• Landscape,  Long time exposure,  Motion Blur

    Painted waves at Kampen, Sylt

    Looking at waves captivates us just as much as looking at an open fire. Digital photography provides us with very short shutter speeds or exposure times static, better: frozen images of the ups and downs of water movements.

    There are no creative limits when trying to extend exposure times (or shutter speeds) instead of further shortening them, at most technical ones. Longer exposure times merge several moments of water movement and thus paradoxically have a dynamic effect, meaning a look and feel of a movement.

    There is no right or wrong exposure time. There is a special impression for each exposure time in the fusion image of several moments.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. By experimenting with a neutral density filter of 10 EV I managed to get at a not too long exposure time of 1/4s to 1/3s making waves look like painted. With only economical digital post-processing worth seeing images were created.

  • Landscape,  Long time exposure,  Motion Blur,  Travel

    Island in the sun

    Always changing weather conditions is normal on Sylt, the northern most island of Germany. Heat, winds and rain alternate continuously. Just arrived I had to go straight to the beach, where clouds and sun welcomed me at the same time.

    On the beach of Westerland © Julian Köpke

    The on average better weather awaits one in the north, the so-called elbow, a peninsula near List. A lot of unused beach chairs with low numbers are standing there.

    Beach at so-called ellbow near List, Sylt © Julian Köpke

    Some 40 km south one finds the south tip of Sylt with its characteristic lighthouse. Many lighthouses can be found on this island, which is surrounded by sandbanks and often changing flow conditions of the water at low or high tide.

    Lighthouse at south end of Sylt (Hörnum) © Julian Köpke

    A beach walk is accompanied by many birds, seagulls mostly, but also cormorants or sandpipers. Sometimes you flush them out unvoluntarily and they fly wildly confused.

    Seagulls at Hörnum (Sylt) © Julian Köpke

    Cyclists become tiny like ants against the seemingly overpowering clouds. Without mountains one loses any scale.

    Clouds hanging over the dike at Rantum polder © Julian Köpke

    Experimenting with longtime exposure my first results of waves at the beaches are not yet convincing. Three seconds turn out to be a vivid interval of the time fusion on my sensor.

    Time fusion waves Dikjen Deel (3s), Sylt © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Long, long ago, far, far away

    In a time long, long ago in a land far, far away. A fairy tale could start like this. The feeling of a fairy tale creeps me more and more when I think back to the time in February with my friend Harold photographing in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

    Without doubt, distance is not a purely physical matter. The physical distance is increased by the impossibility of visiting him due to a microscopic being that causes overwhelming damage in his country. Not only the health of many is affected, but also the economic prospects are terrible.

    Harold and I had after a 5 days workshop in Yosemite Valley a peaceful evening in the fields near Caliente (CA). It was silent, only little noise penetrated our ears. The smell of meadows wafted somewhere. We were still protected and did not know.

    Evening at Caliente CA © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Long time exposure,  Monochrome,  Motion Blur,  Travel

    Leaving in a rush

    I didn’t what would happen this rainy day. But the waves and surf on the mole was so beautiful, that I forgot the time.

    All of a sudden I got an  text without possibility to answer or to ask back. Transfer tomorrow cancelled. Nothing special in the world, but my friend was in need to reach Lucerne tomorrow.

    Heavy winds at Heligoland force us to leave earlier. © Julian Köpke

    Back in my hotel I got everything organized: a ferry boat at 6pm, a train to Hamburg tonight, 2 single rooms for Monald and me in a nice hotel at the harbor. And a gorgeous day for photographers extra in Hamburg. I could keep cool blood all the time. My allergic reactions to pollen had left me in Heligoland once more immediately. It’s been worth the break with a lot of travelling, having a good friend with me.

    Two short days and much recreation. We will have a lot of fun with the next waves to come this evening.

    Welkoam iip lunn - Pier Heligoland © Julian Köpke
    Pier Helgoland © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Gone with the wind

    The title of the novel „Gone with the wind“ comes from a half line of the poem „Cynara“ by the British poet Ernest Dowson, who spent most of his life in France. His verses were translated to German by Stefan George. Arnold Schönberg and Frederick Delius set selected poems to music.

    The author of the novel, Margret Mitchell, was well-read and knew the melancholy character of „Cynara“. The reception of her novel in the 1930s saw a resilient and admirable Scarlett O’Hara and a wonderful life in the southern states before the war. The ambivalence of the protagonist’s character and the unhappy end of the novel faded into the background. By the filming 1939 this neglect was still solidified.

