• Architecture,  Travel

    Rialto bridge

    The Rialto Bridge, as we know it today, is made of white stone and was built between 1588 and 1591 and opened to traffic on 20 March 1591. It connects the Sestiere San Marco with the Sestiere San Polo, which are separated by the Grand Canal.

    The term „Rialto“ is probably the short form of Rivo Alto („high bank“) in Venetian dialect. There have been wooden bridges at this location since 960, with an uncertainty of 59 years. The earliest was called Ponte della Moneta, certainly a reference to the local market that has always existed and has survived to this day („moneta“ is Italian for „coin“).

    Staircase Rialto bridge © Julian Köpke
    Rialto bridge before dawn © Julian Köpke

    The early wooden bridges were repeatedly burnt down or collapsed due to overloading and therefore required constant renovation. Beside, the Rialto Bridge was the only footpath connecting San Marco and San Polo until the Ponte dell’Accademia was built in 1854.

    Night ends at Rialto bridge © Julian Köpke
    Ponte di Rialto with Acqua Alta © Julian Köpke

    In the early morning, when photographers are finishing their shots, a stream of pedestrians swells up, consisting of locals and first tourists. Somewhere, work is waiting for these Venetians you wouldn’t have expected.

    At the Rialto Bridge on the way to work © Julian Köpke
    At the Rialto Bridge on the way to work © Julian Köpke

    See more images in my Flickr album.

  • Architecture,  Travel

    Narni

    The drive to Narni took us from San Gemini through beautiful landscapes that we did not expect. The overcast sky offered rich variations of composition. With a series of HDR shots, more expressive images can be achieved later. An abandoned house became a harmony of cold colours.

    The abandoned house near Narni © Julian Köpke

    In Narni, it was the old town that interested us first and foremost, with alleys and archways, already devoid of tourists and being prepared for winter.

    Narni passage © Julian Köpke

    Famous is the Via del Campanile, which you automatically come across when you ascend the city from the car park.

    Narni Via del Campanile © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  Travel

    Oslo

    Our journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun starts in Oslo. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from the harbour. lot of rain and constantly changing light from more or less dense clouds greet us. Because we don’t want to miss anything, we start our first tour right after arrival, despite a certain tiredness.

    The first building that caught  our eyes is the opera. Built with Carrara marble is white.

    Operaen Oslo (Opera house) © Julian Köpke
    Operaen Oslo (Opera house) © Julian Köpke

    A sculpture in the middle of the harbor attracted me. It took me some moments to see the resemblance to a painting of Caspar David Friedrich („Eismeer“).

    Failed Hope (Sculpture inspired by "Eismeer" by C.D. Friedrich). A flexible mounted sculpture in the harbour of Oslo. Light is different every moment: it will be never the same. © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  General,  Travel

    Fragile in Amsterdam

    A lot of things are falling apart these days. We feel how fragile we are. How do you show fragility in a picture ?

    Entering the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a new, modern entrance area has been created. Light and shadow in rapid succession through concrete door arches.

    Entrance Rijksmuseum Amsterdam © Julian Köpke

    The arches are unadorned, yet the eye clings to them. Despite – or due to ? – the simple concept, every perspective offers new impression.

    Entrance Rijksmuseum Amsterdam © Julian Köpke

    A still life painting (not „life style“) may be irritating by its compositional elements, like objects at the edge of a table top. Just these elements evokes a feeling of fragility. The next image is a photograph I made in the museum without tripod as indicated. The painting by Willem Claeszoon Heda was about 1635. It is a Vanitas theme, 13 years before the end of a 80 years long war in Netherlands, the end coinciding with the 30 years long war in Germany 1648.

    Nature morte Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands By Willem Claeszoon Heda 1635. Photograph. © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  General,  Heidelberg,  Long time exposure,  Motion Blur,  reflection

    Old Bridge Heidelberg

    The Old Bridge in Heidelberg has the same attraction to visitors as the Charles Bridge in Prague or th Bridge to the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. Not everyone that the connective building between the two white towers houses an apartment. You come to the bridge early in the morning, you’re almost alone. This lonelyness is especially emphasized by a single walker.

    Old Bridge Heidelberg overcast © Julian Köpke

    The morning calm is reinforced by the fog. Even the car traffic is not so loud as usual. Maybe the noise will decrease even more with electric cars. That would do us good. The view form the bridge downstream shows ships tied up on the shore. Only a few rowers are on the river with trainers whose voices hardly penetrate.

    White Fleet berthed on River Neckar in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke
    Old tub on River Neckar © Julian Köpke

    The castle exercises the rule over the city. The strong contrast of the castle ruins over the roofs off the Old Town on the river bank is attenuated by the morning mist.

