A long exposure in B&W of an abandoned pier on a foggy day

September 17, 2012 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Fine art long exposure image featuring an abandoned pier in Lac de Neuchâtel on a foggy day (by Johan Peijnenburg)
24mm – f/10 – 123 seconds – ISO100 – D800E with 24-70mm f/2.8

In May this year I was at Lac de Neuchâtel 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 this month I went back when weather conditions were comparable, to see if I could shoot more images with the same tranquil feeling to them. The image above is one of the resulting images.

Not everybody likes minimalistic black and white images like this. I however am appreciating them more and more. In addition they are fun to create and the actual shooting is quite relaxing. A welcome change from all the alpine landscape work I do. A bit of relaxed lakeside shooting is a fantastic way to get rid of any muscle pains that result from long uphill hikes 🙂

To shoot this image I combined three Lee Neutral Density filters to decrease exposure with 15 stops. This gave me an exposure time of 2 minutes. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 4 and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. Hope you like this fine art long exposure image!

Comments (234)

  1. adobe’s lightroom 4 is the best processing tool for monochrome images as it retains the variety of shades even in the monochrome clicks which in turn preserve originality of the image.

    • Author

      Thanks Sanjeev! I agree, Silver Efex Pro is however also very helpful 🙂

  2. Blas Torillo 8 years ago

    Beautiful compo and processing, Johan!

  3. Markus Rienzer 8 years ago

    wow!! intense composing!!

  4. Wonderful photo!

  5. excellent, just excellent. this is what I dream of Johan

  6. Great feeling of tranquility Johan 

  7. Elizabeth Lund 8 years ago

    stunning and wonderful!

  8. Author

    @Blas: thank you Blas and nice to meet you 🙂
    @Markus: many thanks for the wow!! Hope all if fine wih you !?
    @Milan: thanks Milan !

  9. Author

    @Matthias: I am pretty sure you will get there if you put the effort in Matthias. You could join us in Montreux on Saturday for a bit of an LE workshop ;)

  10. Author

    Thank you both Maciej and Elizabeth !

  11. Andreas Levi 8 years ago

    Fantastic, Johan! :)

  12. jany viala 8 years ago

    A beautiful creation. Beautifully shot.

  13. Derren Lee Poole 8 years ago

    Hells bells!

  14. Author

    @Andreas: thanks Andreas!!
    @Jany: glad you like it 🙂 Many thanks! 

  15. Stunning “road to nowhere”!

  16. Sandra Canning 8 years ago

    love the grays here!! Just exquisite!!

  17. Nathan Wirth 8 years ago

    Very nicely done. Lovely grays and a very engaging choice of composition. 

  18. Markus Landsmann 8 years ago

    that looks very good

  19. Author

    @Sandra: many thanks Sandra!
    @Nathan: glad you like it Nathan. Thanks for stopping by!
    @Markus: thank you Markus 🙂

  20. Julia Su 8 years ago

    Yeah, I like it :-)

  21. Gemma Costa 8 years ago

    Just a perfect shot, you dream about another reality.

  22. Gorgeous Johan!! I love how the light and the pier guide me through this image! :)

  23. Bill Allen 8 years ago

    Great tones Johan , love the positioning of that pier, really leads the eye!

  24. Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

    Stunning image (as usual I would say) Johan! I love that minimalism, sometimes less is more 🙂
    Where is it located exaclty near Estavayer-Le-Lac?

    • Author

      I have included the GPS info with the image. We can go there togethers one day if you want. It is not easy to get at and it does require some trespassing 😉 And thanks for the compliment :D

      • Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

        Great idea to inlcude the Google maps in the image! How do you include these info when posting the picture?
        I would love to go together there. I know also another interesting place I could show you at the same time on that lake… We could organize the walk sometimes at the end of October or November if it is alright for you…

        • Author

          the coordinates are recorded when I shoot and when I export from Lightroom I tick the option to include coordinates. Easy 😉
          Well, still waiting for you to propose a date for a joint shooting outing 🙂 Would be great to see what place you found as well. Do you want to make it a SPC walk?
          We did run into the place where you shot the poles and the reed at lake Bielle btw :-p 

          • Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

            Well that could an idea Johan, but the problem is that these places are quite far away from each other, so I guess it is not very convenient as SPC walk, apart if we could do a bus walk 😉
            Beginning of October I am abroad for the work, so we could go there afterwards, I will send you some possible dates soon (I have to check with my wife first…)

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            yes that’s why we opted for Montreux after all for Saturday. Much easier to organize. It can be done though, if we limit the walk to LE only. Most who shoot LE don’t mind hopping from one location to another. Just need to arrange enough car seats :)

          • Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

            Well in that case I am with you!

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            would be great to find a date first 🙂 We can then always decide to make it a walk 🙂

  25. Siri Sieber 8 years ago

    Wow, fine art!

  26. Andy Lee 8 years ago

    Wonderful image Johan, love the framing, very calming :)

  27. Author

    @Siri: Thank you Siri 🙂 Glad you like it ! 
    @Andy: thanks a bunch Andy. Nice that you stopped by!

  28. Mikko Tyllinen 8 years ago

    Fantastic picture Johan! so dreamy and beautiful! gorgeous perfection!

  29. John G Moore 8 years ago

    Great shot Johan, love it!

  30. Author

    @Mikko: thanks Mikko!
    @John: hey John, what a coincidence 😉 Thanks for the nice comment!

  31. Milena Llieva 8 years ago


  32. Jerry Johnson 8 years ago

    It is fantastic! The object itself is unique and you’ve positioned it perfectly in the frame, right down to having the tops of the two pipes at the end of the dock in perfect alignment with the horizon!! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous photo!

  33. Author

    @Milena: thanks! 🙂
    @Jerry: thanks for the great feedback Jerry and well spotted. That was actually the reason for me to go back again. I had a few go’s at this pier and didn’t think the comp was how it should be. I got what I wanted this time. Now the question is if I did the good job 😀 

  34. Nikola Nikolski 8 years ago

    I like it a lot, wonderful minimalism Johan!

  35. Superbe!

  36. Steve Barge 8 years ago

    Wow – so very beautiful! Love the silky smooth water and gorgeous tones. Wonderful and simple composition!

  37. Baldur McQueen 8 years ago

    Stunning shot, Johan! A beautiful, calm atmosphere – perfect tranquillity!! No wonder your muscles feel better ;-)

  38. Kerry Murphy 8 years ago

    Perfectly serene and quiet. Beautiful.

  39. Bo Lorentzen 8 years ago

    very well done, love the balance in this image.

  40. Author

    @Steve: less is more as they say 😉 Thanks Steve!
    @Baldur: I always feel zen after a day of LE shooting Baldur 😀 Thanks for the very kind words! 

  41. Author

    @Kerry: thanks again Kerry!
    @Bo: thanks for the kind words and nice to meet you!

  42. Athena Carey 8 years ago

    That looks very familiar Johan 😉 I almost posted my photo from out trip there today too, but I got distracted and forgot to do it. :)

    • Author

      Being lazy again Athena ? 😉 This was at the end of the day when your car broke down by the way :)

      • Athena Carey 8 years ago

        Of course not being lazy…. I was working hard on something else (this time). 😉 Mine was from when we went back one week later after my car was fixed Johan. 

        • Author

          just kidding. I know you are always very busy with all sorts of important and useful stuff! :o) I haven’t worked on the ones from last week yet. 

          • Athena Carey 8 years ago

            At the moment I have stopped working on lessons and am trying very hard to find the black rapid strap that I just told you last week I don’t want to use anymore because I changed my mind and want to bring it tomorrow. But of course now it is hiding… ~sigh~

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            Athena: can’t you call it? I always do that with my phone 😉 

          • Athena Carey 8 years ago

            My camera strap is not as technologically advanced as your phone Johan ;)

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            silly ain’t it. For the price you pay for photo gear nowadays you would at least expect that they would put a sim on some of it 😀 

          • Athena Carey 8 years ago

            Johan, right after I typed my last message here I found it. Karma. 🙂 Go look at our thread about tomorrow – I asked you a question.