    The new translation into German from 2020, based on the 1936 edition (The Macmillan Company), adapts the author’s original intention of a clear and simple language. With a sometimes cruel relentlessness, the work depicts an American condition of life: the shaping of personality through money. This opens the reception of a realistically written development novel about a young women from the American South who is exposed to strongly changing living conditions before, during and after the war from 1860 to 1872. 

    My friend Harold led me on our way to The Pinnacles and Trona to a spot with several freight trains on sidings. Around us a sometimes close and then again distant sandstorm. From above the midday sun in a dusty haze. Immediately I felt the disaster of a broken economic cycle, which affects the entrepreneur and the workers alike.

    Trains on sidings © Julian Köpke
    Trains on sidings © Julian Köpke

    Eventually, these trains will be gone with the wind, too. A straight ahead leading track made me the illusion of a still running business, because the switch was set correctly. And a railroad crossing was also present.

    Tracks, points and siding © Julian Köpke
    Railroad crossing Mojave © Julian Köpke

    I really don’t know what goes on with these trains. Maybe, a private company runs them to mine rare earths. Or, they are standing there for 30 years doing nothing. No money to make with it. Has this sight been a premonition of the current crisis that could leave us in a state of disintegration and decay ?

    Trains on a siding © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Landscape,  Travel

    Blossom ends, friendship lasts

    It’s been for two weeks and two days, every day very special and filled with exciting photographic moments. Two men got closer about photography, art and life. It’s over now. We had to go home.

    On a turn-out along the I5 near Lost Hills we stopped to change drivers. There we found fields of blooming almond trees with a lovely and sweet fragrance in the air. Following a verdict attributed to John Wayne („A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do“) we immediately grabbed our cameras and did what photographers have to do.

    Almond trees in bud © Julian Köpke

    After a certain amount of time, when the almond blossom is over, Harold’s and my friendship will last and life gets even better. Provided you like almonds and you don’t have any dietary restrictions.

  • Landscape,  Travel

    Zion

    The region around Zion National Park is already more and more beautiful. Taking a short hike to the overlook and finally to Virgin Narrows were our last spots for this travel.

    Zion Canyon overlook © Julian Köpke
    Virgin narrows trail © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Texture,  Travel

    Road to Kanab

    Farewell to Maob, farewell to Eric. He knew every inch of this place like the back of his hand. Everybody goes in his direction. New friends, few words.

    Our destination for the day is Page, we finally reach Kanab. Short branch out to the Valley of the Gods. It’s a lovely place, a bit of haze, not the best of light.

    Valley of the Gods © Julian Köpke

    Before the border to Arizona the rocks of Monument Valley build up and we let it pass us over a pass road.

    Monument Valley pass road © Julian Köpke

    This region belongs to the Navajo nativ Americans. A tribal park is signposted. A packed car stops beneath us, a young man likely nativ steps out and begs for money in obscure language. His tongue is lame, probably due to the long-term effects of incorporated substances. Sad.

    Monument Valley pass road © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Tower Arch

    It is not the worst thing to have a light and variable cloudiness with sunny parts dominating the day. Our first stop is Needles Overlook, which offers another opportunity to see the erosion of Colorado River.

    Needles Overlook © Julian Köpke
    Needles Overlook © Julian Köpke

    In the afternoon we drove our car, which had been baptized Blue Ganesha, a road to Tower Arch that was only approved to 4WD. Thanks to the excellent driving skills of our driver Eric, we not only reached the finish line, but also found our way back to the hotel. He was entitled for a free dinner.

    Tower arch is a rock formation that resembles an islamic fortress. Only few reached this place. Good for photographers.

    Sunset at Tower Arch © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Arches National Park

    In Arches National Park one is ubiquitously filled with beauty. Unfortunately not everything can be reproduced photographically. Only some things lead to beautiful images.

    The raven was not alone. The birds had specialized in parking lots. They should not be fed, of course.

    Raven at Balanced Rock © Julian Köpke

    The red rocks ar richly structured. Some structures were created in millions of years by the erosion of the water, some by rockfall. The Green River and the Colorado River meet here and form a confluence.

    Arches National Park © Julian Köpke

    Famous became Balanced Rock. The picture explains everything.

    Balanced Rock Moab Arches Ntl Park © Julian Köpke

    Near the Courthouse Tower. You can guess how judges deliberate.

    Courthouse Towers Arches Ntl Park © Julian Köpke

    The Arches National Park is located between the Henry Mountains in the west and the La Sal Mountains in the east.

    La Sal Mountains © Julian Köpke