Two abandoned piers in a tranquil lake near  Neuchâtel (Johan Peijnenburg)

Two abandoned piers in a tranquil Lac de Neuchâtel – black & white

[ 24mm – f/11 – 63 seconds – ISO100 – D3x with 24-70mm f/2.8 ]

A few weeks ago I visited Lac de Neuchâtel near Estavayer-le-Lac in Switzerland with two friends. The plan was to do some long exposure photography together. It was a very windy day with dark clouds. Luckily there were also a few little patches of blue, to let some sunlight slip trough once in a while. We searched for interesting locations along the borders of the lake for quite a while. At some point we got lucky and stumbled into a little hidden beach with 6 or 7 abandoned piers in various states of decay. So we found our subjects, had some heavy waves, an interesting sky with cloud movement and patches of light hitting the lake. Great ingredients for long exposure photography.

Because (and despite) of the wind, I decided to do go for exposures of one to three minutes to smoothen the water as much as possible. I expected the waves and light patches to create a nice milky and soothing effect in the resulting images. The shot above is a one of the images I got away with: a rough looking lake magically turned into a tranquil one. I hope you like it!?

I used a Lee 10-stop ND filter in combination with a Lee 3-stop ND filter. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 4 and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

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

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The Black & White Gallery

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185 Responses to “Tranquillity”

  1. Very peaceful, love the composition!!!!

  2. superb shot Johan .. i like this a lot

  3. Wow Johan, this is a stunning and breathtaking seascape, really incredible!

  4. So serene Johan! And I know just where you were standing (or sitting on the overturned boat?) when you took this. :) It was a lovely day with you and Michael. I am already looking forward to the next. :)

  5. @Shelly and @Rznag: thank you !!!
    @Manuel: glad you like it Manuel!
    @Athena: thank you :) I was sitting on an overturned boat yes! Looking forward to the next one as well!

  6. Awesome shot! I’m taking notes :)

  7. @Dane: thanks for the compliment Dane!
    @Diego: thanks! Any lakes near where you are?

  8. Amazing Johan, Love it :)

  9. Lovely photo Johan! It just whispers serenity ;)

  10. Thanks Keith and Sudip for the kind words and the visit :)

  11. Wonderful ~ I love this :)

  12. Thanks a buch Liz and Meg. Appreciate it a lot !

  13. simply gorgeous .. love it, Johan!

  14. Yeah why not Diego. I will just call it a alpine photo walk instead of a Swiss photo walk :)

  15. Great shot, I am impressed by your LE captures.

  16. Wow Johan, what a sublime mood you created here !! Like the beautiful tones and the balance due to the negative space plus the 2:1, my prefered format :))

  17. Mikael Sh says:

    lovely le shot with a sweet, lonesome composition and tonality too.

    Very nice Johan

  18. I really need those Lee Filters, too. This rocks so much Johan Peijnenburg

  19. @Mikael: thank you!!
    @Matthias: thanks for the rocking comment! And yes, you should get them. They are hard to get … I did get lucky though … broke a big stopper last week and received a replacement today already …. hihaaa:)

  20. Instant bliss, I get lost in this, so beautifully done and phenomenal seen large!

  21. wonderful temperate light and nice details…, fantastic LE work, Johan.

  22. Hey thanks Milena and Peter! Glad you like it!

  23. Superb minimalist image Johan ! It is incredible how areas by lakes can be so interesting sometimes! Congrats!

  24. Exquisite, Johan! It’s really hard to believe that the water was rough––it’s just perfect!

  25. @Mark: glad you like it Mark!
    @Robin: thanks! Yes, it was. It is getting warmere here now by the way 😀
    @Hengki: thanks for the compliment Hengki!

  26. Johan for me, the soft but pronounced horizon is my favorite aspect of this gorgeous photo.

    White is the proper background for it, indeed. :-)

  27. Like it very much Johan

  28. Jerry: thanks Jerry for the compliment and having a look “on white”! Sorry, forgot to mention you irt the theme … I am losing track :)
    Dylan: thank you! Hope all is wel in SA!

  29. Wow, that’s a stunning LE Johan. Love the Pano 2:1 format, it really works so well with this.
    Beautiful processing, love all that central light in the centre of the image. Wonderful smooth water.
    And the hills and town in the top right really give some wonderful balance to the overall image.

    • pfjew, really glad you like it! You saw a preview of this one on my LCD using the hoodman thingy remember? Now you know why i wasn’t shooting in portrait mode :D

      • Yeah, i can see why now, the horizontal format is class.

        • the only doubt I had was about where to put the horizon and subsequently the piers. All three options I had worked quite well, but liked this one best.

          • personally i think it works well as it is in terms of composition and horizon.
            It was quite difficult to get any height here , giving us the opportunity to pull the piers down from the horizon.
            The fact that you used both piers in the composition, compensates for the additional height.

          • thanks for the confirmation! The one I took sitting down on my knies on the windy pier, worked out very well as well to my surprise. How were your images from this location?

