A new black & white fine art landscape: Shadows & light

Some photographs take a few seconds to process, others a few hours, some days and the occasional one several months. This black & white fine art landscape titled Shadows & Light falls in the latter category. Why? Well, I like it a lot, and I wanted the processing to be just right. Usually, this means that I process it from scratch multiple times to see where I want to take it and what my vision for it is. Subsequently, I let it sit for a while and then come back later to see if it needs further tuning. It is not that I PhotoShop it to pieces. Sometimes, it just takes time to find the right balance between tones, contrast, and structure in black & white fine art like this. Gradually, the differences between subsequent versions become smaller. Luckily!

This T-shaped wooden pier lies in Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) near the small town of Préverenges in the Swiss Canton of Vaud. I shot it at sunset after a rainstorm. As a result, the wooden pier is lit sideways with soft light. This creates a subtle play of shadows and light, which is what I like the most in this photograph. Some of you may remember my photo titled The End, which I published a while back. This black & white fine art photograph was taken on that same night.

This photograph was captured with a NIKON D800E and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I used a Lee 10-stop ND filter and a Lee 2-stop ND filter to get to an exposure time of 4 minutes.

Click on the photograph to learn more about this black & white fine art photograph or to buy a print or to license it.

Cheers, Johan 🙂

Shadows & Light, a wooden pier in Lac Léman

A wooden pier in Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) at Préverènges beach during sunset, in black & white.

272 thoughts on “A new black & white fine art landscape: Shadows & light

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Same here Joan. I keep getting back to some of them to get different perspectives and moods. It’s worth it :)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      You won’t regret it Valesa! Make sure to watch a few video’s on the two programs to get you going. Quite a few things you can do (and overdo)! 

  1. Valesa Diamontes says:

    I should give it a try. I am looking at Color Efex and Silver Efex it seems everywhere I go I hear good things about both. ;)

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          You won’t regret it Valesa! Make sure to watch a few video’s on the two programs to get you going. Quite a few things you can do (and overdo)! 

  2. Mitchell Prout says:

    oh yea…. I love Silver Efex Pro 2. I downloaded the program to try it for 15 days and never intended to buy…. but now that i know what i’m missing out on without it… it’s going to become a necessity in my workflow. :-\

  3. Nicolai Neijhoft says:

    wow, this is so amazing! something like that i am dreaming about to do on my own 🙂

    need to buy a darker nd-filter before going to sardinia in april!

  4. Joel Tjintjelaar says:

    It’s well worth the effort and time you took for it Johan – you are right: it’s not so much a technical issue why editing images can take so long but finding the right balance between tones, light, lines and all other things that make a good photograph. I haven’t posted anything new for 3 months already, still working on the same 2 images for months, still finding the right balance. This is a great photo!

  5. Baldur McQueen says:

    Perfectly shot and processed, Johan!! The soft, tones in the water are gorgeous (seeing actual shadows in the water on the left ….and on the end pier, is quite fascinating) and the woodwork looks brilliant!

    – lovely to read about the patience you apply in your workflow as well ;-))

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      always a great pleasure to read your comments 🙂 Thanks for the feedback! Regarding may workflow: promised my self to leave the image alone for a few months now. There are a few bits and pieces I might want to adapt a bit at some point. Happy it is out now though 🙂 

  6. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Оксана: thank you very much Oksana 🙂
    @Nikola: it’s a B&W thing for me … it takes more time before I am satisfied 🙂 Thanks for the compliment Nikola!

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Lena: many thanks for the kind words and for sharing Lena!!!
    @Emanuele: 😀 Thanks for the kind words Emanuele! 

  8. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Kelly: thank you Kelly!
    @Danielle: hey Danielle! Glad you love it! 🙂 Hope all is well with you!?
    @Vitor: many thanks Vitor!

      • Margaret Tompkins says:

        I love this one!! It’s gorgeous!! You are going to be my recommended photographer on the Landscape Photography Show on Tuesday. We can only show one photo and I’m showing your beautiful photo of the Alps with the snow blowing!! I promise NOT to mess up your name!!

  9. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Jim: looks like we all have the same frustrations sometimes 😉 Thanks for the kind words!
    @Walter: many thanks Walter!

  10. Walter Soestbergen says:

    I am sometimes PP a photo and don’t like it or I do not get out what I think is in the photo. days later I try again or as you describe weeks / months :-). Super shot and PP Johan 

  11. Jim Lundgren says:

    Great comp…absolutely love it. I can completely understand what you are talking about. I’ve had a couple of images I had to come back to over the course of a year to get them to where I wanted them to be. I would work on them for awhile and then delete everything in frustration :)

  12. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Giannis: thanks for the compliment Giannis!
    @Yasmin: your comments always put a smile on my face. Thanks for that 😀
    @Patrice: merci Patrice! 

  13. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Michelle: thanks for the compliment. For me it depends a little on whether it is colour or B&W. Need to think about that 🙂
    @henry: glad it does that to you Henry!
    @Anette: many thanks Anette!

  14. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Such an exquisiteeeee image!!!. Excellent, excellentttttt Johan :).
    Sure I can feel and see the time that you spent here, no more words than… Perfect!

  15. Henry Wong says:

    This photo make me thinking about life. Where I want to go? Look back of my life journey, feeling time is limited. I will work hard in the future.

  16. Michelle Potter says:

    Beautiful! Johan, for most things I create, I must put them aside for a while, too. It gives me a chance to get perspective. Fantastic shot…all your hard work made this so lovely!