          • Debby Vos 8 years ago

            Johan and Athena: i sure hope no straps will have sim cards… Won’t stop ringing all day then 😉 

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            @Athena: sometimes karma is not a bitch 😀
            @Debby: secret phone numbers work miracles. As long as I can call it it’s cool 😀 

          • Debby Vos 8 years ago

            Think you did not get it Johan 😀 I meant that it would not stop ringing because all day long you would be calling one of your straps to find them

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago


  43. Philipp Weimer 8 years ago

    Is this the lake of milk and honey?

    Very nicely done!

    • Author

      yes it is. The color version is all yellow :o) Thanks for the compliment!

  44. I love minimalistic black and white photographs like this.

  45. Sumit Sen 8 years ago

    What a terrific shot!

  46. Charles Lupica 8 years ago

    Johan wonderfully minimalistic. I love the feel of it. 

  47. Spectacular

  48. Author

    @Charles: many thanks Charles! How are your LE endeavors coming along?
    @Leyla : hey Leyla 😀 Thanks you! 

  49. his reminds me of the landscapes in many of Dali’s surrealtist paintings – not the paintings themselves, but the basic backgrounds for the dream sequences. I like this very much!

  50. Absolutely perfect Johan, unforgettable…

  51. Javier Esvall 8 years ago

    Stunning work, well done.

  52. Incredibly beautiful!! I love how it seem to go on forever!!

  53. Author

    @Louisa: thank you!
    @Javier: many thanks Javier!

  54. Author

    @Margaret: thank you!

  55. Joel Tjintjelaar 8 years ago

    That’s some great minimalism and I love that the subject comes from the right. Great B&W too Johan !

    • Author

      really glad you like it Joel! And yes it come from the right … it just looks better imho …. and some of the greatest LE wizards seem to do the same! 

  56. Jutta Sötje 8 years ago

    wie schön, so spiegelglatt und milchig:)

  57. Kurt Harvey 8 years ago

    Beautiful and ethereal image Johan! I have a soundtrack for it if you’d like. 😀 But seriously, its gorgeous and otherworldly. Awesome work!

  58. Author

    Danke dir +utta!
    @Kurt: lol. It’s ok I am empty now 😀 Thank you very much for the kind words!!

  59. Yasmin Simpson 8 years ago

    Ohhh dear Johan, as always a real pleasure to visit you and find awesome images in your wall. Absolutely a “breathtaker” piece of art!!!.

  60. Aline van Weert 8 years ago

    Ow…… Johan, this is awesome! Fantastic! Less is more….. much more!

    Heb je een e-mail via je site gestuurd.

  61. Author

    @Yasmin: well thank you dear Yasmin! Glad you liked what you found here 😀
    @Aline: many thanks for the kind words. Glad you like it 😀 Ik zal morgen avond naar he bericht kijken! 

  62. Beverley Aston 8 years ago

    It’s such a beautiful and tranquil shot, absolutely love it. Johan I’ve replied to your comment on my photo..!!

  63. Mikael Sh 8 years ago

    Oooh i very much like it Johan, makes me want to hit the nearest lake and shoot some le myself 🙂

    superb my friend

    • Author

      That’s exactly what I will be doing tomorrow Mike 😀 Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated!

      • Christa Niederer 8 years ago

        Okay, thanks Johan, will see whether they are really nice or rather “Harakiri-portraits” ;)

  64. Carsten Kopp 8 years ago

    This one is fantastic – very minimalistic !

  65. Paul Turkowski 8 years ago

    Wonderful work Johan Peijnenburg!

  66. Author

    @Carsten: glad you like it Carsten! The minimalistic look was just what I was after 🙂
    @Paul: many thanks Paul!

  67. Kees Smans 8 years ago

    Love it Johan Peijnenburg! 

  68. Vitor Ferreira 8 years ago

    I like the surrealism of this and the composition is well chosen!

  69. E.E. Giorgi 8 years ago

    wow, mesmerizing… one could stare at the perfect smoothness of the water for hours!!

