Alpine winter panorama in B&W

Black & white impression of Weisshorn mountain in winter

Alpine winter panorama in B&W
July 4, 2012 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Alpine winter, featuring the Weisshorn (4505m) and surrounding mountains near Zermatt (Johan Peijnenburg)
56mm – f/11 – 1/500 – ISO200 – D3x with 24-70 f/2.8

This is an image I shot last January, when I was hiking down from the Gornergrat station to Riffelberg in Zermatt. It is a panoramic view of the Weisshorn (4,505m/14,783ft) and a few surrounding mountains like the Mettelhorn, Schalihorn and Brunegghorn. I was shooting at an altitude of 2755 meters (9038ft). From that same location, you can see some of the highest peaks in Switzerland, like the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. If you plan to visit Switzerland, make sure to go there.

I will be publishing a color version of this as well, however wanted to share the black and white version first. I shot this image with a 2-stop gradient ND filter to control exposure a bit. Processed the image in Lightroom 4.1 and Silver Efex Pro 2. The range of shadows and highlights in this image didn’t make the conversion easy. I have attempted to convert it many times in the past few months. I think I finally got it right though. Hope you like this alpine winter image!

Comments (158)

  1. David Herreman 8 years ago

    Stunning B&W shot Johan ! Beautiful panorama!

  2. E.E. Giorgi 8 years ago

    wow, this is stunning!! truly beautiful, and very refreshing to see this time of the year! :-)

  3. Jim Tomcik 8 years ago

    A beautiful image on one of my favorite hikes. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Mark Esguerra 8 years ago

    Another winner Johan! Great work as always! ;-)

  5. Author

    @David: Thanks David ! 😀
    @E.E. Giorgi: it’s always winter somewhere! Thanks!
    @Jim: my pleasure and thanks for the visit! 
    @Mark: and you are almost always one of the first people to comment! Many thanks 😀

  6. Jerry Johnson 8 years ago

    Yet another stellar b&w beauty Johan! I especially like the soft and gentle foreground that creates a violent contrast with the striking textures found in the background peaks. :-)

  7. Absolutely gorgeous Johan !! It’s breathtaking!!

  8. David Brookover 8 years ago

    Such beauty, especially using black and white…

  9. the details are fantastic, i like the effect of the shadow, well captured Johan.

  10. Author

    @Jerry: Thanks very much! I expected that that would create in interesting effect yes. 
    @Thanks David. Will do a color version as well, but thought the B&W was quite striking 🙂 Nice to meet you by the way!
    @Jeffrey: many thanks Jeffrey !
    @Margaret: glad you like it Margaret! This was a real tough one …

  11. Philipp Weimer 8 years ago

    Don’t know why, but these high alpine shots always look more impressive in B&W to me. Well done :)

    • Author

      thanks! Sometimes they do yes, especially when there is a lot of light play like in this one. The color version is in this case very nice as well … by the way …. this you will see on the 29th as well !

  12. Peter de Rooij 8 years ago

    Oh yes, you got this right. The mountains have great depth, the sky is dramatic but realistic, and the snow is smooth and white (you may say duh about that last one, but just have a look at the average shot with this much snow:-) Great landscape.

    And Weisshorn is in my book the most beautiful peak in the Alps. (And Brunegghorn has a special meaning for me – it’s the first and only (small) ice face I climbed when I was young and stupid.)

    • Author

      great feedback Peter and very nice to see you stop by again 🙂 It is a very nice and characteristic peak indeed. Hard to miss as well 😀 

  13. Barbara Wirtz 8 years ago

    What a photo! Wow! Wonderful b/w. Love it. :))

  14. Johan Swanepoel 8 years ago

    Fabulous work Johan – love how well you control the tones in your work

    • Author

      that’s nice to here Johan. It was very very hard to find a balance in this case. When I see it again in a week, I will probably have a go at it again ;)

  15. Carsten Kopp 8 years ago

    Fantastic view and excellent processing (and of course a ND grad filter is perfect for this kind of photos). I’m trying to order a Lee filter system for several weeks but it is hard to get one here in Germany :(

  16. Dawn Smith 8 years ago

    Absolutely stunning!!

  17. Cameron Siguenza 8 years ago

    Very nice / spectacular Johan Peijnenburg :)

  18. Wonderful image, guess you’ve finally catched the right processing! No coincidence that you let us enjoy a winter photo these days… Thank you!

  19. Author

    @Carsten: my pleasure. Good luck!
    @Dawn: thank you and nice to meet you 🙂
    @Cameron: glad you like it Cameron! 

  20. Author

    @Wilfried Haferland: and many winter images left to go Wilfried 🙂 I think i caught it, but ask me again in a week 🙂 Thanks! 

  21. Nikola Nikolski 8 years ago

    Wonderful image Johan such a clear view!

  22. Davorin Mance 8 years ago

    Beautiful pano Johan , very nice processing.

  23. Author

    @Nikola: Dank je wel 🙂 It is sooo nice when you catch a day without haze and some nice clouds in the Alps. It can create very nice contrasts.
    @Davorin: many thanks Davorin! Planning the walk already?

  24. Stefanie Loges 8 years ago

    Wow Johan, sitting here slack jawed and struggling of words for what I see!!! 🙂 I already told you how much I love seeing the mountains, but never seen something like this before. Stunning tones and unbelieveable whites. The smooth texture on the snow, the details along the mountain range, everything is so perfect, it´s like I am staying inside the scene. Fantastic, and I mean it!!

    • Author

      that was VERY nice to read Stefanie! You know, when you live in the Alps you start to take things for granted. I have quite some shots like this from all the winter hikes I did and for me it is sometimes quite difficult to determine what is special or not. Many thanks for the kind words!

      • Stefanie Loges 8 years ago

        You know the highest elevation here are our dikes Johan, oops forgot you were born just behind them :D

        • Author

          that is one of the reasons why I don’t live behind you anymore 😀

  25. Sumit Sen 8 years ago

    Stunning stuff Johan. Love it!

  26. Athena Carey 8 years ago

    The thumbnail does not do this image justice – I hope everyone clicks to open lit larger! It’s beautiful +Johan Peijnenburg. :)

  27. Beautiful.

  28. Maria Salvador 8 years ago

    Beautiful indeed!

  29. Author

    @Sumit: many thanks Sumit!
    @Stefanie: that is one of the reasons why I don’t live behind you anymore 😀
    @Athena: hey Miss USA 😀 Thanks for the compliment. You are right about the thumbnail. It is so nice to view this on a large monitor …. if I may say so myself 😉
    @Anthony: thank you Anthony! Nice to meet you :)

  30. Rohan Reilly 8 years ago

    There is a beautiful flow to this Johan 

  31. Author

    @Maria: Thank you Maria !
    @rohan: that’s what I thought as well Rohan 😉 Thanks for the feedback! 

  32. Barbara Stumm 8 years ago

    As if everything floats…. an awe-inspiring feeling. Ich muss unbedingt mal wieder in die Berge.

    • Author

      danke vielmals 😀 Bisst du am 29. July dabei? Es ist das selbe Ort 🙂 

      • Barbara Stumm 8 years ago

        I will try, but I have to work the next day and would have to get back to Zürich.

  33. Tom Tran 8 years ago

    Beautiful image, Johan. Your B&W conversion is so crisp. The details in the landscape really stand out.

  34. Deborah Vos 8 years ago

    Beautiful image Johan indeed! It is almost more beautiful on picture then in real life… Fortunately all the “sweat and tears” you produced whilst processing this picture are not visible 🙂 

  35. Stunning & Wonderful B/W image

  36. Kurt Harvey 8 years ago

    Amazingly gorgeous B&W +Johan Peijnenburg !! Wow! I love the contrast between the layers of snowfield, craggy peaks and the sky. Print this guy! :)

  37. what an impressive alpine shot Johan 

  38. Author

    @Leyla : many thanks Leyla!
    @Kurt: very kind words Kurt. I will definitely do that :D
    Thank you as well Matthias!

  39. Maggy Meyer 8 years ago

    Wowww, what a gorgeous image, Johan!!! Love it very much!!!

  40. Mike Sh 8 years ago

    nice one Johan, well worth the big view :-)

  41. Domique Hilbert 8 years ago

    gosh, my knowledge of the written word is far from good enough to describe how beautiful this image is, just breathtaking. Love it!!!

  42. Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

    Beautiful scenery Johan!

  43. Paul Turkowski 8 years ago

    Magical +Johan Peijnenburg! Amazing composition, soft lines, hard lines, great light and drama in the sky, perfect! :)

  44. Author

    Many thanks Maggy and Mike!
    Glad you like it Dominique!
    @Dominique Dubied: merci! Will you join on the 29th?

  45. Ada M 8 years ago

    I close my eyes hoping that when I open them I will find myself in this picture , nope it did not work 🙁 still, this picture made my day! I really needed it! (fighting extreme annoying heat is not easy). I love this picture!!!

  46. Stefan Schnebelt 8 years ago

    Stunning mountain scene. 

  47. Dalibor Pačić 8 years ago

    awesome view Johan 

  48. Vitor Ferreira 8 years ago

    very good image.

  49. Ben Locke 8 years ago

    Lovely shot Johan. I like the way the light appears to skim across the snow in the foreground. 

  50. Sandy Schepis 8 years ago

    Wonderful, Johan! 

  51. Meg Rousher 8 years ago

    Fantastic shot Johan, I love it :)

  52. Oh yes I do love that conversion Johan. It looks fantastic, the contrasts are superb and love the softness of the snow off set by the rugged mountains. It it does look so much better big. Must look great in real life too. Visited the Matterhorn about 20 yrs ago.

  53. Author

    @Dominique: hope you can make it. It will include a view on the same mountains 🙂
    @Mike: thanks again 🙂
    @Ada: thought it was time for some snow in our Summer 🙂 Glad you like it!

  54. Author

    @Stefan: many thanks Stefan!
    @Dalibor: thank you and thanks for the visit!
    @Vitor: glad you like it Vitor!
    @Ben: thanks! Good to hear 🙂 

  55. Author

    @Sandy and Meg: thank you!!
    @Andrew: the Matterhorn is just to the left of these! Thanks for the nice feedback Andrew!

  56. Sudip Ghate 8 years ago

    Wow I almost missed this, this is stunning Johan! The tones are beautiful, bringing out the ruggedness of the mountains and the smoothness of snow, to go along with a darker background of the sky. Just an overall amazing shot!

  57. Johan Peijnenburg: that is one of the most beautefull places on earth, despite all the tourists. Thank you for catching that in your picture.

  58. Ian Gazzard 8 years ago

    Silky smooth Drama Johan, Seriously nice image man. Impressive work!

  59. Lucille Galleli 8 years ago

    Fantastic work Johan … totally love this shot… it’s quite literally a place where no man has set foot.. at least that’s what the lack of prints tell me 🙂

  60. Author

    @Sudip: many thanks for the kind words Sudip!
    @Ian: a nice compliment Ian. Thanks!
    @Lucille: glad you like it so much Lucille!!!

  61. Davide Diaferio 8 years ago

    Awesome for detail, tone and mood.

  62. Aileen Sorenson 8 years ago


  63. Lilia Lin 8 years ago

    Usually, I would prefer colour to b&w but this is… Wow… awesome… so beautiful! :)

  64. Wow! Johan …after a few minutes looking and staring at this remarkable shot…i take a deep breath….i keep looking, observe the shadowplays, the rolling mountainscape, the sharp peeks, the passing clouds…my heart is fulfilled with joy, with warmth, with a great miss to the mountains!
    I found this one very intense for the eye and i really love your work Johan , you really understand the energy of the mountains, so congratulations with this spectacular work!!
    You really make my day with this outstanding work!! 🙂
    Have a nice weekend!

  65. Chris Miller 8 years ago

    All that untouched snow… where’s my snowboard when I need it?! Great shot Johan :)

  66. Beautiful work Johan ! Love the depth of the plans, great B&W!

  67. Beautiful tones and a majestic view Johan! Love your B&W mountainscapes! :)

  68. Author

    @Aileen: thanks Aileen!
    @Lilia: thank you, The color version of this one is quite nice as well. Might post that as well later 🙂
    @Sophie: you made my day with that comment Sophie 😀 Thank you. This is an image that need to be viewed large and really taken in and you did exactly that!

  69. Author

    @Chris: the virtue of going places wit snow shoes 😉 Many thanks!
    @Julia: glad you do! Appreciate the kind words 😀 

  70. Joel Tjintjelaar 8 years ago

    I envy the view you have over there in Switzerland Johan ! Great subject for B&W photography and you’ve done very well here. Subtle shades of white in the snow in the foreground!

  71. Eddie Kremanis 8 years ago

    Beautiful shot! Love the detail in the mountains. Awesome work!

  72. Radek Vik 8 years ago

    Beautiful work Johan, Fabulous tones!

  73. Author

    @Joel: Thanks for the feedback Joel! Glad ou like it. So, do you still have CH plans?
    @Eddie: many thanks Eddie! Nice to meet you!
    @Radek: many thanks Radek!

  74. I agree, you got it right. Loks wonderful, to bad that I miss that part in July, bugger. Oh well there will be always something better out there in the jungle :))) 

  75. Gorgeous scene. Great work Johan .

  76. Andy Korolis 8 years ago

    Gorgeous mountain scenery and a great composition Johan Peijnenburg

  77. Patrice PVK 8 years ago

    I love the framing here… And the shadow on the mountain. Great photo again Johan !

  78. Brian Spencer 8 years ago

    Wonderful compositon Johan! I think you got it right with this one!! :)

  79. Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

    Unfortunately I will not be able to take part to the walk Johan, fully busy with the family this week-end, even not 4 AUGUST, 13 & 14 AUGUST. I will try to attend the LE at Thun.

