Patches of mountain light

A winter mountain landscape featuring the Almagellerhorn at sunset

Patches of mountain light
July 17, 2013 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
An Alpine winter mountain landscape in color, featuring the Almagellerhorn at sunset with the Pizzo d’Andolla in the background. Both mountains are located near Saas Fee in Switzerland. (Johan Peijnenburg)
112mm – f/11 – 1/100 – ISO100 – D800E with 70-200mm f/4.0

Mountainous areas in particular really inspire me because there’s always something unexpected around the corner. This is one of the key reasons why I moved to the Swiss Alps almost 5 years ago now. This winter mountain landscape was an unexpected view I ran into at the end of the day after a long hike in the mountains near Saas Fee in Switzerland. The image features the Almagellerhorn at sunset with the Pizzo d’Andolla in the background. The scene is lit in patches with the last light that managed to squeeze over a neighboring mountain.

I shot this scene with varying compositions. I liked this more “aggressive” composition best. No filters were used for this capture. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 5. Hope you like it!

Comments (249)

  1. Eric Delcour 7 years ago

    Beautiful landscape !

  2. Great share Johan ! Warm thanks :-)

  3. Author

    Thanks Eric and Sofie! :)

  4. Shawn McClure 7 years ago

    Beautiful image and fantastic composition, Johan… Gotta love that dramatic triangle of rock… :)

  5. Rodolfo Seide 7 years ago

    Great shot!

  6. Nurcan Azaz 7 years ago

    Beautiful shot, thanks for sharing Johan :)

  7. Brilliant contrast, lovely mood, Johan :)

  8. Elizabeth Lund 7 years ago

    Excellent capture with stunning light and detailed composition, love the intensity Johan!

  9. Author

    @Shawn: thanks Shawn. Couldn’t resist composing it like this 🙂
    @Rodolfo: thanks Rodolfo! 🙂

  10. Author

    @Nurcan: many thanks Nurcan! 🙂
    @Naghmeh: thanks for the compliment Naghmeh. Hope all is well!? 

  11. Günter Schurr 7 years ago

    Great mountain image with expressive tones! Beautifully captured Johan!

  12. Bill Pevlor 7 years ago

    Beautiful scene…beautifully captured!

  13. Author

    Hey Günter! Thank you for the kind words. Hope all is well with you! 🙂
    @Bill: thanks Bill!! 

  14. Mark Esguerra 7 years ago

    Such a wonderful dedication! Truly epic photo Johan! Great stuff as always!

  15. Kamal Deep Singh 7 years ago

    majestic capture sir….very powerful image in spirit….

  16. Sandra Parlow 7 years ago

    So Beautiful, Johan!!

  17. Author

    @Kamal: thanks you sir! 😉
    @Sandra: hey thanks Sandra! Hope all is well with you!? 

    • Sandra Parlow 7 years ago

      It’s all good Johan !! I hope all is well with you also!!

      • Author

        Good to hear Sandra! All is well here as well. A bit short of time, but can’t really complain about that :)

  18. ♥ ~❤❤❤~ ♥

  19. Jim Lundgren 7 years ago

    Another stunner!!!

    • Author

      Thanks for the compliment Jim. It’s been a while. How have you been? 

      • Jim Lundgren 7 years ago

        It’s been a pretty spectacular summer so far over here Johan. Clear blue skies and warm temps. Horrible for photography but great for the soul 🙂 Lot’s of outside summer days for my son and I. How have you been my friend ?

        • Author

          Good to hear Jim! I am fine as well. A touch too busy still, so opting for less social media time to be able to keep shooting. We are having too much blue (and haze) here as well. As you said it is good for the soul 🙂 

  20. Kaatje Jansen 7 years ago

    Echt super mooi!

  21. Robby Bowles 7 years ago

    Gorgeous shot Johan!

  22. Beautiful photo Johan !

  23. George Marquardt 7 years ago

    Another fabulous mountain photo Johan!

