Fall colours and fresh snow at Lake Sils

Winter in autumn at Lake Sils

Fall colours and fresh snow at Lake Sils
December 3, 2013 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Fresh snow in Autumn at lake Sils, with snow-dusted larch trees in their fall colours and Piz Tremoggia surrounded by fog in the back (Johan Peijnenburg)
120mm – f/11 – 1/60th – ISO100 – D800E with 70-200mm f/4.0

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was treated to a snow dump half way through my 4-week fall trip in the Swiss Engadin region last October. The snow lasted for more than a week, so it sure limited my possibilities to shoot typical fall images. The snow did give me many great alternative photographic opportunities though and this image is one of the results.

This image features Lake Sils (Silsersee), a larch tree forest and a mountain called Piz Tremoggia in the background. I was shooting about an hour before sunset to add some nice soft light to the scene. I shot various wider captures of the scene with more of the lake, some blue sky above the clouds and foreground subjects. I however liked this tighter composition best. It really highlights what I loved about the scene: the combination of fresh snow, fall colours and great light. And the mountains and clouds in the background add enough depth. Hope you like it as well ?!

I shot this with my 70-200 f/4 lens (which I love, so if you are interested in a 70-200 f/2.8 VRII please let me know) and used a Singh-ray gradient ND filter to dim the sky a little bit. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 5.2.

Comments (210)

  1. Alex Filatov 6 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic, epic weather conditions!

  2. Jason Bartimus 6 years ago

    Wonderful Colors! Nicely seen

  3. Miquel Almeida 6 years ago

    Beautiful capture Johan. Love that detail of the green treetops. The image looks almost b/w in nature, but that colour totally transforms the mood.

  4. Tom Tran 6 years ago

    Fresh snow is yummy and so is this image, Johan! :)

  5. Anna Rimovska 6 years ago

    Very beautiful capture !

  6. Delavigne 6 years ago

    Belle photo

  7. Kamil Dolny 6 years ago

    Great composition !!!

  8. Gittan Beheydt 6 years ago

    Fantastic Johan !!!

  9. Author

    @Anna: thank you very much Anna 🙂 Glad to see you around again ! Hope all is well !?
    @Delavigne: merci! 🙂 
    @Kamil: Many thanks Kamil ! 🙂
    @Gittan: thanks for the two fantastics 😀 

  10. Don Fahnestock 6 years ago

    Great photo. My wife and I go snowshoeing, in that forest.

  11. ♥ ~❤❤❤~ ♥ 

  12. Author

    @Leyla: thank you Leyla 🙂
    @Don: and that is a very nice forest! Some great photo opportunities there ! 🙂 

  13. Awesome shot…

  14. Very nice, clean shot..a beauty Johan 

  15. Betty Manousos 6 years ago

    Beautiful as ever! great composition and gorgeous light!:)

  16. Author

    @Annette: many thanks ! :D
    @Victor: thanks Victor ! 🙂
    Thank you as well Betty ! :)

  17. Winter photography is very demanding and I always appreciate people who venture into remote wilderness searching for the perfect winter landscape. And your photo is a wonderful reward for your efforts. Excellent multi-layers composition with beautiful warm light that brings out the beauty of this picturesque winter scene. Well done Johan!

  18. Daniel Kitts 6 years ago

    Awesome capture!

  19. Shawn McClure 6 years ago

    Gorgeous winter image, Johan…

  20. Silke Tüxen 6 years ago

    So beautiful!

  21. Debby Vos 6 years ago

    Tiptop 🙂 makes me happy, wanna have snow again

  22. Bertand Chombart 6 years ago

    I love it!

  23. Author

    @Shawn: Wiinter in autumn actually! Thanks 🙂
    @Bertrand: and I am glad you do Bertrand! Thanks! 🙂 
    @Silke: Thank you Silke ! 🙂
    @Deborah: me too 🙂 Dank je! 

  24. Renee Q 6 years ago

    Gorgeous image!!

  25. Ah, beauty !… Great work, dear Johan !

  26. Andreas Levi 6 years ago

    What a wonderful light and great colors indeed!
    Wonderful, Johan!! :)

  27. Author

    @Елена: thank you very much 😀
    @Andreas: thanks for the compliment Andreas! Hope all is well with you !? 

    • Andreas Levi 6 years ago

      Thank you so much my friend 🙂 Yes, all is going well here – some busy days at the moment, but so should it be ^^.
      I just start with Foto-Wandern.com | Photo Tour Harz the next official part of the business and the begin is quite well.
      I hope you’re doing well too??!!

