A new winter landscape with larch trees: Standing Tall

Yes, I know, I know … spring has started (where I live at least). Going to write about one last winter photograph though. Hope you don’t mind!? 🙂 This photograph is a winter landscape that features a gathering of larch trees and is titled Standing Tall. It is a new addition to our Winter & Snow photography theme.

In the past few months, I have seen many photographs come by that feature solitary trees in their snowy surroundings. I wanted to balance things a bit by posting this landscape photograph of not so lonely larch trees in their winter coat. I shot Standing Tall last January during a snow-shoe hike near La Fouly, a small village located in the Val Ferret valley in the Swiss canton of Valais.

Standing Tall, snow dusted larch trees in winter

A minimalist winter landscape in black & white featuring a larch trees covered with snow and hoar-frost, surrounded by fresh snow.

It was quite windy and about minus 25°c (-13°f) that day. For some reason, I liked this winter landscape with larch trees instantly when I saw it. Maybe because of the touch of fresh snow on the branches of the larch trees? Or because of the shape that the trees form together? Or just because of the simplicity of the scene? It might as well have been the thought that the larch trees seemed to cuddle up to withstand the freezing winter cold together though! Anyway, Standing Tall appeared to be an appropriate title. Hope you like this B&W winter landscape photograph as well!

I used my Nikon D800E and brought my new Nikkor 70-200 f/4 lens along for the first time that day for testing. In general, I found that the lens provides excellent image quality across the frame and great micro-contrast and details at all focal lengths. Looks like I will be selling a 70-200 f/2.8 lens very soon!

Click on the photograph if you would like to buy a print or a licence of Standing Tall.

Cheers, Johan 🙂

315 thoughts on “A new winter landscape with larch trees: Standing Tall

  1. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Sweedon, Ellen, Jim, Enzo, Yasmin, Don and Елена: many thanks all for the kind words! Apologies for the late reply ! 🙂

  2. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Sandra: thanks for the wow :o)
    @George: wow another wow. Thanks George 🙂
    @Stan: thanks Stan. I might do that next year :)

  3. Stephen Cairns says:

    That’s beautiful. The quality of light is lovely – diffuse and soft. Gorgeous work.

    F4 over F2.8 if you are trekking for sure. Your back and shoulders will thank you. I never shoot below f8 for landscape work anyway.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      One of my favourites so far this year Stephen. Thank you! 🙂 Yes that f/4 has proven to be a worthy replacement and back saver 🙂 

  4. Dave Berryman says:

    I think this is one of my favourites because of the simple symmetry of he layout, the shadows of the trees on the snow, and the white everywhere else.

    Dave

  5. Hope OHara says:

    I fall in love with this deeply each time it comes through my stream.. one of these days.. I am going to buy this.. that way I will always be in love.. “smile”..

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      I guess the trick is not to be after them too much 😉 I ran into these trees by accident on a long hike. I especially liked their shape and how they stood out against the snow. Lucky 🙂 

  6. Barb Kellogg says:

    Johan, really lovely website, and this photo is simply stunning! (I’ve been considering Photoshelter instead of my current photo host, so that’s how I found you.)

    Cheers!
    Barb

  7. Hope OHara says:

    I love this.. and fall in love with it each time I see it.. it has so many elements with in… its soft.. its cold.. its balanced.. in perfection.. its like looking at a winter wonder land.. and what is even best.. is i don’t have to wear a coat/hat or gloves when viewing this.. “grins”

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thank you so much Hope. I also love the feel of this one a lot 🙂 The cold grows on you btw 😀 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks Joel! I don’t do it often enough either yet. They are great subjects. In find forests tough to shoot btw :)

  8. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Asa: well, it is still very nice to hear Asa! 😉 Glad you like my work!
    @Christa: thanks again Christa!