  70. Tim Donnelly 8 years ago

    Beautifully capture Johan Peijnenburg 

  71. David Orr 8 years ago

    fascinating LE ! Perfect conditions for such a tremendous shot ! No Lee Big Stopper ?

  72. Monte Trumbull 8 years ago

    Great shot Johan Peijnenburg !

  73. Aileen Sorenson 8 years ago

    Wow! This is so stunning, Johan!

  74. George Marquardt 8 years ago

    Fabulous Johan! The simplicity is great.

  75. Christa Niederer 8 years ago

    You definitely master these LE-shots Johan, very nice 🙂 

  76. Author

    @Kees: thank you Kees!
    @Vitor: glad you like it Vitor 🙂 

  77. Author

    @E.E. Giorgi: feel free 🙂 Thanks for the great comment Elena!
    @Tim: many thanks Tim!
    @David: thanks! A big stopper was used, together with a 2 and a 3 stop = 15 stops 🙂 

    • David Orr 8 years ago

      that was my guess but just not 100% for sure ! Its a marvelous capture !

  78. Author

    @Monte: thanks Monte!
    @Aileen: hey Aileen 🙂 Thank you!
    @George: much appreciated George!

  79. Author

    @Christa: still practicing Christa. Thanks! Btw I stil have a few nice “portraits” of you. Will send them over soon 😀

  80. Wonderfully minimal!

  81. Minimalistic composition, very nice. Thanks, Johan!

  82. Lilia Lin 8 years ago

    The pier meets the horizon… artistic and beautiful Johan :)

  83. Pieter Pretorius 8 years ago

    I just love this minimalistic photos. Beautiful!

  84. Alan Kirby 8 years ago

    Just superb Johan 

  85. Author

    Many thanks Stavros !
    @Wilfried: glad you like it Wilfried 🙂 When are we going to shoot some together?
    @David: thanks again David !

    • Looking forward to autumn! Next weekend might be the last possibility for a higher climb, but I’m planning to take a day or more off for shooting mid-week soon anyway ;-)

      • Author

        sounds great. Whereto this weekend? And if not to Montreux? Looking forward to the next opportunity to do something together! 

        • Weather proofs its evilness I guess… So all bets are off. I run a strange business sometimes. But I never give up hope. See you soon definitely, Jo!

  86. Author

    @Lilia: many thanks Lilia 🙂 Groetjes!
    @Pieter: thanks Pieter and nice to meet you 🙂
    @Alan: thanks Alan! Sorry it had to come in from the right again 😀 

  87. Nora Carol 8 years ago

    wow! super fantastic b/w!

  88. Great !…

  89. Author

    @Nora: hey Nora 🙂 Thanks!
    @Gatto: thank you!

  90. David Shield 8 years ago

    Wow, 15-stops…Now that is how to set up for creativity Johan! The result is a silky smooth exceptional mono-tone image.

  91. one question from a curious fan of yours 😉 … do you add slight vignetting manually or is this an effect of the nd filters you apply?

  92. Author

    @David: Yes it is David 🙂 Thanks!
    @Matthias: I added the vignette/gradient in this one in post. You normally won’t get that straight out of the camera, except … in case you stack too many filters, use the wrong adapter ring on a wide-angle lens or use a not so brilliant lens 🙂 

  93. Stunning and so serene! 

  94. Dalibor Pačić 8 years ago

    Wonderful shot Johan! 

  95. Bill Wood 8 years ago

    Stunning Johan, the simplicity is riveting.

  96. Gaurav Mittal 8 years ago

    What a sense of calm, beautiful image Johan :)

  97. Wow, Johan. You have outdone yourself! 15 stops?! I love the milky/smoky look of the water. I dream of being able to use filters. I currently shoot with a lens that has very limited support for filters (Nikon 14-24mm). Lee does make a filter system for the lens, but that system doesn’t allow use of a Big Stopper. Aaaaargh! I love my lens but would really love to be able to do LE work with it. I may end up buying another filter-compatible wideangle lens, but I’m undecided.

  98. jens Ceder 8 years ago

    Stunning work my friend!