  80. Michael menefee 8 years ago

    What a cool perspective on this, very well seen!

  81. Eric Rousset 8 years ago

    Well converted in B&W, gives more contrast IMHO

  82. Author

    @Anette: thank you. Too bad indeed. Enjoy the jungle!
    @Jean-Michel: merci beaucoup 😀
    @Andy: many thanks for the feedback Andy! 

  83. Author

    @Patrice: Thank you very mucho Patrice!!!
    @Dominique: that is very unfortunate Dominique! If you want to go shooting on another day/time, just let me know! Hope you had a great time in Iceland!
    @Michael: many thanks Michael!

    • Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

      Yes no problem Johan! I will be glad to shoot with you soon :)

      • Author

        do you have busy months ahead of you or a “relaxed” summer?

        • Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

          Unfortunately quite busy, holidays beginning of August with the family, but we will find a day Johan!

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            Just drop me a few dates when you know more Dominique 🙂

  84. Yasmin Simpson 8 years ago

    Wow, wow dear Johan, feels so nice to comeback and see this kind of “dreamy” images.
    Absolutely amazing and perfect work!!!.
    Very impressed in how you can hike and think about shooting at the same time… :).

  85. Toshiro Ikeda 8 years ago

    Stunning image. Absolutely nice.

  86. John G Moore 8 years ago

    Lovin’ it Johan 😉 How are you enjoying the new camera? ;-)

    • Author

      Thanks John ! I like the new camera so far, but not loving it yet. Still using the D3x for many things, especially LE work. I will be shooting with the new one more in the coming month though. Need a bit more time to get used to it (and how the images look) and to fully trust it :)

  87. Markus Landsmann 8 years ago

    the light works outstanding in this bw.

  88. Rikard Lindby 8 years ago

    The processing is great as is the photograph itself. Well done.

  89. Fine BW conversion and processing, Johan. It gives depths to the great you’ve captured here.

  90. Milena Llieva 8 years ago

    Beautiful panoramic view. 

  91. This is superb. 

  92. Author

    @Serban: thanks for the feedback. Glad you like it!
    @Milena: thank you!
    @Sinead: thanks for the superb 😀 

  93. Bernhard Schmid 8 years ago

    just a fine winter~mountain~picture!! i like it!

  94. Francesco Gola 8 years ago

    This is simply awesome, Johan! Perfect light, perfect tone, perfect composition! Really amazing! 

  95. Shawn McClure 8 years ago

    Spectacular image, Johan…

  96. Hengki Koentjoro 8 years ago

    Gorgeous tonal composition

  97. Mikko Tyllinen 8 years ago

    this is absolultey stunning Johan! feel like this id not from this world so mystical and beautiful!

  98. Author

    @Bernhard: danke!
    @Francesco: very nice to hear that Francesco!!!
    @Shawn: many thanks Shawn!
    @Hengki: thank you!
    @Mikko: almost like a painting 😉 Thank you! 

  99. David Orr 8 years ago

    Tremendous capture of such a lovely location !

  100. Baldur McQueen 8 years ago

    Incredible shot, Johan! The light, shadows and tones in this are a feast for the eye – just amazing!

  101. Simos Xenakis 8 years ago

    This is absolutely gorgeous, Johan. My goodness.

  102. I repeat once again! Better than mountains can only be a mountain! I’m glad I found you! I’ll be watching your work with pleasure! Do you mind?

  103. Author

    @Simos Xenakis: thank you Simos!
    @Людмила Танасевская-Караваева: I don’t mind at all 😀 

  104. ~❤❤❤~ 

  105. Martha Yolanda 8 years ago


  106. Fabio Bucchieri 8 years ago

    incredible!!! jaw on the floor! Everything here works perfectly!

  107. David Shield 8 years ago

    Great scene, fantastic quality processing!

  108. Author

    @Martha: thank you!!
    @Fabio: that comment made my day Fabio! It’s one of my personal favorites. Need to be viewed large!
    @David: appreciated David! Thanks 

  109. Michael Bissig 8 years ago

    Great picture!

  110. Paul Kamphuis 8 years ago

    a vibrating B&W! Well done

  111. Author

    @Fabio: I agree 😀
    @Michael: thanks for the compliment Michael!
    @Paul: thanks Paul and nice to see you around here 🙂 

  112. shane holsclaw 8 years ago

    gorgeous and grand!

  113. Christa Niederer 7 years ago

    This is a fantastic result Johan, I love the many different shades of black and white! 

  114. Gail Beerman 7 years ago

    Stunning clarity Johan! 

  115. 4thFolio 7 years ago

    beautiful image

  116. Fantastic!

  117. Author

    Thanks Christian and 4thFolio !

  118. Ed Bannister 7 years ago


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