy your photography Johan, I am inspired by it!! Merry Christmas my talented friend! :-)

  46. Very nice image Johan, must have been a sight to behold. Those clouds are marvelous.

  47. Sumit Sen says:

    Looks very cold up there :)

  48. Tom Tran says:

    Such a silly question, Johan; of course I like how you captured it. 😉
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, Johan!

  49. Dat is pas sneeuw ;-D Wonderful work Johan 

  50. @Anatoliy: thanks Anatoliy! :)
    @Enrique: thanks and enjoy the hols ! :)
    @Günther: Thanks and thanks for sharing :)

  51. @George: thanks for the wow George :)
    @Bjarte: many thanks Bjarte!
    @Jerry: glad you do Jerry 😀 Enjoy the holidays! :)

  52. @Don: It definitely was a great sight. Hard to describe and not easy to capture in an image! Thanks :)
    @Michael: hmmm I couldn’t live there 😉 Good luck with the city and lakescapes Michael!
    @Sumit: it was doable Sumit :)

  53. @Aamir: thanks Aamir!
    @Tom: :) Enjoy the holidays Tom!
    @Nikola: inderdaad :) Thanks Nikola!
    @Jean: many thanks Jean!

  54. Wonderful :-) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  55. Gorgeous scene Johan and wishing you also a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

  56. Great shot +++
    Have a nice holiday !!!

  57. @Kyra: van hetzelfde:)
    @Mutita : thanks and u2! :)

  58. Gorgeous! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ! ♥

  59. Beautiful capture ~ Merry Christmas :)

  60. Wow, a sea of clouds, Johan, how gorgeous !!!

  61. Such a beautiful photo and perfect way to celebrate the winter holidays! Have yourself a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Johan! See you in 2014! ;-)

  62. @Marina: thanks! Enjoy the holidays :)
    @benoit: thanks Benoit!
    @E.E. Giorgi: many thanks Elena! :)

  63. @Meg: tnx! Merry Christmas Meg :)
    @Mark: thanks for the compliment Mark! Enjoy! :) 

  64. Amazing views and scene Johan. So glad you share your work with Photo Journal Worldwide! Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  65. Gerda Smid says:

    Gevangen begrijp ik. Maar toch genieten van jou prachtige foto’s!!!!XXXX

  66. @Andi: It’s my pleasure Andi ! :)
    @Gerda: gevangen? Ik niet hoor :) Leuk dat je ze mooi vindt! :) 

  67. a great feast to the eyes….powerful and yet calming Sir….

  68. Hope OHara says:

    What a gorgeous scene.. and yes I wore my coat and gloves this time when I came in to visit you.. “smiling”.. wishing you and your loved ones the best Christmas ever.. filled with laughter, magic and love… soft hugs my dear friend..

  69. Michael says:

    Great work Johan.

    Last week i was shooting this from the French side around a 100km away with a long lens on the Ballon D’Alsace at sunrise.
    I did a nice pano of this mountain range too.

    Have a great Xmas, and hope to see you in the new year sometime.

  70. Beautiful image! Wishing you and your family an awesome Christmas Johan :-) 

  71. @Djemor: dank je :)
    @Margaret: many thanks Margaret :) 

  72. Magnificent layered view beautifully portrayed. Terrific shot Johan!

  73. Beautiful shot, happy holidays Johan!

  74. Beautiful, alpine heaven. Just gorgeous.
    All the best in 2014 Johan. Enjoy your holidays too. Hopefully there will be a little time for photography in there as well.

  75. Mady Sach says:


  76. @Mamo: thank you very much Mamo! :)
    @Deborah: thanks and U2! 

  77. John Dunne says:

    And a very Merry Christmas to you and Debby, Johan !

  78. Spectacular capture! Full of mountain goodness! Very nice work Johan! 

  79. Fantastic winter scenery! Greta photo Johan! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  80. … ich wünsche Dir frohe Festtage im Kreise Deiner Lieben! 

  81. Wonderful work! I hope you had a great Christmas! All the best for New Year 2014! Keep enjoying your time off! :-)

  82. Beautiful work , Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014 my friend Johan!! -:)

  83. Beautiful winter landscape, lovely white clouds, Happy new year to you and your family

  84. :) ♥ ~❤❤❤~ ♥ :) Happy New Year dear Johan 

  85. Majestic capture, too!

    happy new year Johan !

  86. I absolutely enjoy this wonderful capture, my friend!!
    I wish you a Happy New Year!! :)

  87. I missed this one – been offline for awhile. This is gorgeous!!
    I hope that you had a marvelous holiday season Johan :)

  88. Stunning & Beautiful Capture :)
    Happy New Year Johan 

  89. Beautiful Johan, best wishes

  90. …. and as always majestically quality images from you, buddy Johan.
    Wishing all the very best to you and yours this 2014.
    Huge hug :)

  91. Majestic beauty Johan, Wow…

  92. Happy New Year to you my friend and I wish you a creative and successful 2014.
    A friendly thought :-))

  93. Rosa Frei says:

    My body is shivering by just looking at snow mountains….. beautiful image!

  94. You must be so happy that it’s winter Johan :) This is absolutely gorgeous!

  95. Great work! Love this.

  96. @Stephen: thanks for the compliment and all the best for 2014 for you too! :)
    @Mady: happy New Year Mady :)
    @John: thanks John and looking forward to seeing you again in the new year! :)
    @Kamal: thank you sir! :) 

  97. @Kurt: many thanks Kurt! :)
    @Angela: thanks for singing Angela! :)
    @Grzegorz: many thanks and hope it will be a great one for you as well Grzegorz! And maybe we will run into each other this year 😉
    @Anna: I enjoyed it Anna thanks! Hope yours was nice as well! :)

  98. @Anna: many thanks Anna! Same to you :)
    @Suzie: glad you like it Suzie and thank you! Wishing you all the best as well :)
    @Annette: U2 Annette! :)
    @Andreas: danke vielmals Andreas! Gleichfalls! :) 

  99. @Athena: thanks Athene and yes I enjoyed the time off! Hope the same goes for you :)
    @Betty: thank you Betty. Best wishes to you as well :)
    @Vishal: thanks for the compliment Vishal! Best wishes to you 2! :)
    @Dirk Photography: thanks and nice to meet you :) 

  100. @Johan: many thanks Johan and happy new year to you too!
    @Michelle: thanks Michelle! :)
    @Yasmin: glas you like this one as well Yasmin :) Best wishes to you as well! :)
    @Thierry: thank you Thierry and wishing you a great year as well! Merci! :) 

  101. @Rosa: lol Rosa. Thank you :)
    @Sinead: yes I am … just need a bit more snow here! Thanks :)
    @Rikard: many thanks Rikard!
    @Michael: thanks Michael! :) 

  102. Fantastic winter scene Johan!!!

  103. Gerda Smid says:

    Heb weer heerlijk kunnen slapen. Bedankt!

  104. This composition is a killer! :)) You caught the right moment Johan

  105. Stunningly beautiful!! 

  106. Many thanks +atiana ! :)
    @Gerda: mooi :)
    @Asif: … ok …
    @Jim: glad you like it Jim :)
    @Paul: thanks for the kind words Paul! This place as such amazing views! Nice ski area as well btw :)

  107. Many thanks Kamil, Jorunn and Khalid ! :)

  108. You capture the majesty and beauty of winter so beautifully Johan!

  109. Many thanks Daryl and Patricia ! :)

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