  17. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Johan: thanks Mr. Busy 😉
    @Richard: thank you Richard!
    @Dimuth: many thanks Dimuth!
    @Simos: thanks for the compliment and your are welcome 🙂 

  18. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Didier: thanks Didier!
    @Meg: thanks and glad you enjoyed yourself. Thanks for finding me on Facebook as well!
    @Kamal: thank you Kamal!! 

  19. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Andreas: you are very welcome and thanks for the kind words!
    @christian: thank you!
    @John: thanks! I have a few “old” ones like waiting patiently to be rediscovered 🙂 

  20. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Ada: your comment is more then special enough Ada. Thank you!
    @David: merci David!
    @Wilfried: no snow, just extensive bird droppings that needed to be dealt with Wilfried! Thank you! 

  21. Simos Xenakis says:

    Love this, Johan. I like how the long leading lines of the pier meet the horizontal end. The shot has great balance and symmetry.

  22. John Dunne says:

    Striking Johan. I hear you on the time thing though. I released an image at the beginning of this year that I actually shot in Jan 2010. 3 years before I felt I had it right :-)

  23. Wilfried Haferland says:

    I like it, especially how you managed to shovel the snow away. No wonder it takes time… The square format serves the subject well. Thanks!

  24. Ada M says:

    this is just WOW! I mean I love it and I wish i knew some special words to describe it beside awesome, and brilliant and wonderful and amazing!! :)

  25. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you and nice to meet you Shelly !
    @Quincy: nice to meet you as well! Thanks for the kind words!
    @Sumit: thanks Sumit!
    @Milena: thanks for the WOW. I like that 🙂 

  26. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Grzegorz: glad you like it Grzegorz! The light was quite special that day. It was hard to figure out how it would influence the end results as the waves were quite strong. Came out quite ok I think 🙂
    @Dana: many thanks Dana! 

  27. Grzegorz Piechowicz says:

    Lots of great comments on your new photo Johan. Personally I am not big fan of perfectly mirrored composition but here you did great job, the mountains on the horizon and the sky had broken it. I really like the details on the timber panels and the light on the posts. I don’t know why, but for me this photo is quite surreal. Superb!

  28. Michael A. Koontz says:

    gorgeous and very peaceful Johan – and composition and treatment is spot on to.

    Fully agreed on every photo needing it´s own timeline to, editing is a natural process that is unique for every photo and not some technical number we dial in (even tho some treat it like that :P).

    Time well spent on this one

  29. Julia Anna Gospodarou says:

    Whatever you did here and no matter how much time it was needed, it was the right thing to do. Everything is looking as it should, I love the tones and the overall light balance in the image. Great work!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      i love it when you love what I do 🙂 Do only thing I was still debating today was the amount of highlights to apply especially in the sky. Think I like it as is now though … 

  30. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Matthias: many thanks Matthias! Guess that is something familiar for most of us. I have it less with colour work though.
    @Deborah: all three? And yes on the picknick! 

    • Matthias Haeussler says:

      it actually impresses me that you use lr4 and silverefex “only” .. I would have taken bets that this one would require layers and masks for processing. Very nice work

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        those would probably make my life easier Matthias, but I have been too lazy to learn PhotoShop so far. To be honest, if the water had enough time to even out there is no issue. I just need to be very careful with what I do in LR before doing things in Silver Efex and doing things in LR again. I do apply some local adjustments here and there of course 🙂 

  31. Debby Vos says:

    Where should I go..?! Left or right?! Or… Maybe….straight?? Great picture. We should sit there in summer with a picknick… And just enjoy the view….

  32. Matthias Haeussler says:

    I love your description of processing activity 🙂 I have quite a few of those shots which are just not “ready” yet although I’ve already processed them more than once … it’s just like good wine I guess 🙂 and you just published a very good bottle Johan 

  33. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Syuzanna: thank you 🙂 Done with the exams?
    @Alycia: thanks for the compliment Alycia!
    @Louisa: that’s very nice to hear Louisa!! Thank you! 

  34. Eustace James says:

    Amazing, amazing work. I can definitely see and appreciate the amount of effort that’s gone into producing this masterful piece!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      that’s a great compliment Eustace! Getting from raw to this aren’t that many adjustment. The problem is getting each step right 🙂 

  35. Domique Hilbert says:

    Wonderful, fantastic, marvelous…. words pop up but can’t define what I feel watching your work here! Maybe I gonna try and find my breath back to begin with 😉 

  36. Armand Dijcks says:

    Your post processing workflow sounds a lot like mine Johan. Usually it’s a lot of back-and-forth, and seldom do I go in a straight line from raw image to end result. Int his case all the work was well worth it I think. The image has a great balance between texture and smooth areas, great toning, and it “just feels right” in general. Great work!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks for the compliment and feedback Armand! Btw I have that a lot less with colour work. B&W is a bit more then hitting that B&W button ain’t it 🙂 

  37. Mikko Tyllinen says:

    wow! this is such a fantastic picture! love this calm, mystical and yet very beautiful atmosphere! realy stunning work Johan!

  38. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Sophie: glad I do Sophie! Thank you. So when will we see you in CH?
    @Fabrizio: sorry really couldn’t resist! Thank you! 

  39. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Leyla: yes a bit too long, but can’t help it 🙂 Thank you!
    @Annette: thank you Annette!!!
    @John: many thanks!

  40. Jerry Johnson says:

    Ok… This is… Spectacular Johan ! The …’s were used to visualize my gasps for air due to the excitement I experienced studying this exceptional photo!!!!!! ;-)

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