New black & white mountain photography: Just Breathe

I am afraid I have more black & white mountain photography to share with you. Hope you’re not getting bored πŸ™‚

I shot the photograph to the right last February when I was on one of my winter photo “hunting” trips. When I expect the right weather, I tend to just drive around in the Swiss alps for the best part of the day with loads of gear in the trunk and hunt for scenes with fast-changing weather. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Just Breathe, clearing fog above the Swiss Alps in B&W

The Swiss Alps near Gsteig in B&W, with clearing fog above Spitzhorn mountain and an alpine forest in winter.

This photograph features the Spitzhorn. The Spitzhorn has an altitude of 2,579 m (8,461 ft) and is part of the Bernese Alps. The mountain is located near Gsteig in the Berner Oberland region of the canton of Bern in Switzerland. I captured this landscape scene from a higher altitude on the opposite side of the valley. I loved how the light hit the mountain and surrounding forest as well as the fog that was just clearing around the peak of the mountain. The Swiss Alps can be breathtaking. Therefore “Just Breathe” seemed like a fitting title.

I previously published a colour version of this photograph. I felt that black & white would fit better, however. So, I decided to re-process it in black & white using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. It did take a bit of time as I wasn’t sure which direction I should take it. Hope you like the result I arrived at in the end!

Click on the photograph if you would like to know more about this photograph or are interested in buying a print or licence of Just breathe.

Cheers, Johan πŸ™‚

157 thoughts on “New black & white mountain photography: Just Breathe

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        Thanks Grant. Glad to hear the from a B&W fan! I am shooting as much as I can at the moment whilst the winter stays crisp. I have many candidates lined up already … now need to find time to work on them πŸ™‚

  1. CΓ©dric Leblond says:

    excellent B&W editing Johan, a marvelous 3D effect, love the interaction between the mountain and the clouds here!

  2. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks again @Kurt. This mountain range has so much character and interesting details. It is beautiful to shoot and this was on a day I got really lucky with changing weather πŸ™‚
    @Jens: that would be cool indeed. You have to make sure that you are in good shape though!

  3. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Nora: thanks so much for your comment! Hope all is well!
    @Dan: it is a very nice area to indeed. Glad you like the way I “documented” it πŸ™‚

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      You are absolutely right. I was 90% happy with the colour version. The B&W add the other 10% in this case! Thanks for the compliment πŸ™‚

      • Shawn McClure says:

        Completely agreed. But I have yet to come up with the right words to adequately describe exactly why black and white seems enhance certain photos. I’ve made several attempts, but there’s evidently something intangible about the phenomenon that defies adequate description in words. I’ll keep looking for them, though… πŸ˜‰

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          It all has to do with tonality and contrasts +Shawn McClure πŸ™‚ In this particular case I found that the blue sky took away from the drama in the fog. Replacing it with a darker grey made it really made it pop. For the rest this image already had a lot of white,black and grey tones due to the snow.

          • Shawn McClure says:

            Tonality and contrasts” and “already had a lot of white, black, and grey tones” says it pretty nicely. I’ll add those to my repertoire of phrases for describing my frequent B&W preference. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  4. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thanks Javier and Bill! Just got the news as well from Jarek Klimek. It’s always an honor to be featured πŸ™‚

  5. shane holsclaw says:

    WOW! What a stunner Johan! so sharp. incredible how the clouds caress the mountain. especially love the left side white slope and the way that one dark peak stands out so nicely – even though it’s enveloped by the cloud. : )

  6. Beverley Aston says:

    Brings back happy memories and I just love those clouds – liking the conversion as well and yes I’m taking note πŸ™‚

  7. Julia Anna Gospodarou says:

    this is a marvelous photograph Johan. You’ve created such an ethereal “top of the world” atmosphere here! I love those clouds swirling around the peaks of the mountains. You made me long so much for some snow and mountains!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Lisa: they are, but it depends a bit which part of the Alps you visit. Thanks for the compliment and stopping by πŸ™‚

  8. dene' miles says:

    Absolutely breathtaking view and the way you framed this is perfect! I so want to go there and shoot with you and Athena!!! πŸ™‚

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hey John! Thanks. You have access. You just need to come over to Switzerland one day πŸ™‚ Thanks for the retweet btw πŸ™‚

      • John Dunne says:

        Ha true, although I mean easy access.

        np on the RT. One thing to keep in mind forTwitter is to leave enough characters to allow people to easily RT and add a short comment. I usually try and leave atleast 20 or 30 chars for this. Just something to keep in mind πŸ™‚

  9. Athena Carey says:

    Johan – the clouds have finally cleared down here in Geneva and I can see there is a lot of snow on the higher parts of the Jura too! πŸ˜€

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      we have a nice crisp blue sky and snow covered mountain tops here πŸ™‚ Finally. Now the snow line need to come down a bit.

  10. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Ricky, Denise, Shelly, Peter: thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!
    Debby and Athena: looking forward to lots of snow and 17/18th as well πŸ™‚
    Johan: thank you!!!

    • Athena Carey says:

      Hi Debby πŸ™‚ Nice to see you! I am jealous of your snow – we have only rain down this way. Typical. Looking forward to seeing you the 17/18th.

      • Kerry Murphy says:

        I have been to the beautiful mountains in North Carolina (about 12 hours from me) but I believe the tallest there is about 6500 ft. I haven’t made it west of those as of yet. There is actually a mountain very near to me but it is more like a hill. It is a lone mountain and is about 1200ft. haha!

  11. Simon Morris says:

    Stunning shot Johan – as Arthur Brownlee IV comments, very reminiscent of the great Ansel Adams – and no, we’re not getting bored of your B&W imagery… keep up the good work, mate! πŸ™‚

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