    • Author

      Thanks George! How are things over there now? Things more or less back to normal? 

      • George Marquardt 7 years ago

        Things are closer to normal. Downtown and most businesses are back open, they are still pumping water out of High River, and many of the access roads to the mountains are under repair. To get to this area we passed 3 construction sites with temporary road patches and bridge repairs, but at least this area is open. Some of the trails are permanently changed, but we can adjust to that.

        • Author

          Good to hear things are getting back to normal George! Who know. You might even get new different photo opportunities :)

  24. Sharon Thomas 7 years ago

    Great foreground and background detail with the “depth” preserved, Johan.

  25. Ingo Meckmann 7 years ago

    It seems you ran out of colors on the bottom half… love that split image!

    • Author

      lol, looks like it yes 🙂 This is what end of winter looks like in CH … bit how would you know ;)

  26. This is a great image Johan. I like it very much 😀

  27. Deborah Sandidge 7 years ago

    Outstanding, love the contrasts and textures

  28. Javier Esval 7 years ago

    Excellent capture! Johan.

  29. Enrique Palaez 7 years ago

    Woow this is fantastic Johan !! awesome job!!

  30. Gemma Costa 7 years ago

    Pure scenery and beautiful light!

  31. Stunning beauty! Wonderful light! Great shot! :)

  32. Peter de Rooij 7 years ago

    That bit of light is magical.

  33. Super shot Johan 

  34. John Dunne 7 years ago

    Striking image Johan. I understand what you mean by “aggressive” composition but it works well with the relatively rugged aspect of the mountains. The little patches of soft light really add to the overall atmosphere. Another winner :-)

    • Author

      Thanks for the compliment and feedback John 🙂 The of light are what makes the image work for me John. Without them I probably wouldn’t have published it 🙂 

  35. Ian Good 7 years ago

    Beautifully composed Johan and you captured it in some wonderful light!

    • Author

      Thank you very much Ian. Glad you like it. hope all is well with you!? 

      • Ian Good 7 years ago

        All good thanks Johan – just like you, struggling to find time 🙂 I hope you are well and enjoying the summer.

        • Author

          All’s well here as well Ian. Enjoyed the summer so far but hoping to be out more in the coming weeks 🙂 

  36. Lori Carey 7 years ago

    I love strong compositions! Beautiful light 🙂
    Very nice work Johan 

  37. Your pictures above is absolutely fantastic, the mountains in their best, great composition, light and amazing clarity throughout the picture. Top class again my friend Johan!

    • Author

      Thank you Grzegorz (you have to teach me how to pronounce that one day)!
      Glad you like my image again. I will be publishing a lot of new work soon. That is one of the reasons why I have been a bit absent lately 🙂

      How are things with you?

      • That is good news! 🙂 My things are ok… well… suspended for a while. Thanks for asking! My name is really difficult to pronounce for foreigners he he… but you are very clever and intelligent person so I suppose it will not be a challenge for you 😉 

        • Author

          I have a few things I need to work through (non photography related) and need time to work on images to actually finish them to my liking 🙂

          Re the name: I guess you don’t really pronounce the “z”‘s do you?

          • Grzegorz Piechowicz 7 years ago

            Hi Johan. I am busy with my non photography relating stuff as well during the week but I try to continue my passion in the weekends 😉
            Re: My name… we pronounce “z” as English “z”s but in my name you have twice our doubled letter “rz” that sounds like nothing else in English. But if you speak French it may be very helpful 😉 I will teach you when we meet ;-)

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            I am trying to achieve the same as well this week Grzegorz 🙂
            Yes lets postpone the lesson to when we meet. You probably will need help with my last name as well 😉 

  38. Andreas Levi 7 years ago

    What a fantastic light and wonderful blue sky, Johan! Great!!
    Have a nice evening! 🙂

  39. Yasmin Simpson 7 years ago

    Johan always a real pleasure to see your happy face around and your stunning images that warm my heart.
    Adore the deep in this scene, accompanied with these awesome mountains and the lovely blue sky.

    Johan wishing you all the best :)

    • Author

      Thank you very much Yasmin 🙂 Yes, I guess trying to get away with one post in 4 weeks is a time out … I guess I need the time and peace at the moment. I am working on many new images and I am less “zen” when I post a lot. Glad that you keep checking in 🙂 

  40. Thank you for the share. I really like these sweet and stunning sunset lights ! The tones also are beautiful and impressive. Have a good summer Johan :-)

    • Author

      Many thanks for the compliment Jean-Michel! Hope all is well in France 🙂

  41. Mehboob Khan 7 years ago

    Very nice johan’

  42. Beautiful light Johan. REally like this composition. Best Regards.

  43. Athena Carey 7 years ago

    Oh my goodness Johan, I just stumbled upon this. Not sure why I did not see it earlier. I was about to comment that you are making me jealous about snow already and I have not even left yet, and then I noticed that you have dedicated the post to me. You are so sweet! Thank you!! I am going to miss you tons – you have been a very treasured friend and shooting partner to me. Just because I am moving, does not mean you are off the hook on either job though. 😉 xo

  44. Lammert Doddema 7 years ago

    Fantastic shot and picture! ;)

  45. Betty Manousos 7 years ago

    beyond beautiful, my friend johan! 🙂

  46. Carlos Duarte 7 years ago

    Wonderful capture Johan! Great composition and light!

  47. Tatiana Parmeeva 7 years ago


  48. Author

    Thanks for the compliment Carlos and you are very welcome! 🙂
    @Tatiana: many thanks Tatiana! 🙂 

  49. Dermot Russel 7 years ago

    Stunning composition and beautiful light Johan.

  50. Jamal Alias 7 years ago

    Breathtaking view!

  51. Gerard Charnley 7 years ago

    Great work as always Johan :)

  52. Dalibor Pačić 7 years ago

    Fantastic capture Johan 

  53. Author

    Thanks a lot Gerard and Dalibor ! :)

    • Gerard Charnley 7 years ago

      Johan, what software do you use to get the clarity that Michael Menefee refers to?

      • Author

        Lightroom only here Gerard. I guess it is the combination of the camera and the recipe I apply in Lightroom, which is a mix of selective sharpening, selective clarity and a touch of selective highlighting (next to dodging and burning here and there). 

        • Gerard Charnley 7 years ago

          Thanks Johan. I think I need to work on my sharpening techniques a little and get a little more pop so thanks for the info.

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            Check out the book “The digital negative” by Jeff Schewe. Lot’s of stuff you probably already know, but quite a few things that can make a difference as well :)

  54. Great work!

  55. I love your gorgeous mountains!! Beautiful!

  56. Author

    Thank you +natoliy 🙂
    @Margaret: I am glad you like my mountains Margaret! 🙂 

  57. Don Spenner 7 years ago

    Very fine image Johan, color, light and composition. A salute to you for sharing this beauty with us. Have a great summer.

    • Author

      it is my pleasure Don and thank you for the very kind words! Hope all is well with you !?

  58. E.E. Giorgi 7 years ago

    Fantastic shot! hope you’re having a great summer, Johan!

    • Author

      Thank you Elena! Yes I am having a great (but busy) summer. How is your summer so far?

  59. Robert Skreiner 7 years ago

    Very beautiful photo Johan !

  60. Michael Salmela 7 years ago

    A wonderful sense of scale here, Johan, majestic indeed!

  61. George Fletcher 7 years ago


  62. Meg Rousher 7 years ago

    Wonderful shot Johan :)

    • Author

      Many thanks Meg! Yes, on my blog the color space and resolution are a bit better 🙂

  63. Michael Menefee 7 years ago

    The crispy clarity to this is outstanding!

  64. Stephen Cairns 7 years ago

    A striking composition with beautiful light.

    A practical question if I may. When you are at elevation like this, how do you get down from snowy mountains in the dark? I’ve always wondered that with twilight mountain imagery. Are you sleeping on the mountain? 

    • Author

      thanks for the kind words Stephen! 🙂
      Re your question: headlamps! A bit like miners have but than light weight. They are small, weigh about 20 grams and have an elastic band so that you can easily put them on your head 🙂 

      • Stephen Cairns 7 years ago

        Thanks for the reply re the how of descent in the dark. Still seems a bit dangerous though. Of course, I have no idea what those trails are like. Perhaps they are well traveled. Again, much thanks Johan 

        • Author

          didn’t realize that you are in Japan till now. That is a great place to be, also for photography. It’s on my list for the coming year 🙂

          The trails are usually well travelled yes. They are not always easy to travel in the dark though, especially because they get a bit wet at night. So taking it easy and watching carefully is required. What people also often do is just stay on the mountain in an Alpine hut on higher altitude. They are like (minimalist) mini hotels for alpinists as a stopover between locations. You get a bed and food. You can find them on the most interesting mountains here in Switzerland. They are also very interesting for photographers, as it makes it a lot easier to be in a nice place with evening light, sunset and sunrise. They usually are also well located for star photography 🙂

  65. Ralph Mendoza 7 years ago

    Gorgeous photo

  66. Jerry Johnson 7 years ago

    Wonderfully composed and you captured the grandeur of this mountainous landscape OH SO we’ll Johan! And your time away only builds anticipation for the next post. 😉 

    • Author

      thanks for the kind words Jerry! I start to miss you when I don’t post 😉 All good at your end? 

  67. Sumit Sen 7 years ago

    Very impressive!

  68. Anna Ryndak 7 years ago

    Amazingly beautiful capture! Love the sun softly touching the right peak! The hike must have been pretty long….

    • Author

      My favorite spot is the sun on the mountain in the back 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by Anna! 

  69. Daniel Diggelman 7 years ago

    Nice composition and colors – I like it Johan 

  70. Another beautiful mountain vista Johan :-). What do you feel about lr 5 btw compared to lr 4? (i really like lightroom and the upgrade, although i still think there is obvious room for improvements for us photographers :-P)

    • Author

      thanks for the compliment and kind words Michael!
      Re LR5: better functionality, but again slower than the previous version. Even on my Mac Pro. I am very careful with the order I do things now. Sharpening and local adjustments are the last step. I guess Adobe teamed up with Apple to make sure I buy the new Mac Pro for way too much money at the end of the year. 

      • Haha Johan, yeah, dont give apple/other hardware manufacturers and adobe any bad ideas now, because that could get ugly quickly for us =). I havent actually noticed any slowdowns (win 7 pro) between lr4 and 5, but that of course doesnt help you mac guys :)

        • Author

          add two brushes (for instance one for the sky and one for the subject) to an image, remove dust spots and apply sharpening and see what happens. It’s doable but noticably slower for me. And my Mac Pro has 8 cores and 48Gb of ram … kinda sad 🙂 

          • Michael A. Koontz 7 years ago

            Oh i totally agree Johan, that it is sad :).

            I mean, with the kind of hardware higher end computers like yours (and mine) have, even tho lr 5 doesn’t slow down for me compared to lr 4 , it really should perform much better (and that goes for most software in my opinion).

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            I totally agree! Let’s hope a next version uses all the power that is available 🙂

  71. Simply amazing, dear Johan ! I’d like to be there right now :))

  72. Dominique Dubied 7 years ago

    Ok so I tell you for the second time Johan your image is wonderful! And you know what it looks great on my Nexus 10 😉
    Have a great week Johan!

    • Author

      Thanks and that is very good to hear. Glad you finally have your XMas present! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of the week and weekend Dominique! 

      • Dominique Dubied 7 years ago

        The screen resolution is really awesome on the Nexus 10, that is one of the reason I have chosen the Nexus over the new Samsung tab 3 🙂
        For looking at beautiful photos like yours, a wonderful display is what’s important, isn’it? ;-)

        • Author

          yes it is. I will get myself a tablet as well later this year. It’s about time 🙂

  73. Johan, this is wonderful

  74. Jeez Johan! What’s not to like? I tried to click this up to over 900 but it doesn’t seem to work. 

  75. Mikko Tyllinen 7 years ago

    Amazing place, beautiful!

  76. Johan Swanepoel 7 years ago

    Fabulous Johan

  77. Author

    Thanks a lot Mikko and Johan! :)

  78. David Orr 7 years ago

    Johan another majestically beautiful image. Always showing up and kicking the doors down with your tremendously composed images.

    Lastly when you good to do that hangout ?

    • Author

      Lol, love your comment David! Thanks! Hangout: early next week? What time would be best for you?

  79. Andi Riverola 7 years ago

    Outstanding image that shows the power of nature. Great description to accompany a great shot. Thank you for sharing. 

  80. Matt Adcock 7 years ago

    Love the last kiss of light!

  81. Tom Tran 7 years ago

    You may have been absent but clearly not forgotten Johan. I don’t see how with beautiful works like this. 😉
    Good to see you back, Johan.

  82. Jan Andersen 7 years ago

    Johan, Beautiful image. Love it.
    Got to do a few of my own recently. Will post some time.

  83. David Shield 7 years ago

    Great shot Johan. I like the perspective of the near and far peak!

  84. Baki Karacay 7 years ago

    Wonderful shot!

  85. Alex Filatov 7 years ago

    Some fantastic light there my friend!

  86. Joan Munford 7 years ago

    A beautiful piece of work: Crisp and vivid with wonderful colors and light !

  87. Thierry Bouriat 7 years ago

    Une très belle composition Johan et un magnifique jeu ombre/lumière.
    Un bel été pour toi :-))

  88. Author

    Many thanks Joan and Thierry! Wishing you both great and relaxing holidays :)

  89. Marilou Aballe 7 years ago

    So majestic and beautiful Johan !

  90. Michael Muraz 7 years ago

    Very nice image Johan! Mountains always are somewhat magical… Coming from the French Alps, I know a thing or two about it 😉

    • Author

      Many thanks Michael! They certainly are magic to me. Will be spending the weekend in between the big ones near France actually (Grand Saint Bernard region). 

      • Michael Muraz 7 years ago

        Awesome Johan! I might actually not be too far away from there…

        • Author

          where will you be going? 

          • Michael Muraz 7 years ago

            I may be visiting some family in Savoie. It’s close to Courchevel if you see where it is. I should be deciding tonight.

          • Author
            Johan Peijnenburg 7 years ago

            ah ok. Nice area 🙂 I will be on the other side of the Mont Blanc though 🙂 

  91. Vitor Ferreira 7 years ago

    Cool shot.

  92. Rohan Reilly 7 years ago

    The composition is just superb as is the blue sky, perfectly balanced

  93. Author

    @Vitor: hey thanks Vitor! Hope all is well with you!?
    @Rohan: glad you like my choices Rohan! Thanks 🙂 

  94. Ja alles is goed, alleen de temperatuur werkt ff niet mee veel te heet :-)

    • Author

      haha, kan ik me voorstellen. Hier ook, maar ik ga lekker de bergen op de komende dagen 🙂

  95. Markus Landsmann 7 years ago

    What a wonderful light Johan. I wish you a good weekend.

  96. Rebeca Cuarez 7 years ago

    I love this seen beautifull thank you

  97. Doug Hagadorn 7 years ago

    Nice! Love the blue sky as a backdrop, nice light too.

  98. Jany Viala 7 years ago

    Les filtres ne sont pas toujours nécessaire! Johan! Une couleur naturelle est pour moi WOW !
    Le travail est plus une recherche de la couleur, plus difficile est plus précieux pour notre travail !
    Une belle tonalité de couleur ! Elle est magnifique! Merci!

  99. Hope OHara 7 years ago

    pure mountain air.. crisp and clean.. love it.. hope your having a great week.. soft hugs

  100. Author

    Merci beaucoup Jany 🙂
    @Hope OHara: many thanks Hope 🙂 

  101. Subra Govinda 7 years ago

    Wonderful capture Johan, like the tones and light !

  102. Nora Carol 7 years ago

    Just amazing Johan, great details and light

  103. Victoria Etna 7 years ago

    Wow amazing view and deep blue !
    Have a great week my dear friend :D

  104. Author

    @Subra: many thanks Subra! 🙂
    @Nora: thank you Nora. Nice to see you around again 🙂
    @Victoria: have a great week as well Victoria and thanks for the kind words! 🙂 

  105. A very nice composition, featuring fine details and wonderful colors. Especially the evening light spot lets the scene appear really close and three-dimensional. A wonderful color work, Johan!

  106. Anna Rimovska 7 years ago

    I like beautiful landscape …

  107. Valesa Diamontes 7 years ago

    Wow this has a very strong and powerful feel, love it!

  108. It’s fantastic image Johan, you got here also amazing lights… well done again…

  109. Pascal Thalmann 7 years ago

    All the effort you made to get this shot, shows how much you are dedicated to Landscape Fotographie Johan. And the result is perfection. Thanks for letting my country looks so beautiful!

    • Author

      That’s a very nice compliment Pascal! Thank you

      • Pascal Thalmann 7 years ago

        I can see that there is much work in that picture. And i mean before you pull the trigger. Walking for hours just to get the right moment when the first sunrays appears, having the right angle… – but all your pictures are showing, that it’s absolutely worth it. Great work!

        • Author

          yes, to me photography is more than just clicking. There needs to be something special … light, drama, etc. Nature telling a story

  110. Sandra Canning 7 years ago

    Johan, really enjoying the triangles!! Superb lighting peeking through in all the right places!

    • Author

      Thank you for the kind words Sandra 🙂 Hope all is well with you!

  111. Michelle Potter 7 years ago

    Beautiful and breathtaking…love, love the contrast Johan 

  112. Betty Manousos 7 years ago

    stunning, great work on the lighting, too:)

  113. Natuurzicht 7 years ago

    Very nice Johan

  114. Nikola Nikolski 7 years ago

    Cool work here Johan, that sunny part is taking my attention!!

  115. Sweedon Hedeberg 7 years ago

    The mountain looks so majestic – beautiful work

    • Mark Esguerra 7 years ago

      Amazing view up to these pyramidal snow covered peaks :)

  116. Amazing pictures have no words for it ;-)

  117. Author

    Thank you Sweedon, Margaret and Simone! 🙂 

  118. Novita Listyani 7 years ago

    Love the perspective, colors and atmosphere. Beautiful shot!

  119. Mitchell Prout 7 years ago

    What wonderful light!!
    Have a great birthday Johan!!

  120. 15. 08. 2013 “Happy Birthday” …and all your wishes will come true!

  121. Very beautiful shot! :)

  122. Author

    @Mitchell: thanks Mitch! Had a great day 🙂
    @Angelika: thank you so much Angelika. Also for the song 🙂
    @Оксана: many thanks Oksana 🙂

  123. Lisa RedWillow 7 years ago

    A long way to the bottom.:) .Beautiful contrast of light.

  124. Barbara BM 6 years ago

    Wonderful work!!!!!!!!!!

  125. Mady Sach 6 years ago

    Beautyful work

  126. Renay Gallup 6 years ago


  127. Jonathan Bechler 6 years ago

    you have best photo

  128. Kyra Jessen 6 years ago

    Super greetings kyra jessen

  129. Pety Peter 6 years ago

    I can hear the wind in my ear!

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