A lake, a moody sunset and a swan

Sunset at Lac de Neuchâtel

A lake, a moody sunset and a swan
November 26, 2012 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
A colourful sunset image shot at Lac de Neuchâtel near Cudrefin, with a swan and reed in the foreground and the mountains of the Jura in the back.
60mm – f/8 – 1/8th second – ISO400 – D800E with 24-70mm f/2.8

I have been pretty busy so far this month with catching up on processing images. November is the ideal month for that: the leaves have fallen here in the Alps and there is not a lot of snow yet. I did free up some time last week to scout a few long exposure locations near Lac de Neuchâtel in the west of Switzerland. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of wind, so no images with silky lakes and clouds this time.

As you can judge from the colourful sunset image above, I did get a nice moody sunset at the end of the day. I shot quite a few images while this sunset scene evolved. Partly to shoot it with different perspectives, but mostly because the swan didn’t want to stay put. So I have a lot of sunset images with a blurry swan as well as images featuring his/her “less photogenic” side. This one came out quite well though. Hope you like it!

I used a Lee 1-stop graduated ND filter to dim the sky just a bit. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 4.2.

Comments (241)

  1. aditya Sharma 7 years ago

    I love it

  2. Leila H. 7 years ago

    Lovely soft colors and wonderful relaxing atmosphere!!

  3. I can see now what you mean with the reflections at sunsets that are lost with LE 😉 … excellent capture Johan 

    • Author

      lol thanks Matthias! Actually your question made me think of posting this image :D

  4. Jeremy Fernand 7 years ago


  5. Diego Cattaneo 7 years ago

    wonderful photo! Really love the composition and the colors! Have a great week Johan ! :)

    • Author

      Many thanks Diego! Glad you like it and nice to see you around again 🙂

  6. Wonderful ! I loved that swan in reflections 🙂 looking great !

  7. Incredibly beautiful!! I love the wonderful colors you captured and that little swan is perfect!!! Gorgeous in every way!!

  8. Debby Vos 7 years ago

    Lovely and very moody indeed :-)

  9. jany viala 7 years ago

    Superbe couleur

  10. Pcorn Queen 7 years ago


  11. SO beautiful! Very serene :-)

  12. Sumit Sen 7 years ago

    Very artistic and beautiful!

  13. Domique Hilbert 7 years ago

    Another beauty from your blog! Heel mooi hoor!

  14. Ono Ayako 7 years ago

    Great picture! Silhouette of a swan is beautiful! 

  15. Subra Govinda 7 years ago

    Beautiful shot and lovely colors!

  16. jens Ceder 7 years ago

    Lovely mood!

  17. jens Ceder 7 years ago

    @Marianne: you are SO very kind 🙂 Thanks!
    @Sumit: artistic … moi? Thanks Sumit 😀 
    @Dominique: dank je wel Dominique!! Merci 🙂
    @Ono: many thanks for the kind words!
    @Subra: thanks for the feedback Subra! Much appreciated! 
    @Jens: thank you Jens!

  18. Aamir Shahzad 7 years ago

    Simple but powerful composition Johan Peijnenburg 

    • Author

      Well thank you Aamir! Nice to see you come back to me blog to view my work 😀

  19. Gemma Costa 7 years ago

    oh, so beautiful colors and scene

  20. Stefanie Loges 7 years ago

    Beautiful muted colors Johan !! :)

  21. Great photo and superb story 🙂 *I like it* :)

    • Author

      thanks for the compliment Grzegorz! Yes, I always have a story to tell when I post 🙂 

  22. Jan Andersen 7 years ago

    Very good sunset-mood picture .
    Agreed, monochrome is a pity with this one
    Just processed a mountain lake picture (from China) this week end myself (and put it on my blog). Very different from yours, in full sunlight. (Tried a monochrome image as well)

    • Author

      thank you Jan! Images in full daylight are always a lot different Jan! Did you like your results? 

      • Jan Andersen 7 years ago

        Yes, I like it enough to bring it out there, so yes – I like both versions.
        Though, being in a travel company there is never time to wait for the opportunity. 

        • Author

          Yes, that is always difficult. Although I always try to bend it in the right direction 😉

  23. Beautiful

  24. Dalibor Pačić 7 years ago

    Great capture Johan

    • Author

      Hey thanks Dalibor! Has your snow season already started?

      • Dalibor Pačić 7 years ago

        In January Johan , have to wait 🙂
        Preparing myself – eating and eating, to make some isolation 😀
        Have posted b/w photo from Swiss, check it :)

        • Author

          I am ready for the snow season already 🙂 Will check out your images later today 🙂 

  25. Francis Gagnon 7 years ago

    Beautiful colours and comp !

  26. Daryl L. Hunter 7 years ago

    Beautiful :D

  27. Vishal Kumar 7 years ago

    From Mountains to the Lake, Beautiful Sunset and Composition 🙂 Johan Lovely Shot !

  28. Bandido Bandit 7 years ago

    Love sunsets so romantic<3

  29. Author

    @Francis: thanks Francis!!
    @Daryl: many thanks Daryl! Hope all is well over there with the bears! 😀 

  30. Author

    @Vishal: thanks for the kind words Vishal! Glad you like it 🙂
    @Bandido: thank you! Me too 🙂 

  31. Athena Carey 7 years ago

    Very pretty colors Johan! 🙂 I think I recognize those water reeds… 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Athena ! You should recognize it. I was on one of those very long wobly piers to get this angle!

      • Athena Carey 7 years ago

        ps: The colors reflected in the lake are rather splendid Johan. :)

        • Author

          thought so as well Athena. I have a few that emphasize that even more. They don’t have the swan though:) I could PhotoShop it over … if I ever get around to learning it … 

  32. Lovely !

  33. Markus Landsmann 7 years ago

    a wonderful light and the swan is the special thing here.:)

  34. Markus Rienzer 7 years ago

    very nice mood!!

    • Author

      Thanks very much Markus! Nice to see you around here a bit more. Hope all is well!?

  35. Dominique Dubied 7 years ago

    A lovely scene of that end of the day Johan!
    Now I guess I have to process my images of that day too ;-)

    • Author

      I am pretty sure yours are lovely as well Dominique! I loved the pastel/muted colors when I came back. I resisted temptation to hit the saturation slider 🙂 

  36. Shelly Gunderson 7 years ago

    Very lovely!

  37. Beetproductions 7 years ago

    and some mountains :)

  38. Yasmin Simpson 7 years ago

    This is adorable and thank you for the story behind the image ;). I always enjoy your lovely world… Thank you dear Johan.

    • Author

      I had the feeling you enjoyed it Yasmin! Like I always enjoy your company. One day I will make hot chocolate for you too 😀 

  39. Beautiful and serene! 

  40. Steve Hambley 7 years ago

    Love that sky!

  41. George Marquardt 7 years ago

    Your patience paid off Johan, the good side of the swan really tops off this photo!

  42. Author

    @Patricia: thanks Patricia!
    @Yasmin: yw 😀
    @Steve: thanks a bunch Steve! 

  43. Tom Tran 7 years ago

    I like the inclusion of a live subject in this sweet composition Johan. :)

  44. Nikola Nikolski 7 years ago

    Wonderful colors Johan …….is that the lake you where fishing?

    • Author

      😀 Nope this is close though. The fishing lake is next to this one 🙂 

      • Nikola Nikolski 7 years ago

        I was wondering ….;-)

        • Author

          I am almost sorry that I deleted the proof that it wasn’t me Nikola ;)

          • Nikola Nikolski 7 years ago

            Athena Carey has more details behind her back, she gave us almost detailed description.

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            hmmm she is dangerous! She has way too many images of me in ackward positions already … 

  45. Jutta Sötje 7 years ago

    Sehr schönes Stimmungsbild

  46. Barbara Mi 7 years ago

    Wow ..super.

