A new lake landscape: Alpine lake reflections at sunset

I published many landscape photographs in black & white lately, so I figured it was time again to post in colour. Here’s an alpine lake at sunset 🙂

This lake landscape features a small Alpine lake called “Lej Pitschen”. It lies at the top of the well-known Bernina pass in Engadin in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. In the back, you see the mountain Piz Cambrena, which has an altitude of 3,606 metres (11.830ft).

Alpine mountain lake at sunset

Alpine reflections in a half frozen alpine lake called Lej Pitschen (Bernina pass, Pontresina, Switzerland), with the Piz Cambrena in the background.

I captured this photo at the end of May (last weekend). The lake was still partly frozen. As I was shooting this Alpine lake close to sunset, I ran around like a maniac to try to capture this lake and the surrounding mountains with varying compositions, perspectives and focal lengths. About 10 minutes after I shot this one, the light was no longer hitting the scene. Timing is everything in landscape photography!

For this photograph, I used my Nikon D3x with a 14-24 f/2.8 wide-angle lens. I used the following settings: 19mm, ƒ/11, 1/125s and ISO 200.

cheers, Johan 🙂

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This photograph of an alpine lake at sunset is part of the Lakes landscape photography theme, which also includes:

Alternatively, check out our Mountains & Hills landscape photography theme to see more photographs of mountains. Lastly, visit our Swiss Landscape Photography portfolio for a collection of landscape photographs taken in Switzerland.

205 thoughts on “A new lake landscape: Alpine lake reflections at sunset

  1. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks Randall !
    @Matt: many thanks Matt! Btw for some of my images I was up lots higher 🙂 

    • Matt Adcock says:

      I have total respect for you working and or getting to the Elevation to shoot. I’m living mostly at sea level… I’m a big wimp when it comes to the endurance needed at that altitude . Props!

  2. jany viala says:

    The Alps are beautiful. In addition to the clouds, just grazed the mountain and is reflected in the lake. Beautiful. Thank you for this show.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      I love the Alps. I moved to Switzerland 4 years ago just to be close to them 😀 Thank you for your nice comment! 

  3. Sandra Mara Carvalho de Melo says:

    must special l like more of manners ,l like of colour uis more beauty,well all have your time space and use then our mind use a cretive ,ok good week,l need will go,by by:)

  4. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Jean-Michel: merci beaucoup!! It was one of the nicer photography experiences this year Jean-Michel 😀
    @Paul: many thanks Paul!!! 

    • Jean-Michel Taconné says:

      Good day Johan.
      I wish you other photography experiences as pleasant as this one for summer 2012 . :-)

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        thanks you for the kind words Jean-Michel. I will certainly spend a lot of time in the Alps in the coming 2 months, so there is a good chance :)

  5. Jean-Michel Taconné says:

    I like the light, the colours and the nice reflections. Great work Johan ! Have a good day.

  6. Scott Masterton says:

    woonderful, love snowy mountainscapes… expecially like the feeling of width and depth to this

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Encarnaciòn: dank je wel. Leuk om te horen 🙂
    @Sandra: not sure about that but it is nice to hear Sandra 😀
    @Margaret: hey thanks Margaret! I was nervous about being able to capture what I saw. I managed though 😀

  8. Margaret Tompkins says:

    I’m just going to drool all over this! It’s so gorgeous Johan !! I love the great texture in the foreground and the wonderful mountains and clouds so beautifully reflection. This is stunning!!

  9. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Beautiful!!!, your images help me stay positive to think about our move to Canada, I will be changing red scenarios , sun and cactus for lakes, ducks and mountains…

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      That doesn’t sound like a bad trade Yasmin. I am still very glad that I moved to the mountains 4 years ago!

      • Yasmin Simpson says:

        … and I am very glad, too Johan, because if you wouldn’t move to the mountains we couldn’t admire these beautiful images that feel my soul with beautiful feelings, cold but beautiful :))). Blessings…

  10. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Maggy: thanks a lot Maggy! Glad you like it!
    @Lilia: many thanks Lilia! Nice to meet you 🙂
    @Fabio: thanks again Fabio. Yes indeed. And almost in Italy 🙂
    @Simply: very glad you do. Thanks for checking it out again :D

  11. Mikko Tyllinen says:

    such amazing magicl you captured here Johan! realy amazing glowing of colours and light and what a magical view! so beautiful!

  12. Matthias Haeussler says:

    reading the post for the 2nd I realized I cam across that one with my mountain bike once … excellent capture and thanks for bringing back good memories :-)) Johan 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thank you Joel! Yes, that will never stop. At the moment I am more ambitious to get better in B&W though and that in the end will improve my photography across the board I think. Btw weekend of 7/8 still looks good. If you want you can test with a D800e then ;)

  13. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks a bunch Ian! Yeah it’s cool when thinks work out like this 🙂
    Merci Laurent! I am tempted to also do a B&W version btw 🙂
    Thanks David and thanks for the visit.

  14. Ian Gazzard says:

    Encompassed a beautiful setting with all the right elements Johan, creating a stunning image. Glad it all came together for you! Nicely done man!