    Heidelberg Castle, Old Town and River Neckar © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  General,  Heidelberg,  Texture

    Heidelberg Castle

    the Heidelberg Castle is world-famous and famous for the romantic feelings it triggers. Anyone who comes to the city in spring or early summer enjoys a mild warmth and a light wind that flows through the Neckar Valley.

    In autumn, the winds that hits the photographer is icy cold and the facial masks that you have recently at hand are a welcome support in taking pictures. The warm colors of the following photographs deceive one of them.

    Fog in the valley of river Neckar at Heidelberg (sunrise over Old Bridge). © Julian Köpke

    The warmth of the Neckar gives rise to considerable early mist during a cold night, which stretches over the trees to the south and west. The mists also reach the Heidelberg Castle, which subsequently appears a little more romantic and ruined.

    The Heidelberg Castle in the morning mist © Julian Köpke
    The Heidelberg Castle in the morning mist © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  Monochrome,  Travel

    Surprising light

    Looking for a photo opportunity I stumbled over a burial site which is not far from the part of Stuttgart I grew up for several years. I had the chance to test a back for my Phase One. So I visited the grave monument of Württemberg commissioned by Wilhelm I. for his beloved wife Queen Catharina Pavlovna.

    On a sunny day at noon each cam works nice. Hence, for a testing opportunity, the decision to photograph the vault or crypt was made quickly. And she paid off.

    Burial site of Catharina Pavlovna Stuttgart © Julian Köpke

    The central hall is covered by a dome roof, which makes a clear allusion to the Pantheon in Rome. The top of the dome in Rome is open. As a result, the influence of the weather is directly perceptible within the sacred space. In Swabia, with lot of rain and occasional snow, a glass dome was chosen as the end.

    My 35mm lens is on my Phase One equivalent to 22mm full frame sensor. The following image is a single shot without a tripod. No HDR technique was applied.

    Dome roof a the burial site of Catharina Pavlovna Stuttgart © Julian Köpke

    In the tomb one floor deeper, the main person of this burial site is presented with a bust on which a fresh flower had been draped laterally. The delicacy of the flower and its color was impressive. Who put the flower there ?

    Bust of Catharina I, Queen of Württemberg © Julian Köpke

    Bright electric light bulbs were placed in front of the sarcophage of Catharina and her husband so that a visitor could read the inscription. Dark corners are present as well as moderately bright spots.

    Sarkophage of Catharina and Wilhelm © Julian Köpke

    It was hard for me to leave the building, which had given me so many different and actually tricky light conditions, so close beneath together. Each image was obtained handheld, without tripod or flash, of course.

    Leaving the chapel on Württemberg © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  Travel,  World at night

    Japan, mon amour

    New love. New feelings. Less than one day in Japan. Tokyo means architecture like a mountain range. Food like a fair of flavors. Mild temperatures in the urban area. Some warm rain now and then.

    Tokyo Bay View © Julian Köpke

    Have I seen this before ?  Hasn’t it been bigger ? The statue of liberty in Tokyo. Obaida: a skywalk for people and photographers.

    Statue of liberty in Tokyo © Julian Köpke
    Spider Men in Obaida enjoying Tokyo © Julian Köpke

    A short night after a dinner in a typical restaurant. For the first time dining without shoes. Sitting low, feet underneath our tables. Lights, clouds and fog. Silence. Some sleep. Getting some rest.

    Tokyo at night © Julian Köpke

    Dawn is coming. Pleasant change through translation in space and time. We are not lost.

    Early morning in Tokyo © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  reflection,  Travel

    Sinking ship

    A reflection often leads me to a contemplation. That’s what happened to me today at the Berlin Reichstag.

    At the shore of river Spree in Berlin are mounted plates to commemorate those who had been killed when trying to reach freedom. When photographing a reflection in a window front of the Berlin House of Representatives this reflection appeared slightly tilted and looked like a sinking ship.

    Was the death of these people now pointless ?

    What is the point of an overpopulated Reichstag, where the groups in dispute have lost fundamental commonalities and goals ?

    Reflection or consideration: past and future in a window reflection ? Fall of the building Reichstag ? © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  Travel

    Port cranes in Heilbronn

    Cranes have always fascinated me. When I was a little boy, I could watch her work for hours. When I arrived at the garden exhibition in Heilbronn, I initially only had eyes for the two harbour cranes that were unloading the cargo of sand from a ship.

    The old cranes look historic, but were still in service. I especially liked their green and yellow and the many ropes with which the shovel from the boom reached into the ship to pack the goods.

    Harbour cranes Heilbronn © Julian Köpke
    Harbour cranes Heilbronn © Julian Köpke