  30. wow..the composing is wonderful and this long exposing image its brilliant!!!

  31. Awesome work Johan! Really like this composition.

  32. I like those hints of places beyond.

  33. Tom Tran says:

    Beautiful work!
    Yes, Johan. I need to learn to make images like this. Not right away of course…but hopefully some day!

  34. Great work Johan as I say before, minimalism, LE and water surface a great combination….

  35. Perfect LE my friend!! :)

  36. Gorgeous work Johan! I’m glad it worked out as this is a very beautiful scene.

  37. Great LE work Johan ! This image gives me a suggestion: the two piers say me something about the continuity and the interruption of existence…

  38. @markus rienzner: glad you like it Markus!
    @Paul Turkowski: thanks for the kind words!
    @Steve Aldrich: thanks Steve. Well spotted. Thanks for stopping by!

  39. @Vitor: Thanks :)
    @Nikola: Very true! Thanks!
    @David: merci David :)
    @Kurt: glad you like it Kurt! It was an all or nothing day :)
    @Emanuele: glad there is a story for you and that you like it!

  40. Wowww, what a great work, Johan!!! Outstanding image!!!

  41. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful……… ;)

  42. Love the long crop, very good work on the exposure choice too.

  43. Guy Gale says:

    Great composition and tones.

  44. Love the almost infinite quality of the horizon line. Truly lovely image.

  45. This is incredibly beautiful! It’s like a dream and I don’t want to wake up! It’s extraordinary!!!!

  46. I’ve had this image sitting on-screen for awhile doing things and just beautiful to look at the screen when walking by. Really love what you’ve done here Johan. it’s an awesome minimal comp too with a great feel. Great work as always.

  47. @Maggy: thank you. I always love your enthousiasme 😀
    @Yasmin: thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks …… 😉
    @Michael: thanks for the kind words Michael!
    @Guy: thank you and thanks for stopping by!
    Thanks Robert and Suzanne!!
    @Margaret: you’re too kind :) Glad it’s not a nightmare 😉
    @Andrew: your comment made my day! Much appreciated!

  48. wow, what a wonder, so calm and in a perfect light

  49. Ben Coope says:

    Nice one Johan , love the crop and the horizon in the top 3rd.

  50. Superb shot Johan Peijnenburg

  51. Hi Johan … I viewed large and small. Large is much better, as usual. Wonderful image, love it :)

  52. I like the tension in this one. The whole left side, although empty, balances this frame out nicely. Well done!

  53. @Gemma, @Don, @Ben, @Dawid: thanks all for the nice comments!
    @Anette: thanks! Have you gone practicing with the new stuff already?

    • what do you think ? Sitting at home and babysitting our dog or what -:)))) just this morning I went up to our lake in the forest and did a few test runs. I need to check them out later. To busy now. Btw, there was a big stopper on the fotoflohmarkt, but sold already. Did you buy it ? Was 200CHF. Cheaper to get it than sent from the UK! I got now all my stuff….ooohhh all, yeah. Me happy :) Wildlife here, my daughter just told me there is a black panther running loose in Swissy! Shall we go after it, would be like finding a needle on the Matterhorn :) 

      • Anette, what new stuff did you get?? :)

        • Was just curious Anette :) I received my stuff from them as well!

          • @Diego New stuff is Lee filters. We have found a reseller in the UK which has most of the “stuff” in stock. Well, now maybe not anymore. Johan and me have been shopping last week and the week before :)
            Now I just want a Singh Ray filter reverse. That is costy and the shipping is more than 60 US bucks, …. are you still sitting on your chair Diego ? :)) The shipping is insane from the US. I also want a new bag ( old one will fall appart soon, finally found what I was looking for ) Europe, forget to search for it, it is not sold here in Europe. I wish I would still live in Asia. There I could get everything. But to add another 65 US bucks on a quite expensive bag. Will check Ryan air if they fly over. Than at least I can have bacon and eggs :)

  54. Nice! Really liking the Le Johan. Looks like it was a productive day for you guys!

  55. Stunning–beautiful in its simple composition and timeless mood.

  56. @Ian: thanks Ian! It was a great day with some nice results :)
    @Christopher: thanks for the compliment Christopher and nice to meet you!

  57. I like this one pretty much, where have you taken this?:)

    • Hey Laura. Thank you. This is Lac de Neuchâtel near Estavayer-le-Lac. I am hoping to go shoot long exposures near you, but that all depends on when I can pick up certain gear :)

  58. Great minimalist shot

  59. Such a beautiful image, Johan! Strong composition!

  60. Soooo smooth! Just stunning, Johan!

  61. That is so cool, Johan! Great work!

  62. Maurizio, Randall, Kerry and Sandy: thank you all very much for the kind words :)

  63. beautiful. makes me want to just sit there and look at it – and maybe meditate

  64. Pure beauty Johan! Well done my friend!!!

  65. Lili Ana says:

    Tranquility indeed. Beautiful :)

  66. Johan, this is of absolute tranquility, it’s almost frozen! Good you preserved the structure of the clouds, and the framing is… perfect. Thank you for posting this one, my friend!

  67. I really need a ND filter… :) Cool shot, peaceful..

  68. Andy Lee says:

    Great minimal image Johan! Silky smooth, masterful!

  69. @Thomas: thanks you. Glad you feel zen!
    @Francesco: thanks and hope all is well in Italy!
    @Lili: thanks for the compliment :)
    @Wilfried: thanks! Did you ever try LE’s or is that too dangerous .. uhm, slow for you?
    @Andy: thanks a bunch Andy!
    @Patrice: merci!

  70. Goldie B says:


  71. So peaceful, and almost eerie… well done!

  72. Johan: as I had the pleasure of saying earlier in the week, this is a gorgeous photo!! Congrats, but it is no surprise that this beauty was the most popular MCM photo.

  73. johan peijnenburg,this is not a mere photo,it is serenity whithin a photo.amazing horizon

  74. Goldie and Gabriele: thank you!
    Jerry: thanks again!
    Samia: thanks for the very kind words!

  75. Looks icy. Nice shot

  76. Johan Peijnenburg congrats on the MCM pic of the week!!!
    Nice pic…

  77. Wellness for my eyes :) I love the calm mood of this shot. Great one!

  78. Sumit Sen says:

    Very nicely done!

  79. An amazing minimalistic LE image with an interesting pov!
    Great great great Johan !!

  80. A great capture Johan – well done !

  81. Hey Johan Peijnenburg. Congratulation for the MCM Most Popular Photo of the Week. Bravo a Masterpiece.. Chapeau

  82. Surreal shot. Great!

  83. Martin: it does, doesn’t it :) Thanks for the feedback!
    Allan: thank you and glad you like it!
    Christian: that’s what I wanted to achieve. Thanks!
    Sumit: thanks Sumit. Glad you are back :)

  84. Sophie: thanks, thanks, thanks!
    Johan: thanks for the compliment Johan!
    Martin: danke vielmals!
    Peter: thank you as well for the kind words!

  85. No doubt abouts. It’s a superb photo. The finest grays ever I saw.

  86. David Bell says:

    Boy oh boy I can just stare at this stunning, tranquil image for hours. Absolutely goegeous!

  87. Excellent minimalistic long exposure shot. Great work !

  88. Ada M says:

    ooo, this is such an incredible picture Johan Peijnenburg

  89. Johan Peijnenburg good evening and that looks wonderful.

  90. Great shot and a well deserved winner Johan , your work is reminiscent of that of one of my favourite Monochrome Photographers, Hengki Koentjoro who does consistently amazing work.

  91. Great LE Johan , I’m sure u had good fun with Athena and Michael

  92. LOVE LOVE LOVE….This inspires me to get out of my box and try something new.

  93. @Walter: thanks for the compliment! I love +Hengki Koentjoro’s work as well :)
    @Eric: thank you! Yes, it was good fun. Pitty you are not closer to CH. You could join one day :)
    @Piper: thanks thanks thanks 😉 Glad you like it! Long exposure photography is different but very relaxing as well! For me it is a nice change from what I usually do.

  94. @Markus: thank you as well Markus!

  95. Beautiful….well composed and processed!

  96. Very peaceful and magically beautiful Johan!

  97. So amazingly calming – beautiful soft light

  98. I love it! The effect worked perfectly….it is so serene and beautiful.

  99. Mikko: thanks again Mikko!
    Steve: thanks Steve. Glad you like it :)
    Sinead: love it that you love it!

  100. You’re definitely talented at LE photography Johan! Great exposure and composition. The smooth tonal gradations are a great touch and it’s that what makes a great seascape LE photograph! Or for that matter it’s what makes a great BW photograph in general – Looking forward to more!

  101. Stunning Johan, really like the composition and fantastic tones

  102. Gorgeous light and tone

  103. Wonderful in simplicity Johan!…

  104. Excellent LE and processing work, Johan.

  105. Superb composition and light, Johan !

  106. Really great comp Johan. This is so serene and I really like the inclusion of the mountains on the horizon, it adds so much more depth to the photo. Great work!

  107. Thanks Francis and Laurent !! Very kind :)

  108. Superba …liscia!

  109. This is really gorgeous Johan! Love it, composition and tones, perfect!! :)

  110. Another wonderful work!

  111. tranquility indeed! this is pure Zen. : )

  112. Julia Anna: very kind. Really appreciate your feedback!
    Thanks again Aileen and Shane!

  113. Love the negative space in your LE!

  114. Perfect title! Excellent shot! :)

  115. Wow. This is indeed a tranquil and serene photo.

  116. This is so excellent. I love it!!

  117. Ben Locke says:

    fantastic minimalism.

  118. […] near Estavayer-le-Lac in Switzerland for a bit of long exposure shooting and shot an image called Tranquility. It was quite windy and foggy that day. Pretty nice conditions for this type of photography. Early […]

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