  15. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Lol Jerry 🙂 Your comments always make me smile! Really glad my images have this effect on you 🙂
    @Sophie: thank you Sophie!!! Love the way you describe it. Thanks 🙂
    @Lisa: thank you very much as well :D

  16. Sophie Vandebuerie says:

    Wow Johan , thank you for posting this breath taking mountainscape!!!!
    And the reflection, clarity, the clouds who are elegant majestic…Impressive in every way!! :-)

  17. Jerry Johnson says:

    Johan, whenever one of your phenomenal photos pops up, I go and pop some popcorn, I make some lemonade, and I sit back and study your photos for a LONG time. They are SO good!

    This beautiful photo has such amazing depth, but my favourite facet is found in the rock protruding from the water on the left. I think that is because it breaks up the reflection in the water in just the right way.

    O.K. I’ve finished my popcorn and lemonade so I had better get back to work. 🙂 Well done as always and thank you for sharing this with me.

  18. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Anette: I was surprised that you haven’t been there yet 🙂
    @Charles: thanks again Charles. Hope I can keep it up 🙂
    @Mike: thanks! You should if you like hiking in the settings we hae here. I love it 🙂
    @Stan: thanks for the kind words Stan! Glad I could serve some fresh air 😉 

    • Anette Mossbacher says:

      Hahaha will go, was at st.bernhard twice and hit twice so bad cinditions that I had to leave again after waiting and waiting and waiting :))

    • Mike Sh says:

      oh i do love the outdoors, green forests, warmth and ocean as much as cold, tall mountains, it’s all great in its own way 🙂 so yeah that do look like a wonderful scenery to hike, climb and shoot our way through some day in the future 🙂

      You just keep on shooting and inspiring Johan, until that day happens :-)

  19. Mike Sh says:

    nice one Johan, you´r photos might make me to have to visit Switzerland with the gf some day for a photo walk amongst the “roof of the world” :)

  20. Charles Lupica says:

    Johan, the more I look at this the more I think this may well be the best image you ever shared . It works on every level. 

  21. Anette Mossbacher says:

    looks gorgeous Johan, you were lucky that the remote was not picking up the shacking, of all that running :))) Glad you made it in time, otherwise I could not enjoy this :)

  22. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Jorunn: thanks! Glad you like it!
    Shane: he he, catching up? Thanks for all the great comments. Really appreciated!!!

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        I don’t blame you Shane. Real life is much more important. I appreciate your taking the time to catch up!!!

  23. shane holsclaw says:

    stunning capture my friend! love how the clouds hug the mountain and the reflection is so crisp! beautiful!

  24. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Ada: thank you Ada! Really glad you feel like that!
    Emanuele: hah yes definitely! Thanks Emanuele!
    Rikard: don’t wait too long or you’ll have to go up too high 🙂 Glad you like it!
    Guy: I love the “cracking” bit Guy. Thanks a bunch and nice to meet you! 

  25. Rikard Lindby says:

    Great image. There is a lot to look at. Partly frozen lakes are interesting. Hope to capture one or two myself soon. 

  26. Emanuele F. Fusco says:

    I think that running around the lake to find the right composition was a good run! Really wonderful picture Johan!

  27. Ada M says:

    when I see marvelous mountain pictures like that I get transported in them, I feel like I am there feeling the cold air, touching the ground, hearing the silence and enjoying the miracles of mountains. Superb!

  28. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you Bertrand and thanks for the visit!
    Thanks for the kind words Markus!
    @Sassi: still here staring?

  29. Sassi Sassmannshausen says:

    A great shot, but it has such a clearity, that I could stare at it a very long time for that quality alone. I taste the cold but fresh air. Fantastic work

  30. Debby Vos says:

    @Wilfried: we went to the Boval hut last week, too much snow for the last part though…. So we should redo it…. It is a beautiful area 

  31. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks Henrik!
    Thanks a bunch for the kind words Wilfried! I guess your favourite Piz Palu is connected to this mountain no? We should try night photography above a lake like this with our new babies 😉 

    • Wilfried Haferland says:

      Sure we should! Gargl! Piz Palue is definitely connected 😉 Let me send you a night shot of Palue from Boval hut soon, with my camera rammed into the icy snow as a tripod substitute 😉 It was full moon. Again, your photo is fantastic!

  32. Wilfried Haferland says:

    Johan, the effort was worth it. You’ve created an ultra-clear, crisp photograph! I like the fact that I can see more in the foreground than in the background. This provides a refreshing look of this wonderful gem of a lake. Glad you took the time, my friend!

  33. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    merci beaucoup Thierry!
    @Sudip: too much honor Sudip! Thanks for the very kind words 🙂
    @Paul: glad you like it Paul and hope all’s well in Austria! 

  34. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Charles: thanks Charles!
    @Steve: simply beautiful works for me. Thanks!
    @Brian: thanks Brian and nice to meet you! 

  35. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Patrice: thank you and yes you are right 🙂
    @Candace: thanks for the compliment. Hope all is well with you! 
    @Dominique: thanks again Dominique!
    @Andy: thanks a lot Andy!