      • Author

        guess it is the time of year. I am actually entering a more quite period now thankfully 🙂 Good luck with that new site Andreas. Will of course check it out! 

  28. Love the clean tree tops in this one. Very nice Johan :))
    @Debbb Vos: we have snow and cold, I would not mind to jump now 5 month ahead!! :))

    • Author

      actually it doesn’t. It is an issue in Lightroom. Used a workaround to get this one up. Annoying! Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 

  29. Marvelous winter landscape shot Johan. I ‘ve got the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII and I love it. Why did you changed it, only for the less weight?

    • Author

      Thanks! I still have both, but do not use the 2.8 a lot anymore. I hike a lot in the mountains to get my shots and the 4 makes more sense then. I have to say that I also like the results of the 4 a bit better for landscape, especially at the longer end. It has a bit more micro-contrast and seems to be able to deal with depth a bit better. 

      • Mmmm, you got a point there Johan, but I guess if you are using a 2x teleconverter a f /2.8 is better, isn’t it?

        • Author

          I am not sure. I have a 2x converter and used it with the 2.8 but didn’t like it. That is in line with reviews as well. 1.7 or 1.4 seem to give better results on it. Haven’t tried the 2x converter on the f/4, because it is f/4 already. The reason why I want to sell the 2.8 is that I am after a 300mm :)

  30. Paul Paradis 6 years ago


  31. Great shot, wonderful picture dear Johan :)

  32. Johan – Very nice one. So we eventually start to see the outcome of your 4/4 trip! :-)

    • Author

      tnx! Pff yes. Time is the problem but looking good for the coming months. 

  33. Author

    Merci beaucoup Paul ! 🙂 
    @Janusz: thank you very much Janusz! 🙂

  34. Vadim Plessky 6 years ago

    Fantastic landscape!

  35. Eric Delcour 6 years ago

    Wonderful landscape and great capture !

  36. Author

    Thank you Vadim ! 🙂
    @Eric: many thanks Eric. Hope all is well with you?! 

    • Eric Delcour 6 years ago

      Thank you very much Johan . I am doing well. Being retired has some good things. :-))) Hope you are doing great too, my friend ! 

  37. I am glad your uploads work again. Would not want to miss such a shot 🙂 I tried my luck with snow and mountains as well this week, but I see there is still a long way to go … excellent

  38. Stunning! simply stunning!

  39. Author

    @Matthias: it is all about timing with these winter landscapes Matthias! Harsh light os killing 🙂 Thanks for the compliment!
    @David: my pleasure David and thanks for the compliment! 😀

  40. Bjarte Wergedahl 6 years ago

    Wonderful scenery, and very nice with the glimpses of sun

  41. Magical Johan…

  42. Author

    @Bjarte: thank you Bjarte! 🙂
    @benoit: thanks!

  43. Super, friday we get some snow also Johan 

    • Author

      thanks! Yes that seems to be the case. We are already in the white stuff here for a while and getting some fresh snow at the end of the week as well.

      I am trying to hold back though. Gotta process images sometimes as well 🙂

  44. Vitor fereira 6 years ago

    Alps paradise :D

  45. Thierry Bouriat 6 years ago

    Great choice Johan for the capture of the scene.
    Simply magical :-))

    • Author

      Thank you very much Thierry ! Glad you like what I did with it 🙂

  46. I love the gorgeous trees and snow!! Beautiful!

  47. This is really beautiful Johan 

  48. Author

    @Jorunn: many thanks Jorunn!
    @Margaret: thank you and thanks for sharing Margaret!!! 

  49. Gorgeous landscape and great capture Johan ! I truly appreciate the composition and colours :-)

  50. Darn, that’s a great shot! Love the white stuff :)

  51. Dalibor Pačić 6 years ago

    fantastic capture my friend 

  52. Author

    @Jean-Michel: thanks for the great compliment Jean-Michel! 🙂
    @Dominique: me too, especially in combination with fall colours 🙂 Thanks! Hope all is goed in België!?

    • Indeed, that’s a great combination 🙂
      All things heel goed in België, over het weer gaan we best niet praten

      • Author

        binnenkort sneeuw toch? Ik krijg altijd dorst van jouw. Ik ga ff een palmpke open maken. Kratje meegenomen uit Holland 😉 

        • Lol Ik heb nochtans maar gewoon een earl grey hoor, maar ik versta het hoor alle excuses zijn wel genoeg om eentje te kraken, proost!
          Die sneeuw, dat zijn nog maar geruchten

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 6 years ago

            😀 Earl grey is zo grey ! Maar toch proost! :o)

            … ik verwacht volgende week een mooi Belgisch sneeuw landschap van je !

          • Dominique Hilbert 6 years ago

            Hmmm bedankt

            wel ik ken wel iemand die wel wat last heeft van roos….

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 6 years ago

            aj, dat lijkt me nou niet echt fotogeniek 😀

  53. Carolyn Fahm 6 years ago

    This is so magnificent that it made my heart stop for a second because of its overwhelming power and beauty. Words cannot fully convey how deeply this image has moved me.

  54. Stunning capture Johan !
    Nice line of green from the trees through this sumptuous snow mountains!

  55. Sandra Parlow 6 years ago

    Wow Johan! this is lovely! that bit of light on the trees with the stormy clouds behind them gives this a feeling of foreboding and crispness at the same time! 

  56. Tony Philips 6 years ago

    So beautiful!!

  57. Author

    Thanks Sandra! Glad you like it 🙂
    @Tony: thanks Tony! Nice to meet you 🙂 

  58. Markus Landsmann 6 years ago

    An absolute stunning work Johan , the details are so good.

  59. Stunning work! so great details!

  60. Many thanks Markus and Anatoliy ! 🙂

  61. Minty fresh image here Johan :)

  62. Dermot Russell 6 years ago

    I really like the layering here Johan, and the gentle light on the trees. Lovely shot.

  63. Wonderful, as usual, Johan! (But I’m not becoming bored by that … ;o7)

  64. Mady Sach 6 years ago

    Great wonderful shot

  65. Author

    Thanks Robin! Maybe i could bore people by posting more often 😉 Hoep all is well with you!?
    @Mady: thank you! 🙂 

  66. Jim Lundgren 6 years ago

    Glad to see you solved you upload problem. I love all the textural detail in the trees. Really lush!

  67. Rikard Lindby 6 years ago


  68. Kelly Coultas 6 years ago

    What a beautiful image–would love to be there!

  69. Author

    Thank you Rikard and Kelly !! :)

  70. Shelly Gunderson 6 years ago

    Gorgeous view!

  71. Nina Anthony 6 years ago

    Wow! What a stunning scene! Those clouds almost look like an avalanche!

  72. George Marquardt 6 years ago

    Another spectacular image Johan! It looks like you’ve caught the Larch trees right at the start of the colour turn. I personally think this looks much better with fresh snow in it than it would otherwise, as long as you could still get to the right places with the snow depth.

  73. Oooh and there you are Johan :-). And a grand return it is too, glad to see your photos gracing my stream again and that you have spent your nature time in the best possible way :-).

    Beautiful vista and a capture that is for sure making both this location and the 70-200 4 proud (although i’d never give up my 2.8 😛 )

    Beautiful work

  74. Jerry Johnson 6 years ago

    What a bounty of visual beauty your photo is and I need to go pop some popcorn, so I can sit and enjoy staring at it for a loooooong time! ;-)

  75. Polly Wong 6 years ago

    Wonderful image capture,superb shot

  76. Jany Viala 6 years ago


  77. Anna Ryndak 6 years ago

    Wonderful light and colors! Excellent work as always! Really like it!

  78. Sheila B. DuBois 6 years ago

    Brrrrr This looks COLD but it is beautiful!

  79. Stephen Cairns 6 years ago

    A scene to transport any outdoor enthusiast and enough to convert the unconverted.

  80. Tony Heyward 6 years ago

    Wonderful image!

  81. Nikola Nikolski 6 years ago

    I will visit Switzerland in the future… you made me decide so with your photo’s

  82. Rosa Frei 6 years ago


  83. Terrie Gray 6 years ago

    Outstanding! I agree with the points you made in your introduction. The colors of the trees in the foreground with their dusting of snow are a wonderful contrast with the water and mountains.The fluff of clouds in the back is a perfect final touch!

  84. Sumit Sen 6 years ago


  85. Great one Johan 

  86. grzegorz burszta 6 years ago

    Snowy mountains await guests of winter walks on the slope of the mountain pass.

  87. Christa Niederer 6 years ago

    An interesting and lovely contrast with the green of the pine trees!

