A new lakeside sunset photograph: Colourful Tranquillity

I haven’t posted in a while. My apologies for that. I’ve been crazy busy with travelling and all sorts of other (good) things. I am back at it though, and hope to be posting a bit more regularly again in the coming months! Here’s a photograph of a lakeside sunset to start with.

This lake landscape photograph is the last one in a series of photographs that I captured during a long exposure sunset shoot at Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) near the Swiss town of Préverenges. I shot this with my Nikon D800E and made a conscious choice to turn off long exposure noise reduction on my camera. The best part of a sunset doesn’t last that long, so turning it off allowed me to do more. Never again, though! The D800E adds thousands of tiny white spots to each photograph with that setting turned off. I was aware of that, and it can be taken care off in a post … but wow … what a time-consuming and annoying task it is. So … more images from that night will follow … but very sloooowly 😉

I used only a 10-stop Lee neutral density filter to push the exposure time to two minutes. The white spots were removed using spot healing in Adobe Photoshop. This was actually the first time I used Photoshop on a published image … I hope you like how it came out!

Click on it if you want to buy a print or a licence of this photo of a lakeside sunset.

Cheers, Johan

Colourful Tranquillity, a peaceful sunset at Lac Léman

A lake landscape featuring a colourful sunset at Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), with a wooden pier, near Préverenges in Switzerland.

394 thoughts on “A new lakeside sunset photograph: Colourful Tranquillity

  1. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Jack the Flipper: I am late, but thanks for the great compliment Sascha ! 🙂
    @peter: thank you!
    @E Cindy: thank you very much 🙂
    @Daryl: yup 😉

  2. Jack the Flipper says:

    Wow……stunning…..breathtaking and soothing the same time!! You deserve the outstanding feedback and comments on this work so much. This is such a strong but completely peaceful composed work. Thank you very much for sharing,
    kind regards, Sascha | Jack the Flipper

  3. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Ronald: glad you checked in again Ronald 🙂
    @Kamal: glad you are enjoying it Kamal. Looking forward to the results 🙂

  4. Kamal Deep Singh says:

    Love this image sir….this is the kind of photograph i would love to do…..i hv started taking workshops….it,s a 10 sundays workshop course….and i m enjoying it…..

  5. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Teresa: muchas gracias Teresa 😀
    @Kathie: thanks. It certainly was 🙂
    @Raphael: amazed by the image or by me producing it Raphael? 😉 Thanks!

  6. Teresa Ramos Ojeda says:

    Espectacular y maravilloso atardecer , apacibles aguas , magnífico momento capturado , bellos coloures ,mágica iluminación .Gracias por obsequiarnos con tan linda fotografía Johan Peijnenburg .

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Sweedon: thanks again Sweedon! 🙂
    @Chris: thanks Chris and nice to meet you 🙂
    @tania: they are 🙂 Thanks! 

  8. Rosa De Cyan says:

    Once I read that the best idea in landscapes wiht water was blue colour + orange. So this is a perfect combination.
    However, of my point of view in this case, the perfection is the serenity, it gives peace in my soul.
    A greeting

  9. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Anna: thank you Anna! 🙂
    @Valesa: glad you like it Valesa! Looking forward to your long exposure images 🙂

  10. Valesa Diamontes says:

    It is outstanding and impressive Johan. I want to get into taking long exposure photographs and I feel more of the urge when I look at amazing shots like this one WOW!

  11. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Lammert: dank je wel Lammert! 🙂
    @Ralph: thanks again Ralph! 🙂
    @Sharon: many thanks for commenting and stopping by Sharon! 🙂

  12. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Hope: that is very very nice to hear Hope! 🙂
    @David: thanks for stopping by David and thanks for the compliment! 🙂
    @Jean-Michel: merci beaucoup 🙂
    @kamal: thanks again sir!

  13. Hope OHara says:

    I always love to come in to visit with you.. and re-visit your captures.. they are so peaceful.. like balm for ones soul..

