New: Tranquillity, a minimalist lake landscape in B&W

A couple of weeks ago I visited Lac de Neuchâtel near Estavayer-le-Lac in Switzerland with photographer friends Michael Diblicek and Athena Carey. The plan was to do some long exposure photography together. It was a very windy day with dark clouds. Luckily there were also a few little patches of blue, to let some sunlight slip through once in a while. We searched for interesting locations along the borders of the lake for quite a while. At some point, we got lucky and stumbled into a little hidden beach with 6 or 7 abandoned piers in various states of decay. So we found our subjects, had some big waves, an exciting sky with cloud movement and patches of light hitting Lac de Neuchâtel. Great ingredients for creating minimalist lake landscape in B&W.

Tranquillity, a soothing lake landscape with two piers

A soothing minimalist lake landscape in black & white, with two abandoned piers in a tranquil lake ( Lac de Neuchâtel) on a foggy day.

Because (and despite) of the wind, I decided to go for exposures of one to three minutes to smoothen the water as much as possible. I expected the waves and light patches to create a subtle milky effect in the resulting photographs. The minimalist lake landscape in B&W to the right is one of the photos I got away with: a rough-looking lake magically turned into a tranquil one. Its title is Tranquillity. I hope you like this fine art photograph!?

The photograph was taken using a Nikon D3x with a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. A stack of 2 neutral density filters pushed the exposure time to 4 minutes.

Click on the photograph to learn more about it or if you want to buy a print or a licence.

Cheers, Johan 🙂

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Interested to see more minimalist lake landscapes in B&W? Tranquillity is part of our Minimalist photography theme. You will see similar photos there, including:

Alternatively, check out our Black & White Photography portfolio to find more B&W photographs.

184 thoughts on “New: Tranquillity, a minimalist lake landscape in B&W

  1. Laurent Coppée says:

    Really great comp Johan. This is so serene and I really like the inclusion of the mountains on the horizon, it adds so much more depth to the photo. Great work!

  2. Joel Tjintjelaar says:

    You’re definitely talented at LE photography Johan! Great exposure and composition. The smooth tonal gradations are a great touch and it’s that what makes a great seascape LE photograph! Or for that matter it’s what makes a great BW photograph in general – Looking forward to more!

  3. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Mikko: thanks again Mikko!
    Steve: thanks Steve. Glad you like it 🙂
    Sinead: love it that you love it!

  4. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Walter: thanks for the compliment! I love +Hengki Koentjoro’s work as well 🙂
    @Eric: thank you! Yes, it was good fun. Pitty you are not closer to CH. You could join one day :)
    @Piper: thanks thanks thanks 😉 Glad you like it! Long exposure photography is different but very relaxing as well! For me it is a nice change from what I usually do.

  5. walter gawronski says:

    Great shot and a well deserved winner Johan , your work is reminiscent of that of one of my favourite Monochrome Photographers, Hengki Koentjoro who does consistently amazing work.

  6. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Sophie: thanks, thanks, thanks!
    Johan: thanks for the compliment Johan!
    Martin: danke vielmals!
    Peter: thank you as well for the kind words!

  7. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Martin: it does, doesn’t it 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!
    Allan: thank you and glad you like it!
    Christian: that’s what I wanted to achieve. Thanks!
    Sumit: thanks Sumit. Glad you are back :)

  8. Martin Weibel says:

    Hey Johan Peijnenburg. Congratulation for the MCM Most Popular Photo of the Week. Bravo a Masterpiece.. Chapeau

  9. Jerry Johnson says:

    Johan: as I had the pleasure of saying earlier in the week, this is a gorgeous photo!! Congrats, but it is no surprise that this beauty was the most popular MCM photo.

  10. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Thomas: thanks you. Glad you feel zen!
    @Francesco: thanks and hope all is well in Italy!
    @Lili: thanks for the compliment 🙂
    @Wilfried: thanks! Did you ever try LE’s or is that too dangerous .. uhm, slow for you?
    @Andy: thanks a bunch Andy!
    @Patrice: merci!

    • Wilfried Haferland says:

      I did LE’s, I like that kind of photography. But I can’t afford to carry a tripod up to mountains and on climbs that are known to push you to your personal performance limits and beyond… Additionally, you’d never have time to use it. But – luckily – I can enjoy yours :-)!

  11. Wilfried Haferland says:

    Johan, this is of absolute tranquility, it’s almost frozen! Good you preserved the structure of the clouds, and the framing is… perfect. Thank you for posting this one, my friend!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hey Laura. Thank you. This is Lac de Neuchâtel near Estavayer-le-Lac. I am hoping to go shoot long exposures near you, but that all depends on when I can pick up certain gear :)

  12. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Ian: thanks Ian! It was a great day with some nice results 🙂
    @Christopher: thanks for the compliment Christopher and nice to meet you!

  13. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Gemma, @Don, @Ben, @Dawid: thanks all for the nice comments!
    @Anette: thanks! Have you gone practicing with the new stuff already?

    • Anette Mossbacher says:

      what do you think ? Sitting at home and babysitting our dog or what -:)))) just this morning I went up to our lake in the forest and did a few test runs. I need to check them out later. To busy now. Btw, there was a big stopper on the fotoflohmarkt, but sold already. Did you buy it ? Was 200CHF. Cheaper to get it than sent from the UK! I got now all my stuff….ooohhh all, yeah. Me happy 🙂 Wildlife here, my daughter just told me there is a black panther running loose in Swissy! Shall we go after it, would be like finding a needle on the Matterhorn 🙂 

          • Anette Mossbacher says:

            @Diego New stuff is Lee filters. We have found a reseller in the UK which has most of the “stuff” in stock. Well, now maybe not anymore. Johan and me have been shopping last week and the week before 🙂
            Now I just want a Singh Ray filter reverse. That is costy and the shipping is more than 60 US bucks, …. are you still sitting on your chair Diego ? :)) The shipping is insane from the US. I also want a new bag ( old one will fall appart soon, finally found what I was looking for ) Europe, forget to search for it, it is not sold here in Europe. I wish I would still live in Asia. There I could get everything. But to add another 65 US bucks on a quite expensive bag. Will check Ryan air if they fly over. Than at least I can have bacon and eggs :)

  14. Olivier Du Tré says:

    I like the tension in this one. The whole left side, although empty, balances this frame out nicely. Well done!