  99. Author

    @Wilfried: 😀
    @Patricia: thank you!
    @Dalibor: thanks. Just faint mountains in the distance this time 🙂

  100. Author

    @Bill: less is more sometimes 🙂 Thank you !
    @Gaurav: many thanks Gaurav! I have the same dilemma. I have the 14-24 as well and did consider getting the filters system for it. That is very very expensive though and indeed no big stopper. Actually the price for the holder plus let’s say 3 ND grads will equal the price of a 16-35 or 17-35. The are not in the same league but still. I hear the 16-35 is very sharp. It distorts much more then the 14-24 though, which is not so good for LE’s.
    @Jens: well thanks you Jens! 

  101. Beautiful LE work, Johan! Very delicate and peaceful!

  102. Jan van Erven 8 years ago

    Prachtige foto Johan, geweldige compositie!

  103. Andy Korolis 8 years ago

    Beautiful work, Johan … surrealistic!!

  104. Sudip Ghate 8 years ago

    Gorgeous use of space, lovely shot Johan! As usual, the toning is superb as well :)

  105. you make a good argument for buying a 16-35 or 17-35. What I love about the 14-24 is that it is crisp from edge to edge, but I could also live with cropping and (if possible) transforming to overcome the distortion of the 16/17-35. I put in a request for BorrowLenses.com to get some Lee Filter gear, but I’m not sure they will. If they do, I might rent the 16 or 17-35 and the filters to try the setup before I decide to buy it. So, without getting too technical (I don’t want to take away from the image), you used three non-grad ND filters and the 14-24 to take this? BTW, I noticed you also shoot with a D800. Mine will be going back to Nikon due to grease spots splashing onto my sensor, but other than that (which Nikon should be able to fix), I love it!

  106. Joseph Eckert 8 years ago

    Very cool shot

  107. Author

    @Emanuele: thank you !
    @Jan: dank je wel Jan!
    @Andy: many thanks Andy!

  108. Author

    @Sudip: glad you like it Sudip 🙂
    @Lorenzo: actually this image was shot with my 24-70! Re the alternatives: guess it’s a matter of picking the best compromise. I for one wouldn’t like to bring along yet another (expensive) filter set. Yes, this is shot with a D800E. I still have a D3x as well … I planned to keep that one for LE work as the D800E is not ideal for that 🙂
    @Joseph: thanks Joseph! 

  109. Tony Harratt 8 years ago

    This is so good… I love freezing nature with long exposures. 

  110. Peter Aikins 8 years ago

    Love the tones and composition. The clean minimalism really works for this one.

  111. Margaret S. 8 years ago

    It’s beautiful! Looks like a pier above the clouds. I’d love to walk along it. :)

  112. Meg Rousher 8 years ago

    What a beautiful capture Johan, I love it :)

  113. Author

    @Peter: many thanks for the kind words! 🙂
    @Margaret: hey Margaret. Thanks! It would be worth the walk on it. It is a very nice place as well 🙂
    @Meg: thank you Meg! 

  114. super!!

  115. Pascal Laborelli 8 years ago

    Pure and efficient.
    Really nice job.

  116. Don Spenner 8 years ago

    Excellent work my friend, Johan!

  117. Ben Locke 8 years ago

    beautifully smooth and minimal. Superb LE work

  118. Tom Tran 8 years ago

    This is lovely, Johan. The tire bumpers add an interesting irregularity, and the gradient of light really draws you in toward the end of the pier. 

  119. Amazing LE Johan Peijnenburg ! :-)

  120. Wes Lum 8 years ago


  121. Author

    @Ben: thanks for the compliment Ben!
    @Tom: thanks Tom. Glad you like it! 

  122. Author

    @Sophie : many thanks Sophie!
    Thanks Wes !!

  123. Davorin Mance 8 years ago

    Great LE, beautiful minimalistic photo Johan . 

  124. John Dunne 8 years ago

    Aptly name Johan, super image.

  125. Patrice PVK 8 years ago

    Your post processing is again wonderful.

  126. Author

    Thanks Davorin !
    @John: thanks Mr. Busy 😉 Enjoy the rest of your Birthday!
    @Patrice PVK: merci beaucoup Patrice! 

