New in B&W: the Weisshorn in winter

This is a mountain landscape photograph that I captured 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) in winter. Additionally, you see a few of the surrounding mountains like the Mettelhorn, Schalihorn and Brunegghorn. I captured this on an altitude of 2,755 metres (9,038ft). From that same location, you can see some of the highest peaks in Switzerland, including the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. If you happen to find yourself in the Swiss canton of Valais, make sure to visit Zermatt!

Weisshorn in winter

The Weisshorn and surrounding mountains near Zermatt in winter time, in black & white.

I plan to publish a colour version of this photograph as well. However, I wanted to share this black & white version first. I processed it in Silver Efex Pro. The range of shadows and highlights in this photograph 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. Initially, I used a 2:1 aspect ratio for the photograph, but I recently changed it back to the original 3:2 aspect ratio. As a result, I think it is stronger now. I hope you like this mountain landscape photograph of the Weisshorn in winter!

I used a Nikon D3x with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens (66mm, ƒ/11, 1/500s and ISO200). A 2-stop gradient neutral density filter balanced the exposure a bit.

Cheers, Johan 🙂

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This photograph of the Weisshorn in winter is part of our Mountains & Hills landscape photography theme. This theme contains many more mountain landscapes taken in Switzerland, including:

Please visit the Swiss Landscape Photography portfolio to see more photographs from Switzerland in general.

158 thoughts on “New in B&W: the Weisshorn in winter

  1. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  2. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  3. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  4. Людмила Танасевская-Караваева says:

    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?

  5. Baldur McQueen says:

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

  6. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      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 :)

  8. Yasmin Simpson says:

    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… :).

  9. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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!

  10. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  11. Dominique Dubied says:

    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.

  12. Anette Mossbacher says:

    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 :))) 

  13. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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!

  14. Joel Tjintjelaar says:

    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!

  15. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  16. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Aileen: thanks Aileen!
    @Lilia: thank you, The colour 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!

  17. Sophie Vandebuerie says:

    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!

  18. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  19. Lucille Galleli says:

    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 🙂

  20. Peter Schmollinger says:

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

  21. Sudip Ghate says:

    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!

  22. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  23. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  24. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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!

  25. Andrew Sanigorski says:

    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.

  26. Ada M says:

    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!!!

  27. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  28. Paul Turkowski says:

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

  29. Domique Hilbert says:

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

  30. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  31. Kurt Harvey says:

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

  32. Deborah Vos says:

    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 🙂 

  33. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  34. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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 :)

  35. Athena Carey says:

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

  36. Stefanie Loges says:

    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!!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      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!

  37. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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?

  38. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  39. Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  40. Wilfried Haferland says:

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

  41. Carsten Kopp says:

    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 :(

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      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 ;)

  42. Peter de Rooij says:

    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.)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      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 😀 

  43. Philipp Weimer says:

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

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

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

  44. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Jerry: Thanks very much! I expected that that would create in interesting effect yes. 
    @Thanks David. Will do a colour 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 …

  45. Jerry Johnson says:

    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. :-)

  46. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @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 😀

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