  14. Stefanie Loges says:

    Well deserved Johan, really like it! I am pretty well and already making plans for my next shooting, but at the same time I am quite busy with other funny things too 😉

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the compliment! And really glad to hear that you are pretty well! And busy can be a good thing right …. especially when it is with funny things 😉

      • Aline van Weert says:

        a dank je Johan, weinig foto inspiratie de laatste tijd, maar binnenkort start ik met de cursus time-laps bij Armand 🙂 Die zorgt er wel voor dat ik die camera weer oppak 🙂 Ik volg je met plezier, altijd weer mooi om te zien wat jij aan schitterende opnames weet te maken! 🙂

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          Dank je wel! Dat hebben we allemaal wel eens en zo’n cursus kan dan goed van pas komen! Vaak is het ook zo dat je gewoon de deur uit moet gaan. Vaak vind je dan vanzelf inspiratie. Zo gaat het in ieder geval bij mij 🙂

  15. Joel Tjintjelaar says:

    Well despite the white spots it turned out great Johan ! And I see many other people agree with that!
    I never use NR on my Canon and don’t have any annoying noise either.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      It’s an annoying characteristic of an otherwise great camera. Need to make sure I bring a 2nd body for LE’s at sunset 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and the visit Joel 🙂 Hope all is well with you !? 

      • Joel Tjintjelaar says:

        h I’m doing very well and very busy doing online workshops Johan. Part of the workshop are online one-on-one video chats with all students to make it a highly individual experience which is fun but also time consuming. But I just want to create the best online workshop possible:)

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          I was totally expecting that you would spend ample time on those on-line workshops Joel 🙂 Perfectionist in everything. I like that 🙂 I guess the effort will pay itself in the end as you probably can re-use all of it or commercialize it in another way 🙂 How are all the location workshops going?

          • Joel Tjintjelaar says:

            The real life workshops are a bit harder to sell since they’re simply more expensive but as you know we’ve scheduled Chicago and NYC in the second half of this year and we’re hoping to sell them out on time. For next year we’re going to visit other continents like Australia too. Although I think real life on location workshops are more fun because of the personal interaction but also because of all the traveling and going to some very nice locations (!) online workshops are far more lucrative. I’ve sold out my currently ongoing workshops in under 5 minutes (with full payments as well) so I had to reject many other students and add a few more to not to disappoint too many people. Of course I will re-use lots of materials like the videos and PDFs but the online one-on-one video chats cannot be re-used but it’s exactly this part that makes this workshop stand out from all the rest Johan ! Maybe we should meet up soon to talk more!

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I can imagine that the on-line workshops are a hit. I think it is a lot of value for money! And if on top it is great value for you as well, there are only winners 🙂 I am always in for a meet-up Joel and to talk more! 

  16. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @David: glad you came back again 🙂 Thanks for the compliment David!
    @Aidan: many thanks Aidan! 🙂

  17. David Orr says:

    This is magnificent. Caught this on my iphone but there was no way I was going to look at it there, it just did not do it justice as seeing it large ! Magnificent LE / minimalism. 

  18. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Hope: thank you very much Hope 🙂 Hope things are settling a bit over there!
    @Tom: yes, those little buggers were rather annoying. Glad I put the effort in though and looks like most agree 😉 Thanks for the compliment Tom!
    @Nikola: glad you like it Nikola! And thanks for the promo! 🙂

  19. Tom Tran says:

    Lve the simplicity of this scene and the wonderful tones Johan. Sounds like those little spots were a bit of a surprise in quantity. :D

  20. Victoria Etna says:

    OOOOMMMMMGGGGGG ! what a fantastic and perfect photography Johan !wonderful tonalities ! happy to see your great work again ! I have been missed your talent !
    🙂 have a wonderful day my friend !

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      lol, I guess I figured out how to get you enthousiastic 🙂 Thanks for the very nice comment Victoria and have an awesome weekend! :)

  21. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Matt: many thanks Matt 😀
    @George: I am always glad that you do drop by George! Hope all is well with you! Thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  22. George Marquardt says:

    Another fabulous image Johan! I always like dropping by here to see what new artistry you’ve revealed.

  23. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Vitor: thanks Vitor! Yes you should 🙂
    @Wilfried: many thanks Wilfried! Yes, I should definitely consider that 😀 

  24. Wilfried Haferland says:

    Oh wow, you’ve hit the mark! 🙂 You should write more beginner’s stories 😉 Good one, congrats!

  25. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Kurt: Thank you and it is nice to be back. Still a week of busy ahead, but after that things quiet down 🙂
    @Rc Snoy: thanks Rc! 🙂 
    @Maggy: I always love your delightful comments Maggy. Thank you!
    @Thierry: many thanks Thierry! Yeah I feel I always have to write a bit of a story with the image. Glad it is appreciated! 🙂 

    • kurt Harvey says:

      Oh, thats good to hear Johan. I have a couple busy weeks ahead and my assistant will be out for several days on top of that. I may disappear again for a few days. ;)

  26. Thierry Bouriat says:

    Beautiful once again Johan !!!
    I also like your pedagogical approach and your advice,…
    Thank you :-))

  27. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Hien: 🙂
    @Yasmin: hope so! Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂
    @Julia: two wow’s , wow 😉 Thanks for the very kind words Julia 😀

  28. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Johan, thank youuuu for the kind-lovely images :-).
    Glad to hear that you wil start some workshops in your area. I am sure you wil do great!!!! :-)

  29. Margaret S. says:

    Stunning, Johan!! I love all your work but this is really magnificent!! Thank you for giving us this beautiful image to lose ourselves in.

  30. John Dunne says:

    Wonderful image Johan, It sounded like a lot of pain in the PP department but it was worth it. I love the balance and weight in the image, that wedge of light and its reflection between the weight of the clouds and their reflection.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Many thanks for the feedback and kind words John! Looking forward to a bit of extra pain when I do the rest of the series:)

  31. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Jerry: hope I can keep it up Jerry. Glad you like it. How are things with you?
    @hien: Thanks again hien :)
    @Mark: thanks Mark and glad you don’t notice them 🙂
    @Andreas: You are welcome Andreas! 🙂 
    @Subra: thanks for the compliment Subra! 🙂 

  32. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Lori: glad you like it Lori. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
    @E.E. Giorgi: thank you Elena!
    @Michael: thanks for the kind words Michael! 🙂 

  33. Mark Esguerra says:

    Such a stunning image as always Johan! And great job with the tiny white specs because I don’t notice any. He he.

  34. Carolyn Fahm says:

    This makes me sigh and dream of a place where earth and sky, light and colour, sing harmoniously in a place that only you can celebrate so sublimely.

  35. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Joan: dank je wel Joan 🙂 Glad you approve Joan. Hope I can keep living up to expectations …
    @Jamal Alias: thanks Jamal. Appreciated! 🙂 

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        thanks for the encouragement 🙂 You know, it is always a wait and see if an image will be liked a lot. It makes it kinda exciting to post. Looks like I shouldn’t complain about how this one is doing ;)

        • Joan Munford says:

          I can understand that perfectly well.
          But in a way you also are a thrill seeker so just allow yourself to enjoy the ride : )

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I guess you are right! And in a way it is stimulating to improve the photography as well Joan 🙂 

  36. Joan Munford says:

    A beautifully executed shot, formidable!
    It is not the quantity but the quality that matters and it goes without saying that your photography is top of the bill Johan : )

  37. Mary Catherine says:

    Gorgeous; thanks for posting. Grew up spending summers on the lake (the cheap way) and remember fondly those quiet nights and mornings beside the serene waters…

    • Dalibor Pačić says:

      Its very hot here 35 degrees, so i went on snow this weekend, check the photo 🙂

      otherwise ok, thanks 🙂 

  38. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Mikko: thanks for the compliment Mikko! I try to paint with my camera 😉
    @Michael: thanks very much Michael!!

  39. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Sinead: thanks Sinead! The spots was a bit annoying but easy. Getting the colours and tones just right was the hard part 🙂
    @hien: thanks again Hien 🙂 

  40. Sinead Sam McKeown says:

    This is stunning! The colours are so subtle and lovely. I’m glad you spent the time on all those white dots….it was worth it :)

  41. Dominique Hilbert says:

    I like how it came out 🙂 It’s beautiful. LR slower again? Hmm was thinking to try it out, but maybe better give priority to upgrade the hardware first then.
    De groeten hé.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks Dominique! 🙂 Alleen voor een aantal specifieke dingen langzamer, maar dat fixen ze hopelijk binnenkort. Heeft ook te maken met de grootte van de D800E bestanden. De groeten 😉

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      will gradually explore it Grzegorz 🙂 I prefer to work without but do have a few images that could use some Photoshop magic 🙂 Thanks for the compliment. How are things with you? Are things settling a bit? 

      • Grzegorz Piechowicz says:

        Thank you Johan, it’s fine, recently I had a plenty of time to enjoying photography 🙂 I keep my finger crossed for you Photoshop improvement 🙂 

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          You make it sound like I need it desperately Grzegorz 😉 Good to hear it’s fine with you and that you are using your time well. Would love to join you one day!

  42. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Wowww dear friend Johan, what a killer-adorable image… to die for 🙂
    Thank you for the explanation, I really need some workshop at filters and noise reduction, when are you coming to North-America and start teaching and sharing your fantastic knowledge?.
    Glad you are doing great with positive things around. Hugs

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the kind words Yasmin. Glad you like it. I would love to come over and share what I know. I guess there are loads of people doing that already though. I will start doing workshops here in the Alps though … 

  43. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Markus: danke dir Markus 🙂
    @Louis: that’s what I figured Louis 🙂 Thanks for the compliment! 

