• 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
  • Travel

    Lucerne, Lake Lucerne

    A trip to Lucerne to see friends. We were laughing a lot. Dining. Discussing unpleasant professional issues. Looking through lovely photo series. 

    This morning a distracting time in our hotel with lake view. We enjoyed many reflections on the surface of the water. Salsa festival at midnight. No activity on the lake in the morning. Light weighted tranquillity before sunrise.

    Morning at Lucerne © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Fusion imaging

    Purple Clematis

    Long lasting blossoms, turning up every year: my purple clematis in our garden.

    It was my third X-ray session with flowers this week. Third fusion imaging attempt. After blue cornflower and blue aquilegia now a purple clematis. Big data on my hard disk.

    Today we did it with mammography at 30 kV and 50 mAs. Lower noise ! Here is the positive representation of a single clematis:

    Clematis X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    I processed the lightbox HighKey series with a mask. There was a shift of 2 or 3 pixels from the lightest to the darker images. So I processed everything a second time to compensate for the shift. The HDR image shows a cut stalk. Photoshop is made for this.

    Purple Clematis © Julian Köpke

    The stalk can be lengthened like in the preceding X-ray. The fusion image shows hidden leaves, the core of the blossom and stalks much better:

    Purple Clematis X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    The flower looks pretty fragile now, close to its natural appearance.

  • Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Spring and X-ray fusion photos

    First flowers in spring show up. With much support from my colleagues I’m able to do some fusion images. We all would like to have another calendar.

    Preparing the lightbox, the X-ray machines, my camera and picking out the data is a bunch of hassle.

    My personal favorite is the blue cornflower. It looks like a print of an old botanic book:

    Cornflower X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    The next day I turned my attention to our white and blue Aquilegias. No chance to process the raw data yesterday. Eventually, there was a chance today, after quite a bit of tedious work at my desk:

    Blue aquilegia X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke