Last mountain light

B&W capture of last light on the Grand Muveran in Switzerland

Last mountain light
May 16, 2012 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Last light on the snow-covered Swiss Alps Grand Muveran and Petit Muveran, as seen from Leysin in Switzerland. (Johan Peijnenburg)
200mm – f/6.3 – 1/1250 – ISO320 – D3x with 70-200 f/2.8

Earlier this year I organized a Google+ photo walk to Leysin, which is a small town in the midst of the Swiss Alps of Valais. Unfortunately it was quite hazy that day and it was hard to get really nice shots. Luckily, it cleared up a bit at the end of the day and I was able to get away with this photograph of the snow-covered Grand Muveran and Petit Muveran mountains. Both are about 3.000 meters (10.000 ft) high.

I really loved how the last light was hitting the rugged face of these two mountains. That’s why I decided to focus on that and keep the composition fairly simple: just the rugged mountain face and the soft last mountain light. The used a 2:1 crop to try to frame the key parts of the image a bit. Hope you like this image of the Swiss Alps!

Comments (135)

  1. Roland 8 years ago

    It’s that kind of light that makes me go silent and just look, maybe smell for I imagine how the cool air will stream downwards and cover my face, making me deeply immersed in that special smell of ice and rock… very nice!


    • Author

      Hi Roland … really appreciate the compliment! You have a very nice way with words!!!

  2. Dave Pattinson 8 years ago

    Fantastic detail and light!!!!!

  3. Mark Esguerra 8 years ago

    Incredible shot! :-)

  4. Andrew Marston 8 years ago

    Excellent toning and b/w conversion!

  5. Kurt Harvey 8 years ago

    My goodness Johan. I think I could cut my finger on those peaks. What a beautiful shot! :)

  6. Beverley Aston 8 years ago

    Beautiful and fantastic b/w conversion!

    • Author

      thank you (also for the retweet)! When will I see your next B&W conversion?

  7. Author

    @Andrew and Kurt: Thanks !!!

  8. Rüdi Neumann 8 years ago


  9. Davorin Mance 8 years ago

    I love your black and white photographs of mountain peaks. Excellent shot.

  10. Author

    @Rüdi: thanks!
    @Davorin: glad you do Davorin! Some people are hinting that I should do more in color again though :D

  11. Athena Carey 8 years ago

    That’s a rugged beauty Johan! Maybe you found your building too. ;)

    • Author

      Thanks Athena! This is a long exposure by the way … you just have to make up some clouds in your mind … just kidding ;)

      • Athena Carey 8 years ago

        We still have to have that “shoot 20 long exposures of the sky” photowalk still so we can take the “sky changing” advice of Michael Diblicek! ;)

        • Author

          hah, I will join but skip the sky shots. I still haven’t used PS yet, so no point for me :)

          • Athena Carey 8 years ago

            I will teach it to you Johan. We will have our own workshop. :)

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 8 years ago

            yep I need my butt kicked!

          • Athena Carey 8 years ago

            I have a boot ready Johan :)

  12. Stefanie Loges 8 years ago

    Gorgeous view Johan and the b&w tones are a feast for my eyes !!

    • Author

      thanks for the compliment. Highly appreciated especially coming from you!

  13. Sudip Ghate 8 years ago

    Gorgeous shot Johan! The contrast of the light and shadow areas is so well captured, and the tones are lovely!

  14. Milena Llieva 8 years ago

    Love the detail on the rocks…Beautiful!

  15. Radek Vik 8 years ago

    Great stuff Johan. The tones here are beautiful!

  16. David Herreman 8 years ago

    Awesome B&W shot my friend!!! Perfect!

  17. Rich Levy 8 years ago


  18. Author

    Thanks a bunch Rich, Milena, Radek and David !!!

  19. markus rienzner 8 years ago

    Wow.. Great b&w image with beautiful light!!!

  20. Debby Vos 8 years ago

    Very beautiful Johan 🙂 I like his one better than your last one ;-p

  21. Milan Cernak 8 years ago

    Very nice work Johan Peijnenburg !

  22. Peter Vooijs 8 years ago

    beauty … good living there

  23. Maggy Meyer 8 years ago

    Wonderful toning, love this beautiful image, Johan!! Amazing work!!!

  24. Author

    Thanks Milan and Markus!!!
    Thank you as well Debby … you know I really hope it will take a while before I post my last one ;)
    @Peter: it certainly is Peter. Thanks!
    @Maggy: glad you like it Maggy!!!

  25. Dominique Dubied 8 years ago

    wonderful Johan !

  26. Fabrizio Vignali 8 years ago

    well done!

  27. Meg Rousher 8 years ago

    Wow ~ wonderful shot Johan Peijnenburg :)

  28. Jerry Johnson 8 years ago

    I think I like this majestic photo on white more so than black Johan! 😉 Excellent work, as always, and the scene has a very granite type of look and feel to it. A cool effect!!