  47. Author

    @Jutta: danke dir Jutta 🙂
    @Barbara: 😀 Thank you!

  48. Mady Sach 7 years ago

    wonderful picture

  49. Great work Johan . High quality of the light and colours ! :-)

  50. Yann Lefeuvre 7 years ago

    Beautiful soft tones. All in your photography seem in harmony. A great job like always.

  51. Jerry Johnson 7 years ago

    This gorgeous photo of a moody sunset has helped to put me in a good mood Johan ! But I suppose your expert placement of the swan upon the gentle waters of the picturesque lake could also be responsible for my good mood? 🙂 Well done!

    • Author

      Many thanks for the nice comment as always Jerry! That swan was the hard part of the image 😀

  52. Mikko Tyllinen 7 years ago

    That is stunning capture Johan! gorgeous light and amazing view! everything breathe with life and joy so magical!

  53. great shot Johan Peijnenburg 

  54. Monte Trumbull 7 years ago

    Great image Johan! Lovely composition.

  55. “quite well enough” indeed, Johan … I do like it!

  56. Michael Russell 7 years ago

    Beautiful shot Johan. This is one reason I like photographing Herons, they tend to stay still for a while! Swans just don’t seem to do that. :)

  57. Author

    @Mikko: thank you Mikko 🙂
    @Walter: thanks Walter!

  58. Author

    Many thanks Monte!
    @Robin: I knew you wood 🙂 Tnx ! 
    Thanks Michael! “It” was fishing for food, so it was quite a challenge to get it in the right spot, still and with the right bird parts in sight 🙂 

  59. aditya Sharma 7 years ago

    Very beautiful 

  60. Lovely image Johan. love the Swan :))

  61. Author

    @Aditya: thanks Aditya!
    @Anette: thanks! Genuine Swiss wildlife 🙂 

  62. Phenomenal Johan, like your work… 

  63. Kurt Harvey 7 years ago

    Absolutely stunning Johan! Very nice of the swan to model for you. :)

  64. Baldur McQueen 7 years ago

    Superb shot, Johan! Everything works… lovely light and subject – and the silky texture on the water is simply wonderful.

  65. Alex Filatov 7 years ago

    Lovely reflections in the water, wonderfully composed image my friend!

  66. Andy Korolis 7 years ago

    Very tranquil, Johan…the perfect time of day, and a cooperative swan, too!

  67. E.E. Giorgi 7 years ago

    gorgeous image and lovely colors!

  68. Simply Arlie 7 years ago

    lovely work capturing beautiful light

  69. Richard Murphy 7 years ago

    Very calm!

  70. Author

    @Kurt: hey Kurt! It’s been a while 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and the yes the swan was pretty helpful 🙂
    @Baldur: many thanks Baldur! Now I need to find some with fog in it 😉 

  71. Author

    @Alex: thank you Alex!
    @Andy: yes, a nice end to a bit of a dull day. Thanks!
    @E.E. Giorgi: thanks Elena 🙂 

  72. Author

    @Simply: thank you ! 🙂
    @Richard: yes! Thanks Richard! 

  73. Very good you’ve chosen the portrait format to work out the different layers of water / clouds as well as the different layers of subtle colors. I like it! :-)

  74. Ada M 7 years ago

    there is something magical about moody sunsets! And you captured it beautifully!! ♥

  75. Derek Fogg 7 years ago

    Great capture Johan, love the wonderful textures and reflections on the water.

  76. Derek Fogg 7 years ago

    Great capture Johan, love the wonderful textures and reflections on the water!

  77. Author

    many thanks for the kind word and the visit Ada and Derek !

  78. Beverley Aston 7 years ago

    Very nice one Johan!

  79. Mario Zindler 7 years ago

    wonderful colours…

  80. Bert Sendobry 7 years ago


  81. Roswitha Böhmer 7 years ago


  82. Rodolfo Seide 7 years ago


  83. Author

    Mario, Bert, Roswitha and Rodolfo: thanks all for the nice comments!

