Rocks in misty water

Long exposure image of two rocks in a misty mountain river rapid

Rocks in misty water
August 14, 2013 Johan Peijnenburg
In Photography
Long exposure image of granite rocks in a misty mountain river rapid (Johan Peijnenburg)
66mm – f/11 – 49 seconds – ISO100 – D3x with 24-70mm f/2.8

As a photographer in the Alps, the smart thing to do is to always think twice before putting something in the backpack. Taking less is best, as the weight of things seems to always magically quadruple in the course of a hiking day. Well … uhm … it seems that I am just not that smart … in addition I guess I am not a great learner either … I keep bringing too much! I simply find it sooooooo hard to leave something at home that I might need for that special thing I might run into in the course of the day!

A good example of gear that I could leave at home on my mountain hikes is my long exposure glass. 4 pieces in a pouch = 400 grams extra on my back! I always take it though. Why? Well, I sometimes like to be able to capture the movement of clouds around mountain tops (remember the Matterhorn?). I also like to be able use a log exposure to smoothen water in landscapes with mountain rivers a bit. Makes them more dynamic, but less busy. I also love to zoom in on details of mountain river rapids with rocks. Almost always something zen comes out. This long exposure image is a good example. The best side effect of bringing long exposure glass and using it, is that it slows you down and makes you look and see better. Of course it also gives you time to eat a sandwich. I am almost sure I had an awesome one with meatloaf when shooting this image 🙂

I shot this with my Nikon D3x and used a 10-stop Lee ND filter to get to an exposure time of 50 seconds. I processed the image with Adobe’s Lightroom 5 and converted it to black & white using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. Hope you like it!

Comments (195)

  1. Anna Ryndak 6 years ago

    “Eating sandwich”… while creating such a brilliant image! Love the dreamy feeling!

  2. Lori Wren 6 years ago

    Very pretty.

  3. Elizabeth Lund 6 years ago

    Such a lovely long exposure with great composition Johan!
    You could think of all that extra weight you carry in your pack as a more intense cardio workout :D

    • Author

      Glad you like it Elizabeth 🙂 I do think of it that way and apparently the body gets used to it over time (at least that’s what I keep telling myself) 🙂 

  4. Awesome!

  5. Soft and peaceful to the eye and mind LE Johan, nicely made and surely worth 400 grams of weight :)

  6. Karin Bronner 6 years ago

    Love this and greatly enjoyed your story 🙂 Certainly seems worth the extra weight:):)

  7. Author

    @Michael: glad you like it Michael! Yes, certainly worth it. How are things?
    @Karin: many thanks Karin! Glad you liked the story as well. Nice to meet you :)

    • Always top notch with me Johan , hoping all is well on your part to – i am busy making some food right now so i better close this distraction so i dont end up burning it :)

  8. Günter Schurr 6 years ago

    Very creative stile Johan ! Great work!

  9. Nice!

  10. Back from an hour walk, need to learn to keep up with you in the mountains. :))
    Love the image. Great conversion 🙂
    I am sure the sandwich was proper made :))

    • Author

      Wt’s live without mountains, a proper sandwich and LE glass Anette 😉 Thanks! Looking forward to more of your holiday shots!

  11. Fine image, It is better to load the backpack 400 grs a little more, and have no regrets…….

  12. John Dunne 6 years ago

    Soft and sharp in one image Johan. Great work.

  13. Natascha Wempe 6 years ago


  14. Eric Delcour 6 years ago

    Great capture. It was worthwhile taking that extra load of 400 grams. 

  15. Wonderful, Johan … and a great read … ;o)

    • Author

      Thank you Robin! 🙂 Sorry for not picking up on that other thing yet. Things are a bit crazy here this summer …. 

  16. Hehe, your story is excellent, I hope the sandwich was delicious 😉 I really enjoy your photo where sharp edges of the rocks are smoothed by flowing water. Quite unusual point of interest to your style but I can’t complain, Great work with capital “G” 😉 Superb Johan !!

    • Author

      Thanks for the compliment Grzegorz. I actually do this sort of stuff quite a lot. Don’t post it that often though. Plenty of normal landscapes in the pipeline … how have you been recently?