  29. Wonderful contrast of the mountains with your research of the soft last light. Great work Johan!

  30. Carolyn Fahm 8 years ago

    This is so brilliant. A classic mountain image in the best traditions of the photographic masters of previous years. Perfect in every possible way.

  31. Tom Tran 8 years ago

    The tone of this image is just delightful, Johan!

  32. Carsten Kopp 8 years ago

    The contrasting light and shadow areas are wonderful … this is a very beautiful photo !

  33. Beautiful!! Incredibly wonderful! I love the wonderful light and the great patterns of light and shadow!! I like the crop too! Outstanding!!

  34. Author

    @Dominique and Fabrizio: thank you 🙂
    @Meg: thanks Meg. Glad you stopped by again!
    @Jerry: thanks mr word magician. Much appreciated!
    @Emanuele: very kind Emanuele! Thanks.

  35. Author

    @Carolyn: thank you Carolyn for the kind words and for stopping by!
    @Tom: thank you. Almost as good as yours!
    @Carsten: danke vielmals Carsten!
    @Margaret: thanks a bunch Margaret 🙂 Glad you like my choices!

  36. Mikko Tyllinen 8 years ago

    Incredible shot! So beautiful!

  37. Ada M 8 years ago

    ah! this picture went straight through my heart! So beautiful and stunning and….amazing!! Great one Johan !

  38. Nikola Nikolski 8 years ago

    Very nice Johan!

  39. Sumit Sen 8 years ago

    Lovely shot!

  40. Ben Coope 8 years ago

    Great image, really llike the tones in sky and the snow/ice as the whitest point, really draws the eye to the mountains and lines in the rock face. very well done.

  41. Eric Rousset 8 years ago

    Very nice frame Johan, the light gives so much reliefs

  42. Paul van Loo 8 years ago

    Ooh I love the crop here! Love the light too Johan!

  43. John Dunne 8 years ago

    Very nice Johan, Epic is the word that comes to mind,

  44. Kerry Murphy 8 years ago

    Excellent b&w. Really lovely, Johan!

  45. Johan Swanepoel 8 years ago

    Excellent Johan – love the crop

  46. Andy Korolis 8 years ago

    Outstanding Johan … the sidelighting really enhances the terrain features!!

  47. Looks fantastic and very dramatic 🙂

  48. Charles Lupica 8 years ago

    beautiful composition Johan.

  49. Excellent b/w image 🙂

  50. Wonderful photo! The rugged mountain face points out absolutely strong, the crop fits perfect here. It was a really nice walk in Leysin, and I’m happy to see another very good photo from there… Thank you, Johan!

  51. Alan Kirby 8 years ago

    Very nice Johan – always look forward to your images!

  52. Looks great Johan and the proportions of sunlight, rock and snow are perfect. Nice mountains too.

  53. Patrice PVK 8 years ago

    The light is fantastic… I were right to stick there ;)

  54. Paul Turkowski 8 years ago

    I love this kind of light in mountain photography! This is a big BW photography, looks massive Johan!

  55. Markus Landsmann 8 years ago

    Johan that looks wonderful, the details in the midtones are very good. Have a great weekend.

  56. Author

    @Mikko: thanks for the kind words and stopping by again Mikko!
    @Ada: that’s a very nice compliment Ada!!!
    @Nikola: dank je wel!
    @Sumit: thanks Sumit … and still here 🙂
    @Margaret: I must be doing something right then ;)

  57. Author

    @Ben: glad you like it Ben!
    @Eric: merci!
    @Paul: dank je wel Paul!
    @John: glad Ireland approves as well John! How are things?
    @Kerry: thanks a bunch Kerry!

  58. Author

    @Johan: thanks Johan!
    @Andy: I love it when the light does that to rugged mountain faces like this. Thanks!
    @Anette: I like my drama Anette :)
    @Patrice: I know and I had vin chaud after 🙂 Thanks!
    @Paul: thanks for the compliment. Looking forward to the Austrian version 🙂
    @Markus: thanks Markus!!!

  59. Author

    @Charles: thanks Charles!
    @Dawid: thanks you as well David!
    @Wilfried: I know you love this 🙂 It was nice indeed! Thanks!
    @Alan: really glad you do Alan! Thanks. My priorities are at being out there shooting now though 🙂
    @Andrew: thank you for the kind words Andrew!

  60. Nice clarity that you have captured. Perfect as usual Johan

  61. Magnifique photo. Bravo l’artiste !

  62. Beatrix Laumeier 8 years ago

    So powerful and a wonderful Shot!! 

  63. Robert Skreiner 8 years ago

    Really a wonderful panorama of swiss mountains! But I would also like to see a version in color?

  64. Author

    Merci beaucoup Jean-Michel!
    Thank you Beatrix!
    @Robert: thanks Robert. I will see if I can create a color version that I like myself. I opted for B&W because I had a certain end result in mind, so haven’t really worked on the color version. Hope all is well in Austria!

  65. Joel Tjintjelaar 8 years ago

    Ah some traditional work! I wish we’d have some mountains over here in Holland Johan ! Classic beauty!

    • Author

      There are rumors that you will get one … although artificial Joel, so there is hope. Otherwise you are still very welcome to come to CH. Thanks for the compliment!

      • Joel Tjintjelaar 8 years ago

        Haha yeah an artificial mountain – I know about that Johan – crazy Dutch people:)

  66. Hilton Meyer 8 years ago

    Shadows are your friend. So true.

  67. Nathan Wirth 8 years ago

    Beautiful gray tones … love the ribbons of light

  68. Hengki Koentjoro 8 years ago


  69. Maurizio Pontini 8 years ago

    Great scene

  70. Author

    Thank you Hengki and Maurizio!

  71. Wow Johan , this is phenomenal!!! I can feel the energy of this mountains! Love it!!!! 🙂
    Thanks for posting!

  72. Ian Gazzard 8 years ago

    Nice work through the whole tonal range Johan, You have some great mountain ranges hey and this is a Beautiful example!

  73. David Shield 8 years ago

    Really great mono tones; they suit this dramatic view perfectly.

  74. Rich Levy 8 years ago

    Oh wow georgeous

  75. Author

    @Sophie: thank you!!! Glad you like them (and the image)!
    @Ian: Yes I sure do. These are actually fairly close to where I live 🙂
    @David: thanks for the compliment and for stopping by!
    @rich: thank you. Glad you like it!

  76. How did I miss this?!! Stunning texture, Johan!

  77. Manual Votta 7 years ago

    Breathtaking view Johan, truly stunning! I want to come there to CH again :)

  78. George Marquardt 7 years ago

    This is great Johan; it looks like you have a really nice vantage point here.

  79. Laurent Coppée 7 years ago

    This has really tremendous details! Love the clarity, the tones and contrast! I’ve used this word before but, again, this is really alpinetastic Johan!

    • Author

      Thanks Laurent! I love to do mages like this, but I think I need to start posting some color one’s now to keep a balance :)

      • Laurent Coppée 7 years ago

        Oh but I don’t mind having more B&W than colors 🙂
        Yet it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post in color, the more you post the better :-)

  80. Scott Horwath 7 years ago

    Love how the shadows follow the striations in the rock. Great shot Johan Peijnenburg

  81. Incredibly beautiful Johan!

  82. Author

    Thanks a lot Scott and Patricia !!!

  83. Richard McGibbon 7 years ago

    Very nice Johan, love the textures!! Hope you are doing well.

  84. Michael menefee 7 years ago

    Really enjoyable details to here!

  85. Author

    @Richard: thanks! All’s fine thank you. And with you. Did you move already?
    @Michael: glad you like it Michael!

  86. Christof Simon 7 years ago

    An amazing b+w interpretation Johan I’m impressed by the richness of detail this capture shows. Great!

    • Author

      Thanks Christof! Glad to see you back. Hope all’s fine!

      • Christof Simon 7 years ago

        Thanks Johan, most things are fine. And I try to change the ones that are not 😉 In the moment my bread-and-butter job takes too much time…
        All the more I enjoy looking at good captures, like this one.

        • Author

          Good luck with making the changes Christof! And no worries, I guess we all have to balance between priorities :)

  87. Daniel Ewert 7 years ago

    Beautiful scene, Johan! Love the b&w here!

  88. I love your b/w mountain shots! I never get this great tonality into mine … good inspiration :-))

  89. Gemma Costa 7 years ago

    wow, another great one, thanks for sharing

  90. Aileen Sorenson 7 years ago

    Nice details… great shot!

  91. Author

    @Matthias: not sure how I do it either 😉 Keep trying I would say! thanks for the compliment!
    @Gemma: thanks Gemma!
    @Aileen: thanks a bunch Aileen!!! 

  92. shane holsclaw 7 years ago

    the textures, contrast and sharpness…amazing! beautiful!

  93. Nora Carol 7 years ago

    love it!

  94. Author

    Shane and Nora: thanks you both a bunch again :)

  95. Baldur McQueen 7 years ago

    Beautiful light – perfect sharpness. Looks so powerful and silent… for a lack of a better way to put it ;-)

  96. Fabio Bucchieri 7 years ago

    great tonal range!

    • Author

      Thanks again Fabio. I really appreciate your stopping by and commenting!

  97. Neal Pritchard 7 years ago

    this is so nice … the light is perfect …

  98. Hi Johan, fantastic image, very nice indeed, congrats

  99. yes , l believe that you in front a all image with all beauty white and roch ,with certain one emocion single:)

  100. Author

    Людмила and Sandra: thank you!

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