  84. Věra Kácelová 7 years ago


  85. Judy Midrowsky 7 years ago

    Oh my that’s beautiful!

  86. Author

    Věra and Judy: thanks for the nice comments!

  87. Margaret S. 7 years ago

    I absolutely love the moody sky and the warm reflections on the water! The swan makes the shot just perfect. :)

  88. Nellie 7 years ago


  89. What a perfect sunset Johan!! I love the reflections in the lake and the swan is just the piece that brings everything together. :)

  90. Fabulous beauty! :)

  91. Daniel Ewert 7 years ago

    Tranquil and beautiful scene!

  92. Love that sky! Perfect compo and great colors (^_^(

  93. Christa Niederer 7 years ago

    A lovely composition, Johan!

  94. Lilia Lin 7 years ago

    A Lake + A Moody Sunset + A Swan = An Amazing photo Johan! I’ve been to Lac de Neuchâtel, this is a lovely reminder! :)

  95. Author

    @Henrik: thanks for stopping by Henrik and thanks for the feedback 🙂
    @Christa: danke dir Christa 🙂
    @Lilia: glad you like it Lilia! I go to that lake quite often. Usually for long exposures 🙂 

    • Lilia Lin 7 years ago

      And, also because you love your lake offices ;). And so do I (from a distance for now) :)

      • Author

        yes, but this lake office is not my favorite 🙂 

        • Lilia Lin 7 years ago

          Oh, I see…. you do have so many ‘offices’ 🙂 That reminds me of a place I go to for bugs, definitely not a favourite but I go because I can find them easier there. The last time I foolishly went just after the rain, I swear I got by bitten by a 100 mossies! :/ But I did get some nice shots, so can’t complain :)

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            yes that is the nice thing. I can set up office wherever I please 😉 I know the mosquito problem. Glad that I don’t have that many here in CH :)

  96. Meg Rousher 7 years ago

    Beautiful capture Johan, what a wonderful view :)

  97. David Shield 7 years ago

    Very good exposure and sweet light Johan 

  98. kamal deep singh 7 years ago

    great capture…..

  99. Vitor Ferreira 7 years ago

    Love the reflections in the water.

  100. Author

    @David: thank you David!
    @Kamal: thank you as well 🙂 
    @Vitor: thank you Vitor! Yes the colors of the sunset are reflected quite nicely in the water 🙂 

  101. Aileen Sorenson 7 years ago

    This is beautifully composed and gorgeous colors, Johan! Love it!

  102. Jim Lundgren 7 years ago

    Beautiful dreamy image Johan . Lots of emotion in this one!

  103. Author

    @Aileen: well thank you Aileen 🙂
    @Jim: thanks Jim! That’s exactly why I liked it 🙂 

  104. Gaurav Mittal 7 years ago

    Beautiful shot, the presence of the lonely swan adds an element of tranquility.

  105. David Orr 7 years ago

    Stunning photo Johan !

  106. Author

    @Gaurav: glad you like it Gaurav!
    @David: many thanks David!! 

  107. Thierry Bouriat 7 years ago

    It’s sometimes difficult to work with a model, even a swan …but it’s a beautiful photo Johan,… as always :-))

    • Author

      That’s we I prefer doing landscapes Thierry 🙂 Thanks! Glad you like it!

  108. Eric Rousset 7 years ago

    Beautiful sky Johan 

  109. John G Moore 7 years ago

    Lovely shot mate! 😉

  110. Johan Swanepoel 7 years ago

    This is lovely Johan 

  111. Author

    @Eric: merci Eric!
    @John: thanks mate 😉
    @Johan: thanks Johan! Everything ok with you? 

  112. Michael Menefee 7 years ago

    Gorgeous tranquility Johan !

