• General

    X-ray Odyssey

    How to communicate an erratic process in terms of an image ? The Iliadic greek were pirates of the Mediterranean with fast vessels, invading mainland from the seas, enslaving people, robbing stocks and much more.

    The writing down of the Ilias was between 678 and 662 B.C., a time of Assyrian dominance and cultural superiority.

    With three different Nautilus shells I bought last September on Crete I did this composition on my big X-ray sensor with 35cm x 43 cm and 170µm per pixel resolution. Two energy levels were necessary to get a high resolution image of the core of the Nautilus shells.

     

    Odyssey © Julian Köpke

    To overcome the look-and-feel of a medical X-ray it is a logical idea to invert the light. Black becomes white and vice versa. White means shining through of X-rays, black means opacity. It’s like a dream !

    Odyssey (light inversion) © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Nautilus and Flowers

    How to prepare a X-ray session ? What flowers suit to a Nautilus shell ? Where does color come in ? 

    I went to my gorgeous florist to have a look what offer she can make during wintertime. My phantasy were spinning around something ethereal or unrealistic. I bought some flowers with respect to their shape. 

    The Anthuria caught my eye immediately. The Tulip was still closed and got more and more yellow within hours.

    All these compositions shown here were made with dual energy X-ray. The lowest energy of the tube is 40kV, which yields with 4 mAs a quite good insight of flowers. For the center of the Nautilus shell, 70kV and 2.5 mAs is more appropriate.

    My first composition was a Nautilus taking off a bouquet of flowers. This reminded me of Renaissance engravings full of symbols. I do not feel depressed. The representation as a X-ray positive jsut shows the bouquet.

    Miraculous flowers and nautilus shell © Julian Köpke
    Miraculous flowers © Julian Köpke

    A more grounded composition is the second with a Nautilus shell moving towards the roots of my bouquet. Hopefully, the plants will survive. The positive representation always needs some extra editing. By just inverting the Blacks and the Whites the Nautilus would be too dark. Our reception cannot be just inverted and feels alright.

    Flowers and Nautilus © Julian Köpke
    Flowers and Nautilus © Julian Köpke

    With the look-and-feel of old engravings in mind the third composition ist between surreal and a still. It took me some time to mask out the flaws of an original X-ray to get a true black background. Masking can be done iteratively and easily combined with Photoshop. („That’s what Photoshop is made for  !“).

    Some colorizing was done to overcome missing photographic shots. There was simply no time in my X-ray unit to do both at a time.

    Nautilus shell as a vase or a vessel („Hansekogge“ or cog) © Julian Köpke
    Positive representation of Nautilus shell as a vase or a vessel („Hansekogge“ or cog) © Julian Köpke
    Coloured Nautilus shell as a vase or a vessel („Hansekogge“ or cog) © Julian Köpke
    Coloured positive representation of a Nautilus shell as a vase or a vessel („Hansekogge“ or cog) © Julian Köpke

    My fourth composition is called „The Argonauts“. The Nautilus shell serves as Argo, the legendary fast ship, with its crew, called Argonauts. The colored version is more convenient for our eyes. As before the X-ray positive looks more ethereal. 

    A Nautilus with flowers as Argonauts © Julian Köpke
    A Nautilus with flowers Argonauts © Julian Köpke
    X-Ray positive of a Nautilus with flowers as Argonauts © Julian Köpke
    Colored X-ray positive of a Nautilus with flowers as Argonauts © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    A day on Germany’s summit

    Is there poetry in a landscape ? Does an image give the impression of poetry ? These questions came up when looking down from the Zugspitze at the Alpine folding.

    It was a cold day with with warm rays from the sun. No winds, except at the border to Austria. We were lucky to spend a few hours up there at about 2960m.

    This folding was soft and wild at the same time. Is it a solidified sea ? A petrified curtain ? Only the light creates the feelings.

    Poetic Alpine Folding © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Transparency and Energy in X-Rays

    You always need some time to find out the best exposure values for a photo. Same idea holds in X-Ray imaging.

    Today I did an x-ray series with my biggest Nautilus shell on a conventional radiography sensor, not a film. Starting from the lowest possible value 40kV an increment of 10 kV up to 70 kV can be seen in the images:

    40kV 10mAs

    Black regions in the image a transparent, white are opaque. The center of the Nautilus has a loss of structure.

    With 50 kV the structure in the center of the Nautilus is better depicted wheras the edge gets more transparent:

    50kV 2mAs

    Same effect for the center and the edge can be seen with 60 kV:

    60kV 2mAs

    With 70 kV it’s an exaggeration for the edge and best depiction for the center:

    70kV 10mAs

    Higher kV means more transparency for denser structures but a loss of structure in transparent areas. 

    At fixed energy, X-Ray imaging behaves like a shadow related to visible light. When photographing, there is not chance to look through an opaque object. With higher energies, x-rays go through opaque objects and can be collected on a sensor. 

    Composing the images obtained at different energies is an X-Ray HDR image:

    Nautilus X-Ray Energy HDR © Julian Köpke

    The representation of an X-Ray with white on black is a reminiscence of the film era. Radiologists just looked at the negatives ! Inverting black and white shows the positive image, like a print. Here I show the same image as positive, but rotated and flipped horizontally. Look how ethereal it appears now:

    Nautilus X-Ray Energy Compressed © Julian Köpke
  • Lightbox

    Mediterranean creatures on a lightbox

    Today I put some tests on my cretean purchases from last September to evaluate their potential of being subject to fusion imaging. I bought three Nautilus shells and two sea snails, holding them in the store against the sun to check their transparency. My untidy studio accommodated these precious stones under quite a bunch of something.