  17. Author

    @Thierry: my thoughts as well Thierry! Thank you 🙂
    @John: yup 🙂 Glad you like it John! Probably something not everyone appreciates 🙂

  18. Author

    @Natascha: thanks Natascha! 🙂
    @Eric: thanks! I guess I will bring it again next time then Eric 🙂 

  19. Gemma Costa 6 years ago

    Great shot Johan , very beautiful composition!

    • Author

      Thank you very much for the compliment Gemma! Hope you are doing well! :)

  20. Tom Tran 6 years ago

    This is a grand image Johan. There’s an illusion that it’s a rock in a water garden surrounded in mist. 🙂
    What you really need on your future excursions is a sherpa, and plenty of awesome sandwiches. I personally know someone who’d be willing to sherpa for good food. :P

    • Author

      Many thanks Tom! I kinda like the illusions LE’s like this create 🙂 Thanks for volunteering. I would be happy to have you along (even without carrying my stuff)!

  21. Aditya Sharma 6 years ago

    Hi Mr Johan Peijnenburg great to see your post again it’s been such long time you did not post anything but glad see you back :-) how are you 

  22. Alycia Miller 6 years ago

    Beautiful longexposure shot dear Johan 

  23. Author

    @Alycia: thanks for the kind words Alycia 🙂
    @aditya: yeah been a bit too busy Aditya! Thanks for the kind words. All is fine with me. And with you?

  24. Oh yes this is truly a masterpiece ! I really enjoy these intimate landscapes a lot :)

  25. Maggy Meyer 6 years ago

    Wonderful image, Johan!! What a great work!! Love it!!

  26. I wouldn’t give it to much thought, you take as much with you as you want on your hikes, I don’t mind at all… gives us more chance to enjoy the magic you come home with. Great work as always Johan ;)

  27. Brilliant work and exclusive image… 

  28. Ian Good 6 years ago

    What’s not to like Johan ? Rocks in the clouds – very nice!

  29. Joan Munford 6 years ago

    You are not only a fantastic photographer but a great story teller as well. I enjoyed reading this one very much and I have come to the conclusion that you should always bring your long exposure glass and an extra meatloaf sandwich to enjoy when you have worked up an appetite because of the extra weight : ) 

  30. Rodolfo Seide 6 years ago

    Great shot!!!

  31. Mitchell Prout 6 years ago

    Nice one Johan!!

  32. E.E. Giorgi 6 years ago

    Nice, love the veiled effect of the water!

  33. Betty Manousos 6 years ago

    such an amazing long exposure capture, dreamy, almost ethereal. excellently done, dear johan!! and a great read :)

  34. Mark Esguerra 6 years ago

    I tend to carry a bit more than I need too Johan! But I’m glad you brought what you did with you because this is fantastic! Great work as usual!

  35. George Fletcher 6 years ago

    Sweet shot! Beautiful!

  36. Jerry Johnson 6 years ago

    This is gorgeous and I particularly enjoy the water patterns on the rock in the lower right third of your precious photo! Well done as always!! :-)

  37. John Dusseault 6 years ago

    This is excellent Johan…. it makes me feel wet…..

  38. Dalibor Pačić 6 years ago

    wonderful capture Johan
    and Happy birthday!!!

  39. Stephen Cairns 6 years ago

    Beautiful soft grey tones. The flow is gorgeous and worth the trouble carrying the gear caused you.

  40. Athena Carey 6 years ago

    I like the contrast between smoothness and roughness here Johan. Miss you! :)

  41. Jany Viala 6 years ago

    Very beautiful!

  42. Kaatje Jansen 6 years ago

    Fijne verjaardag johan!

  43. Andi Riverola 6 years ago

    Really appreciate your work experience and the fantastic description. The results is thoroughly fantastic and beauty. Thank you so much for sharing. 

  44. Vitor Ferreira 6 years ago

    Simple and nice!

  45. Carsten Kopp 6 years ago

    Happy Birthday, have a great day !!! This is a wonderful photo – thanks for sharing. 

  46. Durk Barton 6 years ago

    Your work is impeccable, thanks for the inspiration.

  47. Oh, and I just noticed it was your day, Johan … Happy birthday, my friend!

  48. Gemma Costa 6 years ago

    Then Happy birthday to you dear Johan 

  49. Happy birthday Johan 🙂 

  50. E.E. Giorgi 6 years ago

    Happy birthday Johan !!!

  51. Anna Ryndak 6 years ago

    Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day Johan! :)

  52. Steve Hambley 6 years ago

    Beautiful photograph Johan, have a fantastic birthday!

  53. Silky and luminous! The b&w tones are simply elegant. Happy, happy birthday Johan!

  54. Thomas Schaller 6 years ago

    Sing sing sing sing sing sing
    You know which Song 🙂

  55. David Shield 6 years ago

    Looks like the rock is floating on a cloud. Great exposure and effect Johan 

  56. Author

    @aditya: glad to hear that 🙂
    @Sairam: thanks for the confirmation and the Birthday wishes 🙂
    @Maggy: many thanks Maggy!
    @Dominique: always enjoy your comments. Thanks! 🙂 

    • Always enjoy your posts Johan. I hope the shock off the years will not prevent you from posting more of your marvelous work. Gelukkige verjaardag!!! 

  57. Author

    @Leyla: many thanks for the compliment and Birthday wishes Leyla. I especially enjoyed the cake you posted on FB 😀
    @Ian: thanks Ian! 🙂
    @Joan: glad you enjoyed my story 😀 It’s vey likely that I will follow that sound advice. Thank you! 🙂
    @Rodolfo: thanks Rodolfo! 

  58. Author

    @Mitchell Prout: thanks Mitch!
    @E.E. Giorgi: glad you do Elena 🙂 Tnx for the Birthday wishes as well 🙂
    @Betty: thanks for the compliment Betty and for actually reading what I write 😀 

  59. Author

    @Mark: I guess that is how we are Mark 🙂 Thanks for the kind words 🙂
    @George: Thanks !!!
    @Jerry: thank you very much Jerry! Hoep all is well with you1 🙂
    @John: cheers 🙂 Thanks John 🙂

  60. Author

    @Stephen: glad you think so. Thanks for the feedback Stephen! 🙂
    @Dalibor: thanks Dalibor and thanks for the Birthday wishes. Enjoyed it with a nice long hike up in the Alps 🙂
    @Athena: glad you like it Athena and miss you too! Will try to catch up with you after the weekend! 🙂
    @jany: merci Jany 🙂

  61. Author

    @kaatje: hey dank je wel Kaatje 😀
    @Vitor: thanks Vitor! 🙂
    @Andi: thanks and thanks for sharing. Glad you appreciate my stories Andi 🙂
    @Carsten: thanks Carsten and thanks for the Birthday wishes as well! 🙂 

  62. Author

    @Durk: thanks for the compliment Durk and nice to meet you 🙂
    @Robin: thank you very much dear Robin 🙂
    @Gemma: thanks for the B-day wishes Gemma 🙂
    @Anna: thank you too Anna 🙂

    • Anna Ryndak 6 years ago

      I hope you had a fabulous Birthday! :)

      • Author

        I did Anna. Spent the days high up in the mountains. Quickly dropping on here now to thank ppl for all the B-day wishes 🙂 

        • Anna Ryndak 6 years ago

          I hope you had a brilliant view to celebrate your Birthday! Now you still have a few hours before midnight for a drink! Cheers to You! 🙂 

  63. Author

    @Steve: thanks and thanks Steve 🙂
    @Barbara: thanks for the compliment and Birthday wishes Barbara!
    @Thomas: hey danke dir Thomas! No song in Swiss German?
    @David: thanks for the feedback and compliment David!

  64. Stefan Skouti 6 years ago

    Happy Birthday! Wish you all the best and of course great picture!

  65. Claudia T 6 years ago

    Happy birthday Johan – best wishes.

  66. Joan Munford 6 years ago

    Een heel fijne verjaardag Johan! Ik ben niet de snelste op dit gebied maar mijn wens is welgemeend : )

  67. Meg Rousher 6 years ago

    Wonderful capture Johan
    Hope your having a wonderful Birthday :)

  68. CJ Cox 6 years ago

    Love the soft and dreamy fluidity, great work as usual ;) p.s. love the back story too! …and the sandwich haha!

  69. Didier Demaret 6 years ago


  70. Marilou Aballe 6 years ago

    Fantastic , amazing silky smoothness and so beautiful Johan. Wish you a very happy birthday Johan and many happy returns!

  71. Deborah Sandidge 6 years ago

    Beautiful long exposure Johan. I hope you have nice birthday!!

  72. David Orr 6 years ago

    Johan, what to say that has not already been said so well about this fabulous composed image. Fabulous detail in the rock and terrific contrasts ! Beautiful minimal work my friend !

  73. kurt Harvey 6 years ago

    Wonderful detail of a mountain stream Johan! I need to force myself to remove the 70-200 f/2.8 before hiking. So heavy!

  74. Thierry Bouriat 6 years ago

    Happy Birthday Johan, with a little delay… A friendly thought :-))

  75. Sumit Sen 6 years ago

    Great shot!

  76. Daniel Ewert 6 years ago

    Great find, Johan. Really fine execution and presentation here. 

  77. Anna Rimovska 6 years ago

    Great shot I like …. very nice work!

  78. Heimo Mauser 6 years ago

    Long exposure often creates an artistic touch – love this pic!

  79. Author

    @Anna: thanks you very much Anna! 🙂
    @Heimo: glad you do. Thanks Heimo 🙂 

  80. George Marquardt 6 years ago

    Fabulous Johan, it looks very dreamy and cloud-like for water!

  81. Markus Landsmann 6 years ago

    That looks so good. Enjoy your day. 

  82. Author

    @Markus: thanks Markus. Have a great day as well 🙂
    @George: glad you like it George 🙂 Hope all is well in Canada! 

    • George Marquardt 6 years ago

      All is well in Canada, I’m just back from 11 days straight on horses and finding new kinks every day now :-)

  83. Ralph Mendoza 6 years ago

    Wonderful photo and silky smooth water

  84. Dominique Dubied 6 years ago

    Very nice Johan, was it during one of our walk?

    • Author

      Thanks! Nope, shot this one in Grisons early 2012. Working hard to catch up with processing here, so running into interesting stuff now and then 😉 

  85. Richard Kralicek 6 years ago

    Fantastic, what I like most is that one can still see the water on the right stone

  86. Author

    @Ralph: thank you Ralph! 🙂
    @Richard: well seen Richard. Glad you like it 🙂 

  87. Lovely

  88. =^.^=

  89. Kerry Murphy 6 years ago

    I love this mood so much. Beautiful.

  90. Author

    @Gatto: 😀
    @Kerry: thank you Kerry 🙂 

  91. Jen Baptist 6 years ago

    So smooth … 🙂

  92. Mikko Tyllinen 6 years ago

    Fantastic picture so beautiful Johan!

  93. Kamal Deep Singh 6 years ago

    Great mystical mood in the picture… it sir…..

  94. Shawn McClure 6 years ago

    Beautiful exposure and minimalism in this, Johan…

  95. I love how simple and dreamy this is. Beautiful!

  96. Yaiza Pozo Vara 6 years ago

    Amazing shot!!

  97. Author

    @Stefan: many thanks Stefan!
    @Claudia T.: thanks for the B-day wishes Claudia! 🙂
    @Dominique: it won’t Dominique …. maybe i’ll get even slower though 😉 Dank je wel!!

  98. Author

    @Joan: dank je wel Joan! 😀
    @Meg: I did Meg. Thanks 🙂
    @CJ: thanks for the compliment and nice to hear you like my stories 🙂

  99. Author

    @Didier: merci Didier!
    @Marilou: thank you very much! 🙂
    @Deborah: many thanks Deborah! Had a marvelous day in the Alps 🙂

  100. Author

    @David: thanks for the great feedback and compliment David. Hope all is well. We still need to discuss Japan! 🙂
    @Kurt: thanks Kurt! I swapped mine for a f/4. No regrets here 🙂
    @Thierry: merci beaucoup Thierry!

    • David Orr 6 years ago

      we were suppose to discuss last month, when is a good time for you ?

      • Author

        Time is flying here David … sorry about that. Will contact you privately now :)

  101. Enzo Ross 6 years ago

    Magnifique longue pose avec de belles nuances de gris! 

  102. Lisa RedWillow 6 years ago

    So peaceful , beautiful and executed like a master Stunning


  103. Mutita EdiblArt 6 years ago

    beautiful 🙂

  104. Ziet er geweldig uit Johan

  105. Enrique Palaez 6 years ago

    Woow this is very nice Johan , love it !

  106. Hope OHara 6 years ago

    I love it.. “smile”… a lot..

  107. Dene' Miles 6 years ago

    Beautiful fine art my friend :))

  108. Author

    @Hope: it is nice to see you smiling Hope 🙂
    @Dene’: wow, it has been ages since I’ve seen you around 🙂 Hope all is well with you!? Thanks for the compliment 🙂 

  109. Yasmin Simpson 6 years ago

    Well, friend Johan, I just simple admire you for all that you are and as a photographer you are simply spectacular, if is hard to make a stunning image below the mountain with nice weather, now I really don’t know how you can make it when you have to hike and do all the things that you already explained.
    Congratulations, as always a real killer :-)

  110. I love mist! This is lovely Johan :-)

  111. I love your gorgeous long exposures Johan !!

  112. Author

    @Yasmin: it is always so nice to read your comments. Thank you! 🙂
    @Sofie: me too 🙂 Thanks Sofie!
    @Margaret: glad you love them Margaret. Working on a few more 🙂

  113. I like very much the mystic effect which slows us down.

  114. thats nice!

  115. Yasmin Simpson 6 years ago

    Like Like Like Like 🙂

  116. Sheila B. DuBois 6 years ago

    how was the meatloaf sandwich? 🙂

  117. Very nice image. It’s kinda special ’cause of the light and subtle tones in the dominating area of flowing water here. Almost like fog. I like it :-)

  118. Lisa Mikulski 6 years ago

    Breathtakingly beautiful Johan!

  119. Sweedon Hedeberg 6 years ago

    This is gorgeous Johan…love the effect on the water!

  120. Good to see what my friends have done in my absence … very impressive as always Johan 

    • Author

      Wow, it has been ages. What have you been up to? Thanks for the compliment 🙂

  121. Chris Miller 6 years ago

    Fabulous! I had the scale all wrong when I first saw this, I thought it was mountains shrouded in cloud :)

  122. Gerard Charnley 6 years ago

    So simple yet so effective. Lovely!

  123. Michael Menefee 6 years ago

    Lovely minimalist take!

  124. Author

    @Chris: hey thanks Chris! I guess I fooled you there 😉
    @Gerard: many thanks Gerard! 🙂
    @Michael: thanks a lot Michael! 🙂

  125. Don Spenner 6 years ago

    Celestial capture Johan, right to the edge.

  126. Mady Sach 6 years ago

    Wonderful picture

  127. Carsten Kopp 6 years ago

    Beautiful long exposure ! Excellent work !

  128. Author

    @Mady: thank you very much Mady 🙂
    @Carsten: thanks ! 🙂 

  129. Sweedon Hedeberg 6 years ago

    Gorgeous capture – luv the long exposure look on the water

  130. Robby Bowles 6 years ago

    It is really tough to leave gear at home. I’m always overpacking as well. Great shot Johan.

  131. Author

    @Sweedon: thanks again Sweedon! 🙂
    @Robby: I guess it is a way of life Robby 🙂 Thanks! 

  132. Renay Gallup 6 years ago


  133. Mona Youssef 6 years ago

    Breath taking and a piece of art! Thank you Johan for sharing!!

  134. Author

    @Renay: thanks Renay! 🙂
    @Mona: thanks Mona. This is a difficult one for most. Not in your face enough I guess 😉 

    • Mona Youssef 6 years ago

      I can imagine what you had to experience in order to have a shot like that! Marvelous!!

  135. Victoria Etna 6 years ago

    wonderful work again ! : ))

  136. Betty Manousos 6 years ago

    Just stopping by for another look.
    good day to you, +Johan Peijnenburg 

  137. E. Cindy 6 years ago

    Love this one

  138. Jackie Fontanez 6 years ago


  139. Author

    @Betty: that is nice Betty! Thank you. Have a great week 🙂 (yes I am late)
    Thank you too E. Cindy and Jackie ! 🙂 

  140. Daryl L. Hunter 6 years ago

    Nicely seen :D

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