  15. Anette Mossbacher says:

    Hi Johan … I viewed large and small. Large is much better, as usual. Wonderful image, love it :)

  16. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Maggy: thank you. I always love your enthousiasme 😀
    @Yasmin: thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks …… 😉
    @Michael: thanks for the kind words Michael!
    @Guy: thank you and thanks for stopping by!
    Thanks Robert and Suzanne!!
    @Margaret: you’re too kind 🙂 Glad it’s not a nightmare 😉
    @Andrew: your comment made my day! Much appreciated!

  17. Andrew Sanigorski says:

    I’ve had this image sitting on-screen for awhile doing things and just beautiful to look at the screen when walking by. Really love what you’ve done here Johan. it’s an awesome minimal comp too with a great feel. Great work as always.

  18. Margaret Tompkins says:

    This is incredibly beautiful! It’s like a dream and I don’t want to wake up! It’s extraordinary!!!!

  19. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Vitor: Thanks 🙂
    @Nikola: Very true! Thanks!
    @David: merci David 🙂
    @Kurt: glad you like it Kurt! It was an all or nothing day 🙂
    @Emanuele: glad there is a story for you and that you like it!

  20. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @markus rienzner: glad you like it Markus!
    @Paul Turkowski: thanks for the kind words!
    @Steve Aldrich: thanks Steve. Well spotted. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Emanuele F. Fusco says:

    Great LE work Johan ! This image gives me a suggestion: the two piers say me something about the continuity and the interruption of existence…

  22. Tom Tran says:

    Beautiful work!
    Yes, Johan. I need to learn to make images like this. Not right away of course…but hopefully some day!

  23. Michael Diblicek says:

    Wow, that’s a stunning LE Johan. Love the Pano 2:1 format, it really works so well with this.
    Beautiful processing, love all that central light in the centre of the image. Wonderful smooth water.
    And the hills and town in the top right really give some wonderful balance to the overall image.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      pfjew, really glad you like it! You saw a preview of this one on my LCD using the hoodman thingy remember? Now you know why i wasn’t shooting in portrait mode :D

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          the only doubt I had was about where to put the horizon and subsequently the piers. All three options I had worked quite well, but liked this one best.

          • Michael Diblicek says:

            personally i think it works well as it is in terms of composition and horizon.
            It was quite difficult to get any height here , giving us the opportunity to pull the piers down from the horizon.
            The fact that you used both piers in the composition, compensates for the additional height.

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            thanks for the confirmation! The one I took sitting down on my knies on the windy pier, worked out very well as well to my surprise. How were your images from this location?

  24. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Jerry: thanks Jerry for the compliment and having a look “on white”! Sorry, forgot to mention you irt the theme … I am losing track 🙂
    Dylan: thank you! Hope all is wel in SA!

    • Dylan van Graan says:

      All is well, winter is making its way over here. Do you want it back so you can send us more cool photos of mountains? ;-)

  25. Jerry Johnson says:

    Johan for me, the soft but pronounced horizon is my favourite aspect of this gorgeous photo.

    White is the proper background for it, indeed. :-)

  26. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Mark: glad you like it Mark!
    @Robin: thanks! Yes, it was. It is getting warmere here now by the way 😀
    @Hengki: thanks for the compliment Hengki!

  27. Robin Griggs Wood says:

    Exquisite, Johan! It’s really hard to believe that the water was rough––it’s just perfect!

  28. Dominique Dubied says:

    Superb minimalist image Johan ! It is incredible how areas by lakes can be so interesting sometimes! Congrats!

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      thanks! Yes they can. This was my first attempt for LE’s at Lac de Neuchâtel. It was worth it!

  29. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Mikael: thank you!!
    @Matthias: thanks for the rocking comment! And yes, you should get them. They are hard to get … I did get lucky though … broke a big stopper last week and received a replacement today already …. hihaaa:)

  30. Stefanie Loges says:

    Wow Johan, what a sublime mood you created here !! Like the beautiful tones and the balance due to the negative space plus the 2:1, my prefered format :))

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks Stefanie! Thought the 2:1 fitted the subject better. It was a struggle to decide where to put the horizon … in the middle worked and at the bottom as well.

      • Stefanie Loges says:

        It´s perfect for me as it is Johan :)) Oh and I forgot to add this hint of a village on the upper left, glad you left that inside :))

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          thanks and well spotted. I did “mystify” that village and the mountain range behind it a touch to balance the image a bit better.

  31. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    Yeah why not Diego. I will just call it a alpine photo walk instead of a Swiss photo walk :)

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        Just let me know Diego and maybe we can make it work. Maybe there would be others who like to join as well …

  32. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @Shelly and @Rznag: thank you !!!
    @Manuel: glad you like it Manuel!
    @Athena: thank you 🙂 I was sitting on an overturned boat yes! Looking forward to the next one as well!

  33. Athena Carey says:

    So serene Johan! And I know just where you were standing (or sitting on the overturned boat?) when you took this. 🙂 It was a lovely day with you and Michael. I am already looking forward to the next. :)

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