    The best representation is with a black background, i.e. with inverted L-channel in Lab colors. With a black background a soft shining light appears in the objects.

    This snail has a shape a triangle and resembles a bear claw or an Apollo capsule in the late Sixties. The translucency is very little.

    Cretean Snail © Julian Köpke
    Cretean Snail © Julian Köpke

    The following snail has a classic shape. With the black background it resembles a galaxy in outer space.

    Mediterranean Snail II © Julian Köpke
    Mediterranean Snail II © Julian Köpke

    My first attempt with the Nautilus shells led me to a copper-like color representation with a single shot image. Lab colors is the key to this color and light distribution. Very attractive is the fact of two shells turning right and one left. Why did I wait so long to make this image ? Why do we miss important opportunities ?

    Three Nautilus shells with light inverison © Julian Köpke
    Three Nautilus shells with light inverison © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Sunny Sylt

    After a rainy New Years eve and a cloudy 1st January there was a chance to escape to an island in the sun: Sylt.

    A walk south along the beach at noon had a phantastic front light. We strolled without sorrows. The horizon wasn’t clear at all.

    It’s good to have these days without sorrows.

    Strollers sans soucies. Beach Westerland, Sylt. © Julian Köpke

    Short after 4 pm the sunset happened much earlier than in southern parts of Germany. The winds became more weak. A composit image of horizontal motion blur and a normal shot after the camera movement rendered a little bit of  structure.

    Sky and North Sea © Julian Köpke

    Increasingly great reflections occurred the next minutes. Hot waters ?

    Reflections at sunset near Westerland at low tide © Julian Köpke

    The darker it becomes the more fatigant is our way home. Less people are now on the beach. All tend to go home.

    People are going home at sunset. Evening glow with clouds at Westerland Beach. © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Cape Blanco State Park

    Cape Blanco State Park was a windy corner. Fortunately we had much sun and only few clouds. When looking at the Fresnel optics of a lighthouse, one may get the impression of a shiny jewel. The shape is like a virus.

    Fresnel optics of second order in Cape Blanco lighthouse (Curry County, Oregon, USA). © Julian Köpke

    When walking south we found no shiny look at Pyramid Rock with a shape not much different from the optics of the lighthouse.

    Pyramid Rock at Cape Blanco State Park lies in direction south. © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Travelling along the Pacific Ocean coast

    From California to Oregon, from high-tech state to nature. Now I’m at home in Germany and it’s already winter. What remains of a journey of two photo addicted ?

    Arch Rock is a quite common term in National Park environments. Driving further the 101 Highway after Fort Bragg we stopped at Arch Rock Picnic Area and walked to the arch that gave the name to this area.

    Arch Rock Brookings at the Oregon Pacific Ocean coast. An intense turquoise color of the outer Pacific Ocean changes to an emerald green at the shore. © Julian Köpke

    Beside this rock with water going forth and back there was a formation of rocks like dice in the sea. 

    On our hike to the distant viewpoint of the Cape Sebastian State Park, I was wondering how to photograph a coastline. Especially the cool waters contrasted with lasting warm colors of the coast.

    With a „natural“ landscape orientation given by the cam the idea of a line got lost. Harold suggested portrait orientation, which is obviously better.

    Cape Sebastian State Park coastline
    View of the Oregon coastline from Cape Sebastian State Park. Cold Pacific Ocean waters meet a warm and sunny autumn coast. © Julian Köpke

    At the far end of the viewpoint it was a quarter to noon. Some recommendations for photographers state not to take any image at noon. Well, why not ?

    Geometric shapes like a Paul Klee image contrasted with the haze of the Pacific. The horizon could not be seen by the naked eye. Only postprocessing showed it.

    I like to look towards the horizon. This view is from Cape Sebastian State Park towards the south. Pacific Ocean seems to be calm today. © Julian Köpke

    To get to Cape Blanco lighthouse we did a little hike in strong winds. A tripod was no longer a safe equipment. We got rewarded with a splendid feeling of openness, a lot of sun and fresh air and the acquaintance of a porcupine on the meadow behind the building.

    Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest existing lighthouse of Oregon. Cold temperatures, a sunny day with a blue sky. © Julian Köpke
    Porcupine on the meadow at Cape Blanco lighthouse © Julian Köpke

    Further along the Highway 101 we fell into the Heceta Head View Point at early sunset. Although tired and ready for a shower in our B&B we pulled out and had a fantastic photographic session. Impressive is the flashing light signal of Heceta Head Lighthouse.

    Heceta Head Lighthouse at sunset © Julian Köpke
  • General

    Cape Perpetua

    We went up to Cape Perpetua before our breakfast. I’d been there before after the eclipse in 2017 with Christa and friends. That year the sky was full of smoke.

    Today the sun was shielded by some haze coming from the Pacific Ocean. I wasn’t clear in mind about going there a second time. The impressive view of Heceta Head lighthouse the day before hadn’t left me.

    Black and white gives more meaning and feeling than faded colors. But it’s already long time ago and far, far away.

    Cape perpetua morning haze
    Morning haze at Cape perpetua. Being there a second time my feelings weren’t clear. Although only 2 months from now in the past I feel this morning like long time ago and very far away. © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    X-Ray of Christmas cookies

    Thanks to my hard-working father-in-law we enjoy every year phantastic cookies. This year I had to cope with different archiving modalities in mammography due to quality management. This image was an idea to enjoy Christmas in advance with a composition of a Poinsettia. Simple structurizing effects render this image into a sort of cookie smelling painting.

    Poinsettia. Texturized x-ray of cookies. © Julian Köpke