Dark marbled rocks in an alpine river

Dark rocks in a mountain river in the Swiss Alps

Dark marbled rocks in an alpine river
August 29, 2011 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Dark marbled rocks in an alpine mountain river in Graübunden, Switzerland (Johan Peijnenburg)
24mm – f/13 – 6.0sec – ISO100

Last week I visited the Swiss National Park in the Swiss canton of Graubünden again. I hiked about 50 kilometers in 3 days and really enjoyed the unspoiled scenery, great weather and wildlife … ran into deer, ibex, chamois and alpine marmots! Brought home loads of images, so lots of processing to do on rainy days to come.

Plenty of rocky mountain rivers as well in the park, so hiking breaks were often spent near an alpine mountain river to combine resting with shooting a few long exposures. The above one is an example of a long exposure shot at the end of the day. Instead of including the surrounding scenery, I decided to focus on the details of this alpine mountain river a bit more. I personally really like how the dark marbled stones contrast with the blurred stream of water in this photograph. I used a 24mm f/1.4 lens combined with a B+W ND 1.8 filter to blur the flowing water.

Comments (120)

  1. Author

    Playing with ND filters again …

  2. Brian Yang 8 years ago

    nice water

  3. Kerry Murphy 8 years ago

    Those rocks are wild!

  4. Omeed Aghaee 8 years ago


  5. Shane Holsclaw 8 years ago

    keep playing! looks great!

  6. Ron Clifford 8 years ago

    I really have to get me a set of ND’s! Great shot +Johan.

  7. Robert Sohovich 8 years ago

    So peaceful.

  8. Love your work. It is very clean, simple and easy to read, yet quite moving… Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration 🙂

  9. Kurt Harvey 8 years ago

    Beautiful and I love those rocks.

  10. Scott Stringham 8 years ago

    excellent. i like.

  11. Author

    Thanks all for the comments 🙂

  12. Deborah Vos 8 years ago

    Geduld is een schone zaak…. 😉

  13. Emilio Savov 8 years ago

    This is so unfair to have such beautiful photos 🙂 This one is amazing, love it !!!

  14. I love it. I would have to run it thru Silver Efex too and put on a wall. Awesome job!

  15. Dianne Ward 8 years ago

    Really nice!

  16. Hazza Bani Malek 8 years ago

    beautiful!! =)

  17. Author

    Thank you Dianne and Hazza !

  18. Fraser Ross 8 years ago

    Nice timelapse. Interesting lines on the rocks

  19. A.D. Wheeler 8 years ago

    Excellent Johan!

  20. Nellie 8 years ago

    Nice Photo`s
    Jo en Nellie

  21. Herbert Kosin 8 years ago


  22. Robby Candra 8 years ago

    Nice picture. I never see a “zebra” rock like that. Beautiful….!

  23. Jim Nix 8 years ago

    lovely water flow!

  24. Brian Achille 8 years ago

    Great shot. I think the longer exposure works great here. Wonderful detail and good balance in the composition as well.

  25. Gosh this is amazing, it’s like silk and I want to touch it!

  26. Author

    Thanks Jim , Brian and Henrietta! Appreciated 🙂

  27. Xavier Rey 8 years ago

    beautiful !

  28. Chetan Kaushal 8 years ago

    hi Johan, nice capture how did u blurred water

    • Author
      Johan 8 years ago

      Tnx. I had two captures. This one and one with with limited blur (little light available and fast moving water). I preferred this one because it really made the marbled stone stand out and I like the contrast of the dark stones with the silky blurred water 🙂

      • Author
        Johan 8 years ago

        sorry, misunderstood your question. To blur the water, I needed to extend the exposure time. I decided to use a B+W ND 1.8 filter for that (gives about 6 stops of exposure adjustment). The filter in combination with ISO 100 and an aperture of f/13 gave me an exposure of 6 seconds …. and tadaaa … blurred water 🙂

  29. dene' miles 8 years ago

    Love this!

  30. Gordon Runkle 8 years ago

    Very nicely done!

  31. Author

    Thanks Gordon and dene’ !

  32. Dave Pattinson 8 years ago

    Great detail in the rocks!!!

  33. Dylan Patrick 8 years ago

    Great work!

  34. Piet Flour 8 years ago

    superb shot Johan

  35. Laurent Coppée 8 years ago

    Superb details in the rocks and great smoky flow! love it!

  36. Sander Nubé 8 years ago


  37. Originale!!!

  38. Nice!

  39. Peter de Rooij 8 years ago

    I really like the contrast between hard and contrasty rocks, and soft and mellow water. Very good use of that ND filter!

