• Background,  flowers,  Lightbox

    Heucheria leaf on a light box

    So often I tried to image a Heucheria leaf. It doesn’t seem complicated. With less saturation the impression of a water color image emerges of a single leaf.

    Heucheria leaf © Julian Köpke

    Going on with my Blossfeldt studies I need a background for this image. An image with background exerts a special charm. A paper structure fits well.

    Heucheria leaf © Julian Köpke

    Only the conversion to black and white comes closer to the impression of a Blossfeldt macro.

    Heucheria leaf © Julian Köpke
  • Background,  flowers,  General

    Do you like Karl Blossfeldt ?

    Karl Blossfeldt was a German photographer who lived from 1865 to 1932. He didn’t think himself a photographer. With his studies of plant forms he made an enormous contribution to plant photography. Here is a nice wikipedia article about him.

    He started to do photograms. Plants or parts of plants were placed directly on film or paper suitable for exposure. Exposure then takes place without any optics. Later he built himself a wooden camera, which reminds me of Andreas Feininger.

    Black and white backlit macro images with a background can be similar to Blossfeldt’s images.

    Silver leaf © Julian Köpke
    Heucheria in bloom © Julian Köpke
    Vetch © Julian Köpke
    Day lily © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Travel

    Stuttgart Television Tower

    You never know in advance what it means to return to the place of childhood. On top of a 217m high television tower physically overlooking the years I spent near a forest in Stuttgart Gablenberg there was a feeling of returning or being at home. 

    A few memories to the first visit to this tower mixed with the fantastic view. My daughters had invited me to this evening as their birthday present to me. The waiter is friendly and brings us as a special exception a white tablecloth to celebrate the day. So it’s fun to get to know the carefreeness.

    We enjoy delicious local food while the sun is getting lower and lower. Occasionally I feel a touch of fear of heights. Our table stands directly at the window with a view of the city.

    Nevertheless, we go up to the higher viewing platforms to look and take pictures. Suddenly many other photographers appear out of nowhere and we take many pictures of the view and a spectacular sunset.

    Green Stuttgart seen from Television Tower © Julian Köpke

    It’s still light when we left. The landmark of the city can be photographed in a variety of compositions. Here is just one of my many:

    Stuttgart Television Tower (Fernsehturm) © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Orchid X-ray fusion photo

    It feels like very long ago. Harold and I were taking the shots and X-rays of new compositions last week of  April this year. Our first try was an orchid with two stems. The transparency effect is very much augmented using an X-ray. A stem behind petals doesn’t show easily in HDR light box photography.

    With a Phase One camera at my disposal a strong crop of the composition shows the tenderness of our orchid much better. With a resolution still sufficient.

    Orchid fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • Travel,  X-Ray

    Leipzig X-ray Convention

    Since 1905 there is an X-ray meeting in Germany. It was the 100th time this year. Nowadays the convention takes place every year.

    Besides the scientific news the convention offers the opportunity of caring for personal contacts. It is part of the beautiful things of the convention to meet old acquaintances and to exchange with them.

    Leipzig fair is a great environment for this event. An agreeable tiredness affects me at the end of the day after many positive conversations. I left the celebration with relief.

    Leipzig fair at sunset © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    A special color palette

    It’s the primary goal of many photographer’s who travel to Heligoland: bird photography. For more than 20 years now the Northern Gannet populates largely the red rocks of the island.

    A short walk leads to the rim where these birds are breeding amongst seagulls and guillemots. Birders populate this rock early in the morning or late in the evening close to the rim, where the birds are nesting.

    Couple of Northern Gannets at sunset on Heligoland. © Julian Köpke

    Gannets like to fly like students roam around in their school yard. Very attractive to see. A long and late sunset close to the summer solstice enhanced the experience.

    Sunset Heligoland close ton the summer solstice © Julian Köpke

    The birder population varies largely with the year as the bird population does. This January, empty nests and no birders on Heligoland. This evening we were attracted by a beautiful sunset. After the sunset no further bird photos could be made. What a pity !

    No birder, no cry © Julian Köpke

    After sunset the color palette turned into orange and turquoise. Turner in Venice used these colors in his last watercolors often. A power plant still was working a little bit.

    Power plant close to Heligoland in the North Sea. © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    A rose is a rose is a rose

    Recovering from a strenuous afternoon where I was exposed to an increasingly deep dementia I sat in my hotel to have a light meal. Nerve-racking music all over the room. A beautiful sunset with warm colors and flattering light after a grey and rainy day.

    A rose is a rose is a rose © Julian Köpke

    Dementia shows a person deprived of many intellectual capabilities. There is still the capability of a relation left, weak and vulnerable. There is no understanding left for us. Speechlessness counts the most.

  • Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Purple Clematis

    Clematis is a reliably blossoming flower in our garden. Every year we look forward to her blooms for many weeks. Photographing flowers means sacrificing beautiful little things. It took me some time to go there.

    With growing experience I feel less pain to sacrifice a bloom for artistic purposes. It relieves me a little, that I have the blooms swum after my photo and X-ray sessions in a soup-plate filled with water which is in the kitchen. Many people like the floating blooms in a soup-plate, if they are in a break.

    The HDR series of my composition with three clematis gave me a hard time. Although a tripod is indispensable and always used, a small pixel shift between exposures was perceivable. After fixing this, light, color and structure was processed for an HDR image.

    The X-ray of the three clematis was performed as mammography due to the size of my composition. The fusion image can be understood as a texturized HDR by means of a radiograph. But there is no unique solution to all compositions. The best solution has to be found out individually.

    After all, the clematis look as light as a feather in this image. It was worth it.

    Three purple Clematis fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Lake Constance

    It’s only a short trip from Lake Lucerne to Lake Constance. Very different light conditions compared to Lucerne in Horn. A little haze, turquoise flares, soft winds. Looking down from our new apartment I saw a sailing boat gently cruising. All turbulences of the last time were settled.

    Sailing on Lake Constance © Julian Köpke

    The famous German painter Otto Dix lived his life here after his booting out of the art academy. He was a famous painter in the 1920s in Dresden.

    The new light conditions and the rural life imposed hard days on him as he stated in his letters.

    His house was recently reopened as a museum with a sophisticated measurement and air conditioning system to preserve building and art.

    Gamut of colors in studio of Otto Dix Museum © Julian Köpke

    Isle of Mainau: in the castle gardens nicely arranged flowers, fern, trees, avenues. Memories of rainbow press publications about the owner and his life came up. Pleasant day with pleasant light. Lots of photo opportunities.

    Cycle route near Isle of Mainau, Lake Constance © Julian Köpke
    Euphorbia in Mainau Castle Gardens (Mediterranean terrace) © Julian Köpke
    Fern forest Isle of Mainau © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Goodbye Bürgenstock

    Last evening in a special resort. Flowers in every room. A view like on an airplane window seat. Meeting friends from long ago and renewing friendship. Happiness, breathlessness, intense talks, laughter.

    Great sunset seen from above Lake Lucerne and Lucerne itself.

    Sunset over Lucerne, Lake Lucerne © Julian Köpke

    Wonderful sunrise in the morning, blue sky and fresh air. Breakfast in the sky. Last conversations. Melancholy of farewell. Final goodbye. The composition resembles a painting of a former family member: Otto Flechtenmacher.

    Bürgenstock: snow on mountain tips © Julian Köpke

    Luxuriant floral decorations everywhere in the lobby. Manual HDR without tripod: works.

    Magnificent floral decoration with orchids © Julian Köpke