  113. Peace! Beautiful work and colors Johan !

  114. this is so beautiful and serene with this one swan swimming there. great colors

  115. Davorin Mance 7 years ago

    You’re not photographed the pier 🙁 Photo is nevertheless beautiful. Great colors, beautiful sky and reflection. Swan is cherry on top :)

  116. Author

    @Michael: thank you Michael!
    @Emanuele: many thanks Emanuele. Hope everything is fine with you! Still busy? 
    @Jorunn: thank you for the great compliment Jorunn!!!
    @Davorin: no pier in the image this time indeed! Someone else was shooting the pier and i was focussing on the swan 🙂 Thank for the kind words Davorin!

  117. Mikael Sh 7 years ago

    captivating and beautiful Johan 

    • Author

      Thanks a bunch Mike and really happy that you drop by so often 😀

      • Mikael Sh 7 years ago

        No worries Johan, you make for a pleasant company 🙂
        Some coffee and it´s all perfect :)

  118. kamal deep singh 7 years ago

    the high altitude desert mountains…very spacious in the region of leh and laddakh…with lakes as long as 135 kms…a very diff terrain would be fun to capture…offcourse with a rejuvenating hot brew….detailed information available with lonely planet india…i hv been their twice Johan …your skills would do the justice to scapes for us to watch….i hope you will give it thought…thank you…

    • Author

      that is a great place and thought! I have a lot of nice locations on my list though, so not sure it wil happen soon 🙂 

  119. Bill Wood 7 years ago

    Wonderful image. I love the reflection, Johan!

  120. Jeanette McVoy 7 years ago

    Beautiful Photo!

  121. Author

    Thanks again Bill !!
    @Jeanette: thanks Jeanette !

  122. Chris Miller 7 years ago

    Stunning work Johan!

  123. lizett Beltran 7 years ago

    love the colour palette !!!!

  124. Margaret Wong 7 years ago

    Very nice indeed :)

  125. Enrique Palaez 7 years ago


  126. Author

    @Lizett: thanks again Lizett!
    @Margaret: thank you!
    @Enrique: it was a nice moment. Thanks! 

  127. Mágico y alucinante atardecer .Muy buena foto amigo Johan .

  128. Darlene Parks 7 years ago

    so very peaceful! Johan. tyvmfs :)

  129. Joan Munford 7 years ago

    I came across your work today and in the first place this had to do with your last name which is Dutch( and so am I). Now I am only very glad that this made me curious because your photographs are truly magnificent, each and every one of them!

    • Author

      that is very nice to hear Joan! And yes, I am Dutch … I live in Switzerland though 🙂 

      • Joan Munford 7 years ago

        Good choice, it’s a beautiful country, very photogenic :)

        • Author

          No regrets here Joan 🙂 You are not in NL anymore either right?

          • Joan Munford 7 years ago

            yes I am, I live in the north . I like Holland, better then I used to but then I do travel a lot …
            Nice meeting you here !

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            Likewise Joan! :)

  130. Jomanah Sharif 7 years ago

    Very nice

  131. Mona Youssef 7 years ago

    That little swan from distance has added amazing touch!!

  132. Awesome pic

  133. Anna Ryndak 7 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful! Love the tones! You have so many excellent images which I didn’t see it before!

  134. Awesome view :-)

  135. Author

    Thank you and very nice to meet you Costanza :D

  136. Christoph Fisher 7 years ago

    Wow this is so serene and peaceful Johan !
    I love the textures and tonalities of the water.

  137. ♥ ~❤❤❤~ ♥ 

  138. Laura A 7 years ago


  139. Author

    Thanks again Annette and merci Laura ! :)
    Many thanks again Christoph !

  140. Mimi Round 7 years ago

    so beautiful Johan

  141. Laura A 7 years ago


  142. Anna Rimovska 7 years ago

    Very beautiful!

  143. Mutita EdiblArt 6 years ago

    Beautiful :)

    • Sandra Salsedo 6 years ago

      Beautiful photo! I love the Wonderful colors, very artistc! 

  144. Author

    Thanks again Mutita !
    @Sandra: thank you! Glad you like it 🙂

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *