New minimalist B&W photography: A Day at the Office

This post features a new minimalist black & white photography. I captured it last week when I was out shooting long exposures along the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) in Switzerland. It features a fisherman at work on his boat on the lake and the silhouette of the French Alps. I shot this quite early in the morning when the lake was still very smooth. Contrary to what you might think, this time it is not a long exposure 😉

A Day at the Office, a fisherman on Lac Léman

A fisherman at work on his boat on a misty Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) in Switzerland with the French Alps in the background.

For the fisherman, this was probably just another day at the office. For me, it was a very peaceful minimalist scene that I just had to capture. I knew upfront that I wanted to render it in black and white. This, because I wanted to emphasise the tranquillity and minimalist nature of the photograph. So, I hope you like minimalist B&W photography as I created here !?

I shot this with a Nikon D3x in combination with a Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 at ƒ/16, to make sure I would also get some detail in the mountains in the background. I used the following settings: 1/125s and ISO100.

Click on the photograph if you would like to know more about the photograph or wish to buy a print or a licence. I hope you like it!?

Cheers, Johan 🙂

238 thoughts on “New minimalist B&W photography: A Day at the Office

  1. shane holsclaw says:

    indeed…pure tranquility here. one man…connected with nature. love the contrast and the shrouded in mist silhouetted mountains.

  2. Scott Horwath says:

    This is a beautiful image Johan! The fog with the Alps peeking through is magnificent. I’ve been meaning to upgrade to LR4. Are the B&W capabilities expanded over LR3? Would love to do more B&W without purchasing Silver Efex…

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the compliment Scott! LR4 is not that much different from LR3 in relation to doing black and white stuff. The control over tones is a touch easier. Silver Efex is well worth the investment by the way!

  3. Marilou Aballe says:

    Simply stunning Johan ! Love the silhouettes of the mountains through the veil of mist and the lone fisherman on the calm lake. One of those images that draws you in because of its simplicity and beauty.

  4. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Karol: thank you once again!
    @Christa: it was a great day 🙂 Thanks!
    @Francesco: thanks for the compliment :-)


    love this so serene and peacefull please let me know were you took this photo i wanta go lol karol sheffield port orange florida

  6. Ben Locke says:

    beautifully done Johan. The fisherman is perfectly placed, and the light/haze does a great job of emphasising him.

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Manfred: thanks! Nice parallel 🙂
    @David: thanks for the compliment David!
    @Brian: thanks! appreciated :-)

    @danilo: thanks Danilo. You must have recognized the location 🙂
    @Scott: thank you for the very kind words Scott!!

  8. Scott Peters says:

    Really a great shot Johan. The minimalist composition coupled with the absolutely stunning treatment of the b&w makes this one of the best I’ve seen in a long time!

  9. Manfred Berndtgen says:

    A wonderful contemplative mood you’ve captured here. This kind of subject was often used paintings for the living room, but yours is miles away from any pensive kitsch. Great work!

  10. John Dunne says:

    This is such a strong image Johan for its simplicity. I think this is one of your most compelling images to date. And thats no mean feat :-)

  11. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you Lupe and Dave !!!
    @Maki: that’s a nice compliment! Thank you 🙂
    @Gail: glad you like it Gail. Thanks for stopping by!

    Thank you +mr white, Quinton and Ebeng for the kind words!

  12. Maki MA says:

    peaceful feel… like a dream… I love traditional Japanese art, I feel this photo looks like the Suiboku-ga (sumi-e painting). very beautiful!

  13. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    S@angeeth: thank you!
    @Cho: dank je wel Cho! Alles goed behalve het weer?
    @David: I love my Belgian beer even it it is way overprices here in CH! Thanks for the nice comment 🙂

        • Cho Tang says:

          Ja je ziet ook meteen mensen met een beter humeur hier in NL haha.
          Het gaat om een expositie tijdens een kunstfestival op Fort Vechten in Utrecht. En 2 exposities in een kunstcafe in Rotterdam

          • Cho Tang says:

            Je zou het eens moeten doen Johan! Je leert toch anders naar je eigen werk te kijken doordat je een selectie moet maken. Daarbij vind ik de feedback van fotoleken en de casual geïnteresseerden best lache om aan te horen. Ik heb wel eerder geëxposeerd, maar de expositie op het festival is op een veel groter schaal. Naar het schijnt wordt het bezocht door duizenden mensen 😀

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            Ik will eerst mijn portfolio nog wat verder uitbouwen Cho. Daarna zie ik wel weer verder! Klinkt in ieder geval best leuk om te doen. Succes!

  14. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Andrew: thank you Andrew! Sometimes simple is enough isn’t it 🙂
    Thanks Jimmy, Rashed!
    @Paul: thanks for the kind words and for stopping by again 🙂

  15. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Yasmin: having a great week so far Yasmin. Hope yours is nice as well. Thanks for the kind words!
    @Jim: thanks Jim!
    @Dan: glad you like it Dan!. Hope al is well 🙂
    @Grant: that’s a nice compliment. Thank you!

  16. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Happy week Johan, sure this beautiful image brings tons of peace to the eyes and soul, the fisherman at his “office” looks perfect there. Hope you will have a blessed and productive week!.
    As always awesome photography that feel the soul of everybody… 🙂

  17. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you very much Sassi!
    @Robin: thank you! Glad you like it 🙂
    @E.E. Giorgi: much appreciated!
    @Alfredo: now that’s a creative comment! Thanks 🙂

  18. Julia Anna Gospodarou says:

    beautiful minimal shot Johan! The fog on the lake makes it so mysterious and the processing is perfect! You succeeded for sure, it’s such a zen image! I love it!! 🙂

  19. Tom Tran says:

    This is wonderfully tranquil – both visually and in the mood that it imparts. Coming from a person that loves fishing, I can tell you that this is no day-at-the-office. 🙂 Beautiful image, Johan.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the kind words Tom. Glad you like the image. I love to fish as well, so understand the sentiment 😀

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        thank you 🙂 Not sure there’s enough interesting wildlife for you, but the view was nice yes! Loads of beautiful lakes in CH indeed!
        Didn’t use an ND on this one Anette. I was there to do a long exposure, but then I noticed the fisherman so decided to mount a different lens and do this shot. He was quite busy so a long exposure wouldn’t have worked.

        • Anette Mossbacher says:

          Yes I noticed the fisherman, but thought maybe for the forground with a graded ( guess that’s how it is called in English ) filter.

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            could have been. In this case there was shadow in front of me and the fisherman was in a patch of light 🙂

  20. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you very much Patricia and Stan!! Stan: the way you describe it was exactly how is was, although it wasn’t a cup of coffee but a thermos 😀

  21. Stan Showalter says:

    Wonderful image Johan. I find myself imagining standing there with a bit of a chill, holding a warm cup of coffee, hearing the sound of the water lapping at the shore. A calm an serene scene.

  22. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Paul: thank you. You are probably very close to a few nice lakes as well no?
    @Shannon: thank you!
    @Louis: thanks a lot for the very kind words +Louis Lavoie. Really glad you like it my friend. Merci!

  23. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Radek: thank you. Glad to see you stop by again 🙂
    @Mauro: grazie 🙂
    @Carsten: thank you! Simplicity can be quite nice 🙂

  24. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you for stopping by and the nice comment Kerry!
    Thanks Markus. Glad you like it 🙂
    @Ada : you could become a fisher woman!? Thank you 🙂

    • Ada M says:

      I could Johan, the only problem would be that I would free all the fish…I can not harm animals or any other creature for that matter! :)) So I would starve rather fast :))

  25. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you Matthias!!
    Edward and Tatiana: thanks. Glad you like it! Thanks for the visit 🙂
    Dominique: merci beaucoup 🙂 You didn’t miss it. This was two days later. Decided to re-visit to enjoy another day in the sun and to make sure my face was even more red 😉

        • Dominique Dubied says:

          ah ah I was wondering where did you find this fisherman that day… Talking about red faces, mine was terrible as I haven’t put any sunscream during the day… So I do not kwow who has won the red face competition (lol)

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I am still recovering Dominique 🙂 It was definitely worth it though. Already looking forward to the next relaxed day of shooting at a lake!

          • Dominique Dubied says:

            You are still recovering Johan ?? Then you definitively won the “red face” competition, mine is fine now 🙂

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I am actually loosing a bit of skin at the moment Dominique! Hey, I am Dutch. It was always raining this time of year when I lived there, so I am not used to all that sun so early in the year 😉

  26. Dominique Dubied says:

    Oups I have missed that one Johan !! Very impressive shot! Congratulations! I definitively have to go back there and try again!

  27. Joel Tjintjelaar says:

    Hey Johan : you’ve succeeded for sure! I think this is perfect and absolutely gorgeous from a compositional and a BW processing point of view. Simply love it:)

  28. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Dan: very true! Did this work for you?
    @Peter: thank you Peter! Dank je wel 🙂
    @Sudip: shoot early morning or at the end of the day and landscapes will come alive 🙂

    • Dan Verley says:

      I’m just getting into photography so I don’t have a lot of experience personally. I was speaking more from aesthetics as it pertains to all art forms. This picture is a perfect example of it’s truth in photography.

  29. Sudip Ghate says:

    Gorgeous! I’m only finding out now the benefits of early morning shots, this encapsulates that perfectly! Such serenity is so hard to find…

  30. Peter de Rooij says:

    love this. tranquil, and yet earthy. (I mean, not a dreamscape, but a beautiful early morning on a calm lake.)

  31. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Nathan: thanks for the compliment Nathan! It’s appreciated 🙂
    @Debby: “now where are those fish” maybe? Dank je wel 🙂

  32. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Johan: thank you. I wouldn’t mind swapping for a while 🙂 Going to rent a long lens this summer to get some practice!
    @Christophe: thanks for the compliment! I hope you are feeling a bit better!

  33. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks for the very kind words Jerry!
    @Nikola: thank you glad you like it! Could almost be a Dutch scene 😉

  34. Jerry Johnson says:

    Johan, while I thoroughly love your photos of majestic mountains, this photo offers a peaceful setting which demonstrates, for me, the clear fact that your talent reaches far beyond landscape photography.

  35. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you Monte! The feedback is appreciated!
    @Wilfried: I really wanted to post something in colour again, but couldn’t resist posting this one 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

  36. Wilfried Haferland says:

    Johan – Great minimalistic one. I really like the smooth graduation of the fog layer and those mountains, hardly to see but yet clearly detailed. Obviously a good decision to use this lens. Perfect b&w processing, no SilverEfex needed indeed. Very well done!

  37. Athena Carey says:

    Beautiful capture of a classic scene here on my lake Johan. I see these guys often and like you find it soothing to watch them. I have a little collection of similar images on my HD. 😉

      • Athena Carey says:

        lol Johan, mine have been sitting on my HD for months already. They are in no hurry to be revealed. 😉 You know how I am!

          • Athena Carey says:

            Some of them are LEs and some of them are not Johan. I usually take a combination of both when I am out. 😉 I’ve processed a few of them, but have just let them sit for now. For me they are from various trips to the lake, so are various fishermen.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      hah, I was hoping for that Dane! Btw: will come over to view the B&W version of the image we discussed later today !

  38. Laurent Coppée says:

    You certainly did succeed Johan! This is a stunner! Great processing with LR too, I generally tend to jump straight to SE, should spend more time in LR 🙂

  39. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Ann: thank you!
    @Francis: thanks for the compliment Francis. Really appreciated!
    @Philip: you have a very nice way with words! Glad you like it 🙂

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