  36. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Michael: thanks for the kind words Michael. I will be going back to this place in a few weeks and might try to imitate one of your starry sky shot above this scene 🙂
    @Aileen: thanks Aileen. Glad you like it!
    @Alan: thanks Alan. Hope all is well in Ireland! 

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        you’re kidding me. Sunny in Ireland! We need to see proof otherwise it didn’t happen! All’s well here. Being outdoors most of the time so happy man here 🙂

  37. Michael menefee says:

    There is such a nice clean feel to this image, I feel refreshed just taking it in. Beautiful work Johan !

      • Jim Davis says:

        I would love to take you up on your offer . This year is busy but will certainly consider next year!

        Thanks for your generous offer!

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          That would be cool Jim. Would be great to shoot alongside a talented photographer like you and I think I know a few other people here in Switzerland that would like to come along as well ;)

          • Athena Carey says:

            You would not be able to keep me away Johan, if you had a photowalk with Jim Davis. :)

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I don’t do a lot of camping anymore. I should though 🙂 Anyways just keep the option in mind and maybe we can make it work next year!

          • Jim Davis says:


            With planning a visit would be highly likely. If you could let me know when would be an ideal time to visit based on your schedule and for mountain conditions etc. I can commit the time. I mentioned it to my wife and she certainly would like to come.

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            depend a bit on what you want to shoot and how high up you want to go. I would personally skip the summer months, as alpine landscapes are a lot less interesting then.

  38. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Julia: thanks Julia!!! Glad you like it 🙂 Hope your being busy is getting less by now!
    @Meg: and it is not even a Monday. How can that be? 😉

  39. Athena Carey says:

    Johan, you do colour so splendidly! And you know how much I love that. This is an absolutely perfect image. Everything just as it should be, clouds, mountains, snow, lake, ice, grasses, and those two foreground rocks make me smile! I am a little bit jealous that I was not also there running around like a maniac trying to get different compositions! I’ll just have to enjoy seeing them all as you post them. :)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks a bunch for the very kind words Athena 😀 Yeah, this is one of those scenes that you just have to run into at the right time of day. I had already given up that day after a disappointing visit to another lake, Then we ran into this one. Big smiles :))) I think I have about 7 or 8 different good captures from this area!
      Hey, if you figure out when your kids are free from school in Autumn you could visit this as part of a Graubünden trip ;)

  40. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Dylan: I think that would be awesome indeed. Would be a perfect location for shooting a starry sky reflected in the water 🙂 Thanks for the visit again and the compliment. Hope all is well in SA!
    @Christa: danke dir Christa!
    @Dominique: merci beaucoup Dominique! 

    • Dylan van Graan says:

      All is well, thx for asking. I think I should come and carry your gear for a session of star gazing, maybe sneak in a few shots myself. 

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            ow yes, I wouldn’t mind coming over. I already agreed with your fellow South-African Johan Swanepoel, that we would switch countries one day :)

  41. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you for the kind words Morkel and nice to meet you!
    Javier: gracias!!!
    Peter Paul: thanks. Very kind Peter Paul. I think I will do a black and white version of this in the future as well 🙂 

  42. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Michael: thanks Michael!
    @Gemma: thanks for the kind words and the share 🙂
    @Vitor: thanks for the compliment Vitor!!!

  43. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks Tom! No I didn’t get myself wet …. this time. It does happen once in a while though 🙂
    @Carsten: danke vielmals Carsten!! Glad you like it!
    @Matthias: hehe phjew ;)

  44. Dylan van Graan says:

    Very nice Johan. Would be seriously nice to spend a couple of evenings in a tent next to the lake :-)

  45. Peter Paul Müller says:

    Fantastic reflections, wonderful composition and perfect processing.
    One of the best alpine landscape…..
    congrates…. Johan

  46. Tom Tran says:

    The wide angle is giving us such a treat with this beautiful landscape, Johan. You managed to stay out of the lake during your maniacal running around, I take it? :D

  47. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks Terrill! Wasn’t sure whether it was appropriate to also tag +Breakfast Art Club for this one ?
    Thanks you very much Hengki and Patricia !
    Dank je wel Nikola!!!

  48. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Scott: thanks Scott!!
    @Kurt: thanks Kurt! Yeah, it must have looked really funny. I think I had 20 minutes at this location, so tried different things. I got lucky that the wind eased at some point as well, so that the reflections were actually worth while 🙂
    Thanks as well Jim!

  49. Jim Lundgren says:

    Just a vibrant, bright, popping result. Great image but really great, natural looking processing. Fantastic!

  50. Kurt Harvey says:

    This is amazing Johan! Beautiful, fresh and on the edge of the season. I loved your description of hurrying around taking shots. I love that feeling of seeing something very special and having the opportunity to capture it like this.

  51. Debby Vos says:

    Beautiful image Johan 🙂
    My hanging around, waiting and seeing you run around like an idiot to shoot all, was worth it apparently ;-))))

  52. Michael Diblicek says:

    Beautiful Landscape Johan, love the wide sweeping panoramic view.
    Are you coming out with me and Athena on tuesday??

  53. Thorsten von Eyb says:

    very very nice! I love the reflections the light and the last shine on the mountain at the background. a wonderful image.

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