  44. Louis Lavoie says:

    Thanks for the share Johan and bravo for the patience. This photo is definitely worth every single pixel of it. Great job. 

  45. Philipp Weimer says:

    Well! The result is great! Beautiful colours and a very calm mood (guess that’s normal with LE shots)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks Philipp 🙂 Yes that is normal but will depend on the scenery as well. Thanks for the compliment!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Glad to be back Andreas and thanks for the compliment! 🙂 How are things? Have you been doing LE a lot lately?

      • Andreas Levi says:

        Many thanks for asking, Johan 🙂
        Jap, all things are going well ( planning a new business 😉 ), and in the last time I had a little more time to try LE. The first steps you can find here: http://goo.gl/zZp3b, and tomorrow I will post the next shot :)

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          good to hear all is well and goo luck with the new business. Exciting! What will you be doing?
          Will check out your stream tonight. Catching up at the moment 🙂 

          • Andreas Levi says:

            It’s indeed very exciting if it works, Johan ^^
            Well, in the last time I had organized different kinds of events as fulltime job. Now I will try it with my own buisness with a combination of photography, in the first line landscape photography in the Harz area. I think it will be not so easy; but who not try, who cannot win ;)) :))
            I can tell soon more about .)

    • Mitchell Prout says:

      Hey! oh yea, it’s very nice.
      I’ve been good! keeping busy, very busy, but mostly with the baby… i’ve got a lot in the workflow, just got to get through it. How about you? How was travel?

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        Good to hear things are fine Mitchell. All’s fine here as well. Travelling was good and useful. Been a bit busy, but did manage to spent some good time on images. Just couldn’t deal with social media alongside all of it 🙂 

        • Mitchell Prout says:

          Oh i don’t blame you there!
          check back in with me tomorrow… I’ve got a LE beach scene that’s right up your alley that i’ll be posting. :)

  46. Athena Carey says:

    Nice to see colour from you Johan! You know I love your colours. 🙂 I especially like the bottom portion of this image – so serene. Exactly the image I need in my mind as I go to the gate to board this long flight. ;)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thank you! Do you use the same camera? To me it’s just a minor but annoying downside. For the rest I am pretty impressed with what the camera produces :)

      • Deborah Sandidge says:

        Johan, yes, almost, the D800. It’s a great camera, and I’ve been pleased with it too. I’m much happier with noise reduction. Love this shot!

  47. Michael A. Koontz says:

    This is just delicious with a big D Johan =) lovely tonality and very fitting for a LE. Love the composition too

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Well thank you very much Michael! I was curious what the responses would be. Color and LE are a difficult combination 🙂 How have you been?

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Haha dank je wel Frank! De eerste keer dat iemand “holy shit” in het commentaar zet. Thanks. Alles goed? 

      • Frank van Es says:

        Het was echt het eerste wat in me opkwam, dus dan kan ik dat ook maar beter in mijn comment zetten toch. Alles prima hier Johan, de laatste weken voor de zomervakantie op een school zijn altijd hectisch maar dan kun je er daarna ook lekker een tijdje tussenuit.

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          inderdaad en ik vond het wel grappig 🙂 Tot wanneer moet je nog les geven Frank? Geen idee meer wanneer de vakanties tegenwoordig in NL beginnen 😉 Ga je nog op vakantie of ga je de tijd gebruiken om veel te fotograferen?

          • Frank van Es says:

            IK woon zelf in het zuiden en mijn gezin heeft nog een week te gaan tot de vakantie. Zelf heb ik nog 3,5 weken les. Ik ga meteen in het begin van de vakantie naar Kefelonië ( Griekenland) Daar en daarna alle tijd om wat te fotograferen.

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            klinkt goed! Goede vakantie alvast (je weet maar nooit wanneer ik weer on-line ben). Wie weet tot binnenkort in NL 🙂 

  48. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @shama: thank you! 🙂
    @David: glad you like it David! Hope all is well with you !? 🙂 
    @Bertrand: Thanks! So how are you liking the D800? 

  49. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Eric: many thanks Eric! 🙂
    @Mona: thanks for the very kind words Mona! And many more new work to be published in the coming month 😀 

  50. Mona Youssef says:

    OMG!!! It was worth the long wait! Thank you Johan for sharing it it is breathtaking indeed and I love it, it is like a beautiful painting not just a photograph!! My best wishes. 

  51. Sharon Thomas says:

    Absolutely stunning, Johan…wonderfully composed and great colour! Bet it would look great in B&W, too…:D

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thank you. It was not easy to get right in colour. Not yet a 100% sure if I managed, so it might be tweaked a bit later. A B&W version is in the works as well of course 🙂 

  52. Scott Horwath says:

    Beautiful sunset Johan. Perhaps next time you are in this situation take your frames with NR off and then when you are all done take a dark frame (with the lens cap on) for manual subtraction in PS. If you took exposures of several lengths you can take dark frames of corresponding lengths, provided the temperature doesn’t change too much between start and end of the session.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks Scott! You mean a couple of LE’s with lens cap on once the sunset ended, to fix all the other LE’s of the evening? That sounds like a good plan. Hadn’t thought of that. Going to give that a try as well!

      • Scott Horwath says:

        Exactly Johan. Dark frame subtraction is exactly what the camera does with LE on, you are just doing it manually in post. The trchnique is used a lot by astrophotographers. You are supposed to do the dark frames at a similar temperature, because the temperature of the image sensor affects the noise profile.

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          thanks again. I am curious now Scott! What happens if there are more spots in the dark frame than in the one you are trying to fix? 

          • Scott Horwath says:

            Then it would show up in the final image (probably as darker pixels I think, assuming you blend the dark frame with Difference layer blending). But the real question is whether you’d be better off with that result, or the one mentioned in the OP…

  53. Sandra Parlow says:

    IT’s nice to see you back Johan! This is lovely!!

    I’ve been dreaming about upgrading some day and thinking about the D800, so that is good to know! 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Well that is nice to hear Sandra. Thank you! Yes, it is something to consider. I don’t mind usually as the wait time is used to compose the next shot. At sunsets the wait isn’t really handy. 2nd body to the rescue next time 😉 

      • Robert Skreiner says:

        You are welcome, Johan!
        Danke, alles bestens in Austria! Wir fahren noch mit Autos und nicht nur mehr mit Gummibooten, wie manche Nachbarn.
        Es herrscht halt nur der übliche Neid der Erfolglosen oder Neulinge gegenüber jemandem der Erfolg durch harte Arbeit hat, also einfach kleinbürgerliche und provinzielle Mentalität von einzelnen Personen, die nicht mal einen fehlerfreien Satz in Englisch schreiben können. Das ist leider bei uns so.

  54. Vincent Paul says:

    I saw this on google plus and had to leave a comment on your website! Such an outstanding shot and I really love the composition. I think that you really took the time to think about this shot and make it come out as professional as possible. When ever I try landscape I always try to use the rule of thirds. Well done!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks Vincent! Glad you like it. Yes I did give it some though 🙂 It is very important when doing images like this!

  55. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Dominique: thanks Dominique. Did you recognize the pier? Yeah those spots aren’t very nice. The D800E is known for it. Have heard if for Canon as well. Think I need a second one now to shoot whilst the other is doing NR ;)
    @Margaret: thank you Margaret!

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        Nope. This is the t-pier in Préverenges. Was there at sunset a while ago and tried a different angle. The pier is being renovated at the moment. 

        • Dominique Dubied says:

          As you mentioned Morges in your post, I thought about Prevérenges, but I could not recognized it from the side ;-)

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            hah, fooled you. I have quite a nice series from that evening. All have the same issue though, so some work ahead 🙂

  56. Dominique Dubied says:

    Cool shot Johan! Strange that you get so many white spots if you turn off noise reduction. I haven’t that issue with my camera, or not so obvious at least. Haaaaa if we could live in a perfect world ;-)

  57. Yvette van Teeffelen says:

    I LOVE it Johan, what a stunning image!! I just started playing with ND filters but I think it will take me a while before I get here. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thank you! You will have so much fun with them and the technique isn’t that hard. I can explain in an hour. Seeing is the most difficult part 🙂 

      • Yvette van Teeffelen says:

        Thanks for the encouraging words Johan !! I read the information Joel Tjintjelaar has on his website and that got me on my way!! Hope to share something soon ;)

  58. Nicolas Lotsos says:

    Johan hi. Beautiful image. Try raw therapy. It’s free and it does a very good job on these dots. Let me know if it worked. My best.

  59. Ingo Meckmann says:

    Beautiful Johan – I especially like how the reflection of the clouds frame the pier in the water – great composition!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks for the compliment Ingo! 🙂 Btw would love to test that IRND 10-stop of yours. See how it differs from the Lee especially for images like this!

  60. Margaret Tompkins says:

    So great to see you again Johan !! I love the gorgeous colours and that silky smooth water!! Beautiful!

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