  127. Rosa Frei 8 years ago

    Superb image. Love the softness and peace! Great composition.

  128. Hope OHara 8 years ago

    such a peace filled capture.. so simple.. yet speaks with strength.. really do like what you did here.

  129. Author

    @Rosa: many thanks Rosa!
    @Hope: great feedback Hope. Thanks! 

  130. Muhamad Al-Hafiz 8 years ago

    great perspective man, cool

  131. Maggy Meyer 8 years ago

    Wowww, this is awesome, Johan!! Excellent work!!

  132. Elvio Manfredi 8 years ago

    if photography is supposed to communicate snsations, and it is, well you communicated me quite a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  133. Author

    @Maggy: hey Maggy 🙂 Thanks for the compliment!
    @Elvio: many thanks Elvio! 

  134. Daniel Ewert 7 years ago

    I love the simplicity here…so beautiful! 

  135. Matt Lindén 7 years ago

    Super stunning as always!

  136. Author

    @Daniel: thanks Daniel!
    @Matt: thanks Matt. Good to see you back! 

  137. Stefanie Loges 7 years ago

    Oh I do love minimal b&w Johan and I also love your alpine landscapes (the b&w´s)!! 🙂 A wonderful example of how to make a image breathe, love the tones and gradients!!

    • Author

      Hey Stefanie 🙂 Hope all is well! Thanks for the kind words and the visit!

  138. Neil Camara 7 years ago

    Magnificent shot!

  139. Love the unexpected perspective here!

  140. very nice done….<

  141. Chris Miller 7 years ago

    Stunning and surreal, love it!

  142. Author

    @Neil: thanks again Neil 😀
    @Charlotte: thanks!!
    @Christian: glad you like it Christian!
    @Chris: hey thanks Chris!

  143. Cédric Leblond 7 years ago

    a minimalistic and intriguing composition with works perfectly, love also your choice of tones here, again a superb LE work Johan!!

    • Author

      glad you like my LE works Cédric! The feedback is highly appreciated!

  144. Great minimalist image Johan Peijnenburg 

  145. shane holsclaw 7 years ago

    as a huge fan of minimalism… this is a home run! silky smooth and wonderful lines Johan!

  146. 😀 😀 😀 a beauty Johan

  147. Justin Jovi 7 years ago


  148. Johan Swanepoel 7 years ago

    Excellent Johan Peijnenburg !

  149. Correy Bratton 7 years ago

    Perfect composition!

  150. Minh Nguyen 7 years ago


  151. Pascal LABORELLI 7 years ago

    pure et élégant !

  152. Gail Beerman 7 years ago

    Gorgeous minimalism Johan 

    • Author

      It is something I like to do once in a while Gail 🙂 Some people hate it, but I like the “flow” that comes with it 🙂 

  153. Gail Beerman 7 years ago

    It is very effective Johan and also refreshing to shoot with this in mind!

    • Author

      Did you try LE photography Gail? It is a very nice different way of shooting. Totally different then the normal landscape work I do. Way more “zen” 🙂 

      • Gail Beerman 7 years ago

        I love LE photography Johan , it is exciting and rewarding to see the world in LE–zen is right, meditative for sure in the methodological approach!

  154. Richard Murphy 7 years ago


  155. Roswitha Böhmer 7 years ago

    wow that’s fantastic

  156. Olli Landwehr 7 years ago

    fantasic Picture. Minimalism par excellence.

  157. Author

    Roswitha and Olli: many thanks for the kind words!! 

  158. Robert Skreiner 7 years ago

    Great photo and work!

  159. Mady Sach 7 years ago

    great shot of the enless bridge,beautyful

  160. you get the picture of paradise at recess.

  161. Karol Szejko 7 years ago

    Lovely work, Johan.

  162. Author

    @Robert: thank your Robert ! 😀
    @mady: glad you like it Mady!
    @Elena Pradies: many thanks Elena!
    @Karol: thanks for checking it out Karol!

  163. Peter Aikins 7 years ago

    Love minimalistic photos. 

Leave a reply

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