  88. Super wonderful 😀

  89. Britta Rogge 6 years ago

    Such beautifuil and dreamy scenery ! 🙂 That I would love here in Berlin 😀

  90. Mutita EdiblArt 6 years ago

    Your work is so amazing +++

  91. Dylan van Graan 6 years ago

    It looks much more wintery for this South African, wonderful image though :))

  92. Author

    @Shelly: thank you very much Shelly ! 🙂
    @Nina: that’s what I thought as well. Thanks Nina! 🙂
    @George: this was 2 weeks into my month in that area and it sure did limit what I could do there. The snow stayed for quite a while as well. I did still get enough photo opportunities but different ones then I was aiming for. Thanks for the compliment George! 🙂

  93. Author

    @Michael A Koontz: yep, there I am again. And hopfully to post a bit more frequent again 🙂 Thanks for the kind words.

    the 2.8 need to make space for a 300 Michael ! 😀 

  94. Author

    @Jerry: lol always love your comments Jerry! Thanks. hope all is well with you?!
    @Polly: thank you Polly!
    @jany: merci Jany ! 🙂

  95. Author

    @Anna: thanks for the compliment Anna! 🙂
    @Sheila: can’t get these without freezing a bit Sheila 🙂 I am used to it. Thanks! Hoep all is well with you ?!
    @Alex: many thanks Alex!

  96. Author

    @Stephen: you just have to get out there 🙂 Thanks Stephen! 🙂
    @Tony: many thanks Tony! 🙂
    @Nikola: ik denk dat je wel welkom bent Nikola! 😉 Thanks!

  97. Author

    @Rosa: thank you Rosa! 🙂
    @Terrie: thanks Terrie!! Great feedback 🙂
    @Sumit: thanks!

  98. Author

    @Maciej: thanks Maciej! 🙂
    @Christa: Switzerland is beautiful 🙂 Thanks Christa!
    @Naghmeh: thank you! :)) 

  99. Author

    @Britta: thanks again Britta 😉
    @Mutita: glad you think so ! 🙂
    @Dylan: thanks Dylan 🙂 

  100. Daniel Feistauer 6 years ago

    Wonderfull landscape 

  101. Michelle Potter 6 years ago

    Just wonderful with the peaks of the trees shining green.

  102. Günter Schurr 6 years ago

    Fantastic winter scenery and light Johan!

  103. Bert Hartog 6 years ago

    Wonderful Light and in my opinion a “non (very) sharp foto” can show other beautiful things 

  104. Anke Hebenstreit 6 years ago

    Wunderbares Winter Bild Johan

  105. E.E. Giorgi 6 years ago

    Fantastic shot, Johan

  106. Enrique Palaez 6 years ago

    Woow this is fantastic!! beautiful place and awesome image you captured my friend Johan , have a great evening !

  107. Meg Rousher 6 years ago

    Wonderful capture Johan :)

  108. Beautiful image Johan I like it.

  109. Author

    @Daniel: thank you Daniel! Nice to meet you 🙂
    @Michelle: thank you Michelle 🙂

  110. Author

    @Günter: thank you for the compliment! 🙂 Thanks for the share !
    @Bert: thanks!
    @Anke: danke vielmals Anke 🙂 Nice to meet you. Nice cats 😉

  111. David Shield 6 years ago

    Great light, and you kept the exposure of the snow in-check. Very good job!

  112. Author

    @E.E. Giorgi: thanks Elena 🙂
    @Enrique: many thanks Enrique! 🙂
    @Meg: thank you as well Meg ! 🙂
    @Michael: glad you like it Michael! 🙂 

  113. Fred Westhoff 6 years ago

    In een woord : SCHITTEREND!!!!!!!!!!!!

  114. Magnificent capture, Johan ! very beautiful !! :-)

  115. Enzo Ros 6 years ago

    Manifique paysage Johan! J’adore l’Engadine!

  116. Don Spenner 6 years ago

    A stunning winter masterpiece Johan!

  117. George Fletcher 6 years ago

    So beautiful!!!!

  118. Michael Salmela 6 years ago

    All of the elements work wonderfully together here, Johan, a most beautiful scene! 

  119. ian Good 6 years ago

    You have plenty of beautiful scenery of your own Johan. 🙂 Love how the sunlight picks out the colour in the trees in this one. 

  120. Author

    @David: many thanks David! 🙂
    @Fred: dank je wel ! 🙂
    @Delcour: good to hear! All’s fine here as well thanks 🙂

  121. Author

    @Sofie: glad you like it Sofie 🙂 Tnx!
    @Enzo: Oui, l’Engadine est magnefique 🙂 Merci!
    @Don: thank you very much Don! 🙂

  122. Author

    @George: thank you George 🙂
    @Michael: glad you like it Michael ! 🙂
    @Ian: I guess I can’t complain 🙂 Thanks!

  123. Athena Carey 6 years ago

    A gorgeous scene Johan! :)

  124. Ralph Mendoza 6 years ago

    Majestic mountainscape

  125. Mady Sach 6 years ago

    Amazing view !!!

  126. grzegorz burszta 6 years ago

    Nice photos of nature and landscapes you did thank you for it. Have
    Saturday wish.

  127. Dominique Dubied 6 years ago

    Very nice Johan, interseting to note that you had the same conditions as me in Derborence, looking for fall but finding winter!

  128. Mark Esguerra 6 years ago

    Such a beautiful shot Johan! Good call on the tighter composition. It turned out great!

  129. Stunning Beauty! 🙂

  130. Kurt Harvey 6 years ago

    Spectacular work Johan! Wonderful layers of color and contrast. Pure mountain essence….awesome!

  131. Author

    @Mady: thank you Mady
    @Ggrzegorz: you are very welcome 🙂
    @Dominique: Thanks Dominique! Looks like it 🙂 Really love these types of circumstances!

  132. Author

    @Оксана : thanks Oksana 🙂
    @Kurt: thanks for the compliment Kurt!
    @Mark: Glad you like my choices Mark 🙂

  133. Nora Carol 6 years ago

    Beautiful winter scene Johan!

  134. Paul Turkowski 6 years ago

    Gorgeous scenery with lovely light Johan! 

  135. Yasmin Simpson 6 years ago

    Hey amigo Johan, you are just unique!.
    I visited your blog and really love it, plus all the work that you do to create these stunning images in the snow is totally gorgeous.
    Very honoured to be your friend… :-).
    Be safe and warm with your hot chocolate.

  136. Marilou Aballe 6 years ago

    So beautiful and amazing scenery! Thanks for the added info about this gorgeous place as well!

  137. Author

    @Nora: thank you Nora 🙂
    @Paul: thanks Paul. Busy skiing already?
    @Yasmin: likewise Yasmin 🙂 Thanks for the visit and kind words! Hope it is not too cold over there yet 😀
    @Marilou: glad you like it Marilou. It is a gorgeous place indeed 🙂

  138. Paul Turkowski 6 years ago

    waiting for more snow! 🙂 Have a nice weekend Johan.

  139. Johan Swanepoel 6 years ago

    Awesome Johan – best wishes

  140. Victoria Etna 6 years ago

    Wow !!! So beautiful Johan ! Love the sunlight on the trees too !

  141. Wonderful! Great tones and details!

  142. Gemma Costa 6 years ago

    great shot Johan

  143. Author

    @Paul: me too!!!
    @Johan: thanks Johan!! 🙂

  144. Author

    @Victoria: thank you 🙂
    @Jeffrey; many thanks Jeff 🙂
    @Gemma: Glad you like it ! :D

  145. Joan Munford 6 years ago

    A magnificent capture. So well seen by you this gorgeous scene….

  146. Kamal Deep Singh 6 years ago

    Magnificien sight Sir….

  147. Missed you, glad to be catching up at last 🙂 Happy Holidays :)

    • Author

      Looking forward to seeing you around a bit more Louisa! Happy New Year! 🙂

  148. Gemma Costa 6 years ago

    Wonderful shot Johan !

  149. Happy New Year Johan ! I wish you to take wonderful photos in 2014 :-)

    • Author

      Thank you very much Jean-Michel! Will do my best. Best wishes to you as well! 🙂

  150. Gemma Costa 6 years ago

    Happy New Year, dear Johan

  151. V.beautiful

  152. Author

    Thanks Gemma and Khalid !

  153. Rohan Reilly 6 years ago

    Fantastic Johan, superbly composed, love the green tops to the trees

  154. Erin A.D. 6 years ago

    Bob Ross would approve :)

  155. Elsa Parada 6 years ago

    Un paisaje espectacular.

  156. Philipp Weimer 6 years ago

    Hmm… how could I miss this one when you first posted it?

    Quite the marvelous shot you got here!

  157. Author

    @Elsa: gracias! 🙂
    @Philipp: thanks Philipp! Part of my Engadin harvest. Still working on most of them 🙂 

  158. K. Garzer 6 years ago

    Very beautiful landscape.

  159. Pety Peter 6 years ago

    Awesome wilderness!

  160. Marla Mathis 6 years ago

    Really Beautiful… 

  161. Author

    @Pety and Marla: thank you very much!

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