  40. Shirren Lim 8 years ago

    gorgeous shot! 🙂

  41. Francesco Gola 8 years ago

    So fresh!

  42. Richard Murphy 8 years ago

    Very nice Johan!

  43. It’s worth to have an eye on the details like these stones. Very crisp contrast. I like it!

  44. Lana Walker 8 years ago

    Fantastic water that looks like fog! Love the striped stones too. 🙂

  45. John Dunne 8 years ago

    Love the sense of motion.

  46. Charles Lupica 8 years ago

    Johan, I just love this.

  47. Sarah Keane 8 years ago

    Something about the movement of the water softens the cold hard rocks. Beautiful capture, I love it.

  48. Jo Garret 8 years ago

    love the way you’ve captured the water and the limited tones

  49. Athena Carey 8 years ago

    Nicely seen Johan. How did the one in the stream at Sanetsch come out?

  50. Author

    Thanks all for the very nice feedback and stopping by 🙂

  51. Author

    @Sarah: it would have been a totally different shot without the blurred water. The blur makes the wet stone stand out I think. Glad you like it!

  52. Author

    @Athena: not sure yet. The blur looks nice and the composition is good as well. I don’t think the stons is as interesting though. And yours?

  53. Peggy Handley 8 years ago

    beauty to behold love it

  54. Emilio Savov 8 years ago

    WOW, Johan, this is amazing shot !!! Love it !!!

    • Author

      Hey Emilio. Long time no speak! Thanks for the comment! I appreciate it 🙂

      • Emilio Savov 8 years ago

        Yup, Johan. I was kinda busy lately, but now I’m back .. and I see some very amazing pictures in here. Thanks for sharing those, this place is amazing. Since now it’s fall already in here, I might as well make a little trip to our mountain and make some shots too 🙂

        • Author

          You are in Bulgaria no? Here it is also Autumn. Leaves are falling and winter may start in a few weeks already …

        • Author

          Nice. Fall color + snow = ideal 🙂

  55. Meg Rousher 8 years ago

    Great shot Johan

  56. Meg Rousher 8 years ago

    Thanks Meg 🙂 And many thanks for the share as well!

  57. Kerry Murphy 8 years ago

    I love the striping on those rocks! This is great, Johan!

  58. Andy Kennelly 8 years ago

    beautiful water flow with interesting rocks!

  59. shane holsclaw 8 years ago

    really love how the rocks work with the milky water. beautiful! something silly that just popped in my head… those rocks kinda look like Oreo cookies & the water is milky. : ) I know…I’m goofy. : )

  60. Daniel Ewert 8 years ago

    Great job finding and composing this one…the long exposure works great here.

  61. Author

    Thanks Andy and Daniel. I appreciate the feedback!
    @Shane: Thanks. Never noticed you were goofy 😉

  62. Nora Carol 8 years ago

    nicely exposed, great shot Johan!

  63. dene' miles 8 years ago

    Love the cascading water over those interesting rocks. A beautiful intimate scene Johan 🙂

  64. Emilio Savov 8 years ago

    Yes I’m in Bulgaria, and it already started snowing in here !!! 🙁 It’s October for cryin out loud 🙁 It’s supposed to be fall, not winter :))))) But I guess there will be some “fall pictures” time 🙂 .. at least I hope so 🙂

  65. Marco Borzacconi 8 years ago

    It’s a beautiful photo! I really like the contrast and color!

  66. Beautiful! Love the details on the rocks!

  67. Author

    Thanks Marco and Patricia 🙂

  68. Sumit Sen 8 years ago

    thanks for this terrific image!

  69. John De Bord 8 years ago

    wonderful shot, love the exposure and composition in this shot

  70. Francis Gagnon 8 years ago

    Fantastic comp and details, Johan!

  71. Aigerim Sobhani 8 years ago


  72. Neil Camara 8 years ago

    Sweet!!! Love the dreamy effect!!! 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Neil! You are up to date again on what I have been up to now 🙂

  73. Lisa RedWillow 8 years ago

    This is beautiful

  74. Ed Bannister 8 years ago

    love this!

  75. Johan Swanepoel 8 years ago

    I missed this one and saw it on your featured PS page. Just amazing and it has got a strange attraction which makes it one of my personal favourites. Great work 🙂

    • Author

      That’s a great compliment Johan. Thank you. It is also one of my favorites, not only because of the image but also because of the memory of the location where I shot this!

  76. Melissa Adkins 8 years ago

    so beautiful!

  77. Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

    Oh yes Johan I want to shoot these stones!!

    • Author

      It’s different ejh ? 🙂 These I found in Grissons Dominique !

  78. Joseph Trinh 6 years ago

    Nice….great work!

  79. Super Cool!

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