• 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
  • Monochrome,  Travel

    Tree in the sky

    We went to see our daughter Melitta today on the occasion of a first service after the lockdown, supported by her singing. Well, there’s always enough room in a church for appropriate seating during the service. We were downstairs, she was in the gallery. Moving half-way up, I captured the following image with the morning light from behind. Doubt and fright are best transported with the help of a slight desaturation.

    St. Stephan Würzburg © Julian Köpke

    On the square of reconciliation in front of the church St. Stephan in Würzburg there are coarse stones arranged into a kind of bursting structure. They are supposed to represent an opening bloom, which was formed from building blocks of the Third Reich. Its title is „The March of the Blocks“. A conciliatory act in this time of 100,000 victories over the Nazis. 

    March of the blocks - monument of reconciliation. St. Stephan Würzburg © Julian Köpke

    Less color in the first image gives a more natural feel to the content. The play of light and dark in the second image reflects the severity and harshness of its subject.

    Having left the church and the square of reconciliation a symmetry of branches caught my eye. The composition was just right for me to pre-visualize a print. Color in this image didn’t make sense to me. That way I found my inner balance.

    Symmetrical branches © Julian Köpke
  • Long time exposure,  Monochrome,  Travel

    Origin and destination

    On the penultimate day of our Out of Yosemite conference in Yosemite Valley, the Bridalveil Fall with Charlotte Gibb as instructor was on the agenda that Saturday morning at 6am. I hoped that by participating in her workshop I would gain a less technical or more creative approach to photography of waterfalls.

    She gave us the topic of long time exposure in the preliminary discussion. The spot offers little freedom of movement. There was not much room for all of us, and on top that there were every now and then some people walking around in our compositions.

    Bridal Veil fall © Julian Köpke

    Bridalveil Fall shows a strong variability of location due to the influence of air movement. Especially at sunrise you can clearly feel the rising winds. So you don’t have much time for camera setup. An ensemble of stones in the waterfall can all of a sudden become dry and the composition becomes useless. In return, the neighbouring region becomes dripping wet and appears in a new light.

    Bridal Veil fall © Julian Köpke
    Bridal Veil fall © Julian Köpke

    I know pictures from long time exposures with moving water. They’re interseting sometimes. I rarely find them really good. Often they exhibit a strong technical assessment and their message ist not really accessible to me.

    I begann to study sections of the waterfall, which meant that the rock formations in the composition always showed a new character. That way many compositions can be made.

    Bridalveil Fall © Julian Köpke

    Probably an image that expresses changeability and constancy is best suited to make us think about the origin of the world. Planets orbiting their central star are a well known example for this. Or stars that orbit the black hole of our Milky Way in 11 years.

    My last picture of Bridalveil Fall, with its interplay of light and dark, of flowing and solidification, steps and flow, forms and dissolution of forms, shows the coexistence of changeability and constancy. That’s what makes it so attractive to me.

  • Landscape,  Monochrome,  Texture,  Travel,  Yosemite National Park

    New workflow

    The eye is easily deceived. Especially when working at a screen. Early printing, starting with low contrast, simultaneous editing of several images, pausing is part of Charles („Charly“) Cramers recipes. The necessary development times in the analogue laboratory, not least the drying process, always forced the photographer to interrupt. Brain always takes some time to understand.

    And he gave strong arguments against the prejudice, analog photography meant no image manipulation. In contrary, every image processing has always been manipulation.

    Bridal Veil Creek © Julian Köpke

    This day ended up with 100 GB of RAW image data. Work for a year to process them. With some winds below Bridal Veil Fall there was a movement of the camera that can be seen.

    Bridal Veil Fall © Julian Köpke

    So often I had good photo opportunities at Valley View. So it was today. A golden light from the setting sun shone for us, lit some bushes and warmed up the rocks.

    Light on bushes at Valley View © Julian Köpke

    The rise of a full moon took place at sunset. Only with a 9 EV HDR the light could be captured. It was a wonderful evening. Only hunger could us make driving back to our lodge.

    Full Moon at Valley View in Yosemite Valley © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Monochrome,  Travel,  Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite Valley

    We are one day earlier in Yosemite Valley, meaning two days extra in this beautiful spot. Yesterday has already been a gorgeous afternoon. Lower Yosemite Fall had been our first walking destination.

    Lower Yoemite Fall © Julian Köpke

    This morning we made a short tour to Valley View, Tunnel View and Bridal veil fall. 

    Valley View Yosemite Valley © Julian Köpke
    Tunnel view at Yosemite Valley © Julian Köpke

    After recovering from carrying around lots of gear I expected the Moonrise to be at 4 o’clock. Just a 2 minutes walk down to the banks of Merced river were good to reach a wonderful spot.

    Moonrise in Yosemite Valley © Julian Köpke

    At the end of the day there is usually a total break down of any WiFi connectivity here in Yosemite Valley. Like this evening.

  • flowers,  Monochrome,  X-Ray

    Snowdrops X-ray photo

    I’ve never waited for snowdrops before. Inconspicuous and boring flowers. Strength of marsh mallows. The colors of a cold green and opaque white.

    From my father-in-law’s garden we just dug up some freshly flowering specimen of snowdrops, at the roots the soil of his garden, which he can no longer cultivate.

    My technician and I made a mammography of it, with low Voltage and lots of photons. The whole afternoon I could breathe in the scent of these flowers while working.

    Snowdrop X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Monochrome,  X-Ray

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement

    Today was a day of dense work and many technical problems. The day before I had made some flower arrangements for Christmas from my preferred flower dealer. A technician took me some X-rays so I could study the exposure values when my wirk was finished.

    The following two I liked most.

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement photo © Julian Köpke

    The vase on the right side seems to hover over the ground.

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement photo © Julian Köpke
  • Monochrome,  X-Ray

    X-ray photo of a ball from snail shells

    Today’s fun was the X-ray of a sphere of snail shells, which I found as decoration in my sister-in-law’s house. It was immediately clear to me that the spherical structure of the glued snail shells would become a great X-ray image.

    The original X-ray version with a black background is dark and strong. The whole thing looks like a picture of a virus. Nobody would ever think that it was a polystyrene sphere to which snail shells had been glued.

    X-ray photo of a ball from snail shells © Julian Köpke

    In the inverted version, the object comes to the fore much more as an independent unit. A flu virus ? A plant seed ?

    X-ray photo of a ball from snail shells L-channel inverted © Julian Köpke
  • Monochrome,  World at night

    Dark Earth, blazing sky, vast universe

    Every time the moon wanes and an ever narrower crescent becomes visible, we enjoy the sight of an almost perfect circular disk with a narrowly illuminated edge. Due to the nearby elevations of the Kraichgau around the Königstuhl, the moon rises here in Rohrbach later as the announcements of the observation programs indicate. Yesterday, short after 6 o’clock in the morning I obtained the following image, drunk with sleep, no tripod, camera settings still correct for Japan, and an empty battery. Some of the treetops of the pine forest are faintly illuminated and can be seen directly under the moon.

    Near New Moon in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke

    The photographic repetition the next morning with an even narrower crescent moon spurred my ambition on. The visibility should start about 50 minutes later. After the end of daylight saving time at three o’clock in the morning it was almost the same time on the clock as the day before.

    If it hadn’t been for the clouds ! No moon visible at all. The clouds divided the world into three parts with visible stars and darkness of the night still over the city: dark earth, blazing sky, and the perceptible vastness of the universe.

    Dark Earth - blazing Sky - vast Universe © Julian Köpke
    Dark Earth - Blazing Sky - Vast Universe © Julian Köpke
    Dark Earth - Blazing Sky - Vast Universe © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Monochrome,  X-Ray

    X-ray photos of grapes and sunflowers

    Grapes as an object of X-raying have been inspiring me for a long time. Their structure remind the doctor of the azini of a gland or lung. The phycisist likes very much the partial and complete overlays alternating with free positions. As an artist I get an unbelievable freedom of image design.

    My first X-ray imaging attempts with grapes were carried aout in October 2017. I’d forgotten !

    Can something succesful be repeated ? Can it be deepened ? What is the power of the composition ?

    Grapes picture in Hologic calendar September 2019 © Julian Köpke
    Grapes - creative representation of an X-ray with Lab color © Julian Köpke
    Grape X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    Two days ago I tried toput my creativity into the composition. Two pictures were taken from grapes which differ only slightly. Their X-ray view on our monitor had a clearly different effect.

    Grapes X-ray photo X-ray mammography photo © Julian Köpke
    Grapes composition II X-ray mammography photo © Julian Köpke

    My colleague by chance showed up with a bouquet of small sunflowers with long stalks. Amazing opportunity !

    I dedicate this X-ray of a bouquet of sunflowers to my colleague Dr. Arendt. © Julian Köpke
    Bouquet of Sunflowers X-ray photo © Julian Köpke