  9. Asa Gislason says:

    Well, don’t think you need me to tell you this but your work is amazing 🙂 Really enjoy viewing it :-)

  10. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Thank you Enrique!
    @Nikola: thanks! So what the heck does M8 mean … I am slow today ;)
    @Ladyy: thank you very much 🙂
    @Patricia: many thanks Patricia! :)

  11. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Rohan: thanks Rohan!
    @Michael: you are very welcome Michael. Thanks!
    @Don: glad you like it Don! 🙂

  12. Mona Youssef says:

    Johan, your photos in black and white are breathtaking, so alive, sharp, sensible, talking and moving in my eyes!!! 

  13. Michael Salmela says:

    I came back for another look and realized that didn’t leave a comment on this beauty Johan. Absolutely sublime image and a fine gathering of trees, excellent work. 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks! Well spotted. No conversion was needed. This is a natural B&W 🙂 Nice to see you here again! 

  14. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Walter: yes you may 🙂 Thanks Walter!
    @Shawn: mn thanks Shawn!
    @Subra: thanks for the compliment Subra!

  15. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Christoph: thanks Christoph ! 🙂
    @Michael: nice to hear that Michael! Next year we need to make sure we go shoot scapes like this together! 🙂 

  16. Michael A. Koontz says:

    what is this heresy i see? selling a Nikon 70-200 2.8 bah – lunacy Johan 🙂

    Or is that the extra weight savings :)

  17. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Yasmin: glad you like it Yasmin 🙂 You know there is no bad weather, only bad clothing 😉
    @Jim: great comment Jim. Thanks for that! 

  18. Jim Lundgren says:

    Oh Johan, this just rocks. What a fantastic study in composition and minimalism of colour. I am completely speechless!

  19. Yasmin Simpson says:

    Just an exquisite-exquisite one body Johan. I can stare at this forever… and woww shooting with this temperature, probably I would die, lol. As I mentioned before you and Athena are my snow-photographer heroes :-).

  20. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Gaurav: it does in a way indeed Gaurav. Glad you like it 🙂
    @Angela: well thank you Angela 🙂
    @Dominique: dank je wel Dominique!
    @Оксана: many thanks Oksana 🙂 

  21. George Marquardt says:

    This is fabulous Johan; I’m not ready to let go of winter for a while yet! Its interesting on the lens, the Canon 70-200 F4 is just such a nice high quality travel lens too, compared to the f2.8 version which weighs down the bag a bit much!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks George! I agree. Happy the f4 was introduced. It makes a lot of sense. I was always leaving home a lens I didn’t want to leave at home to accomodate the f2.8 and still have a reasonable weight on my back 🙂 

  22. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Joan: many thanks for all the plusses and comments! It is highly appreciated. Nice to meet you! 🙂
    @Burkhard: many thanks Burkhard! Nice to meet you too :)

  23. Tom Tran says:

    This is such a beautifully pristine scene Johan. If we take each of these trees and plant them separately then they would surely balance out with all the other lone trees seen in the past months. 😀
    In your observation, how does the f/2.8 compare when shot at f4 or higher?

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks Tom. If I shoot at f/8 to 11 I like the results of the f/4 better. It looks like the results are more consistent across the frame. detail and micro-contrast of both lenses are comparable. I haven’t shot a lot with the f/4 lens at f/4 to 8 to be honest. I assume the bokeh of the f/2.8 will be a touch better. I don’t usually use this lens for that though. I don’t mind giving up a bit of good bokeh for the weight I save … 

  24. Beverley Aston says:

    Well I hoped I had seen the last of snow for this year but looking at this one how can we not love it – beautifully composed shot Johan !!

  25. Athena Carey says:

    Nice scene Johan. My eyes go immediately to the tree the others seem to be circled around. It’s as if that one is an elder, telling them all some tree folk story. :)

  26. Charlotte Therese Björnström says:

    They’re very nicely naturally composed…so it’s a lovely one (even though it’s wintry…brrrr)! I’m a fan of lonely trees, so made quite a few such shots, didn’t post any for awhile though…went for spring and summer pics instead in the hopes of making these seasons arrive faster. How far did spring reach you? Snow gone? (Not here yet…) 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thank you Charlotte 🙂 Spring did arrive here finally one week ago. Had a few nice and sunny days. Now a few days with rain, but looking good for next week. I am ready for spring :)

  27. Andreas Levi says:

    😀 .. okay, it is indeed time for images without snow, but this here is gorgeous, Johan! We can feel the fantastic athmosphere – a wonderful work!!
    Wishing you a nice start in a great weekend! :)

  28. Will S. says:

    The milky tones are wonderful to look at. Beautiful details on the tree and that subtle details of shadows are also my favourite part in this image. Excellent work, Johan !!!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hey Wilfried! Thanks. Yes, I figured you needed a dose of crisp snow 🙂 You know where this is right?

  29. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Alycia: thanks Alycia 🙂
    @E.E. Giorgi: thank you Elena. Glad the snow has ended here. I now have rain 😉
    @Mikko: thanks Mikko! 

  30. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Kurt: that was what I thought Kurt 🙂 Thanks!
    @Justin: I can imagine. There is quite some detail in this image 🙂 Thank you!

  31. John Dunne says:

    This is beautiful Johan. Have you printed it yet? It looks like you’ve managed to retain some lovely detail in the snow.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks (also for the retweet)! No haven’t printed it for myself yet. You are right there is quite some detail in the snow, which is especially nice in the shaded below the trees :)

  32. E.E. Giorgi says:

    well, spring hasn’t started here, in fact, it’s been snowing more than it has all winter, so this is perfectly in theme! 🙂 awesome shot as always, Johan!

  33. kurt Harvey says:

    Absolutely stunning capture Johan. A magical Winter moment. Its as if they stand together with pride in their white jackets.

  34. Jerry Johnson says:

    Yet another stunning photo that moves beyond the visually satisfying stage, straight up and into the inspirational stratosphere! It’s a beauty Johan ! 🙂 

  35. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Victoria: thank you Victoria 🙂 Well actually was planning to post a totally different non-snowy image, but was not happy with it yet. Glad I have some reserves 😉
    @Margaret: thanks for the compliment Margaret !! 😀 

  36. Margaret Tompkins says:

    So gorgeous Johan !! I love the wonderful composition and great details!! I love the tranquility and feel of this!! Absolutely stunning my friend!!

  37. Victoria Etna says:

    Ohhhh wow ! Wasn’t expecting snow today from you…. Mostly because here is so hot !
    Great !!! This is refreshing and so beautiful….what a lovely composition and light ! Love it Johan : ))) thank you !

  38. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Paul: merci Paul and thanks for sharing !!!
    @Robert: many thanks Robert and thank you for sharing as well!! 

  39. Grzegorz Piechowicz says:

    Quite strange that f/4 works better than f/2.8. But it was on the margin 😉 Wonderful photo Johan again. Your photo presents best class in photography, I don’t like it, I love it 😀 

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      it is half the weight of the f/4 and delivering even better quality for what I do then the f/2.8. Seriously. Only the bokeh is a bit less, but that is not what I use this lens for. The f/4 is ideal for hiking and landscape stuff. And with the saved weight I can pack an extra lens.

      Thanks for the compliment. I was not sure about this image. I like it a lot, but I was afraid it was too simple 🙂 

      • Grzegorz Piechowicz says:

        I thought 14-24 is your prime lens. I see you have plenty of gears 😀 Regarding your photo, I don’t exaggerate, it is lovely composition, I have seen simpler photos by you 😉 It works perfectly. As Dominique suggested, now is time for BBQ, no more snow for now please 😀

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          the 14-24 only for some stuff. I also use the 70-200 a lot and the 24-70 as well. For LE I tend to use prime lenses nowadays … yes, I have too many lenses but they are all used a lot! 🙂

          And yes … will behave as of now. Going to focus on non-snow shots 😉

          Thanks again for the compliment!

  40. Carolyn Fahm says:

    You are the master of snow covered trees, Johan. This makes me sorry that winter is over because I will miss this magic.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      many thanks for the nice words Carolyn. I will miss it to, but it has been a long winter so happy I can go out shooting again with a lot more simple outfit :)

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks Robin! Btw I left a comment on your post earlier re the mentorship thing. Maybe I am interested :)

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