• General,  Macro,  reflection

    Infinity

    Everyone has an idea about infinity. Infinity always confronts us with the question of wether we can see or recognize it at all. Modern mathematics knows that infinite series of numbers may well have a finite limit. The ancient greeks had realized that Achilles will always outrun a tortoise, but they couldn’t prove it. For the solution remained hidden.

    Photographing a single, well reflecting steel sphere I got on the surface pointing to my macro lens a distorted image of the surrounding. One can see the tree in our garden, the lens and the tripod of my equipment, even the photographer’s legs are visible. That’s why I think it’s sort of a selfie.

    Photographic world on a steel ball © Julian Köpke

    Immediately, I thought of my friend Harold, who had worked a lot on photographing water drops and who had made a book about the photography of water drops. In the juxtaposition of several water drops the environment is displayed several times side by side in the drops.

    Well, this happens as well, if you place two well reflecting steel balls side by side. So far, there is nothing unexpected.

    On closer inspection, the opposite sides of the spheres show further images of the surroundings slightly outside the original image, well visible on the tree. These images of the tree become smaller and smaller lying within the circular image of the first reflection.

    An infinite series of images in one picture is created by the reflection on the surface of two adjacent steel spheres. As the reflected images become smaller and smaller, the total area of the image is finite. A similar effect is known with water drops as well.

    Close look of an infinite reflection on a steel sphere © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Heidelberg,  Landscape,  reflection

    Snow and sunshine

    It is a nice experience to walk the same path under changing light conditions at daily distance. In winter there is not much botanically happening, only the snow can be more or less – or the fog. The possibilities of imaging with a camera essentially change with the extent of the available light. A sunny day shows a maximum of available light.

    Does sunlight make a picture atmospheric ? With cloudy skies or even some fog, the conditions for background and foreground change substantially and pictures without sunlight can be be very varied and gain a special depth of expression.

    Sunlit snowy branches © Julian Köpke

    The above image shows: shadows during a day with a blue sky are blue, too.

    The detection of expressive light situations without a tripod and without HDR technology requires a limited amount of light that the sensor can still process with out blown-out lights or drown depths.

    Snowfall in the clearing © Julian Köpke
    Winter walk in the snowy forest © 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
  • General,  Macro,  Monochrome,  reflection

    Reflection II

    Most of what we do see with our eyes is a reflection. Any light from a bouquet of flowers is just reflection. Looking through a bottle shows beside reflection some refraction.  The only exception, where we don’t see reflected light is e.g. offered by an open fire or a light bulb. The sight of a star also shows direct light, which is usually subject to refraction due to the atmosphere.

    Our eyes seem to absorb the light when we see. In fact, they can also reflect the incident light. We know this phenomenon from cat images that we have mistakenly photographed with a flash light. 

    Sitting in front of me my right eye is on the viewers left side and the left eye is on its right side. The instrument uses a red and a green laser at a harmless energy dose.

    Fundus of right eye seen in red and green laser light © Julian Köpke
    Fundus of left eye seen in red and green laser light © Julian Köpke

    With different wave lengths of a laser an ophthalmologist is able to see different structures of the fundus and uses this property for diagnostic purposes. Looking at the green color only that stems from the green laser, the result is a monochrome image that shows vessels of the surface of the retina and smalls nerves joining the papilla.

    Fundus of right eye seen in green laser light © Julian Köpke
    Fundus of left eye seen in green laser light © Julian Köpke

    Looking at the red channel displaying the reflections of the red laser light, monochrome images show deep vessels behind the retina.

    Fundus of right eye seen in red laser light © Julian Köpke
    Fundus of left eye seen in red laser light © Julian Köpke

    Beside the medical point of view there is an aesthetic one, too. Dr. Gösele, to whom I owe these beautiful pictures, confirmed to me the impression of an astronomical night shot, which other viewers also feel. With a courageous crop you get there:

    At a certain crop the fundus of a human eye seen in laser light resembles and emission nebula with a star in its center. © Julian Köpke

    This is how the central part of my sensor looks like when creating photographs or X-rays. My wife immediately urged me not to fall into a narcissistic trap ….

  • reflection

    Reflection

    The word „reflection“ has a double meaning. It describes the mental process of thinking and the physical process of mirroring.  In the German language the same sounding word is written in two different ways. Reflection meaning thinking in German language is written with an x (Reflexion).

    The image in a mirror or a reflection of a water surface makes us thinking. That’s a pleasant quality. So I got attracted by some leaves on a water surface of a fountain in the well preserved older part of Weinheim.

    These leaves showed a beauty of color and a sense of rest. They seem to float motionless and at the same time flow slowly with the water. This is an image of time.

    Autumn leaves © Julian Köpke
    Autumn leaves © Julian Köpke
    Autumn leaves © Julian Köpke
  • Motion Blur,  reflection

    Expanding universe

    With these pictures, I attempt to take the water in a fountain the scale by using macro technique. Additionally, through different exposure speed the structure of the photographed water was changing at the same time, which made me think of the early phases of the expanding universe.

    By pure coincidence, there is a help for the scale, because a little blue tit passed by the fountain. The exposure was too long to get an unblurred image of the bird. With the size of the bird in mind, you can estimate the size of the fountain.

    Blue tit at my fountain reveals the scale of my fountain universe © Julian Köpke
    Reflections in a fountain: birth of a universe emerging from a black hole © Julian Köpke

    Blurry images look soft, the water more like a wad of cotton wool, the colors more like watercolors. The shorter the exposure speed was, the more the surface of the water appeared and the reflections from inside got more clear and distinct. Increasing structure reminded me of the early phases of our universe.

    At the end of this process I found a crystal, the water surface and the reflected color from inside structurizing it. I couldn’t stop admiring the structures that appeared to my eye when photographing the fountain.

    The increasing darkness during sunset interrupted my joy of discovery. Only the observation of the stars would still be able to mean an increase.

    Reflections in a fountain: Crystal structure © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Macro,  reflection

    Play of colors and light

    In our garden is a small fountain just beneath a hedge. A remarkable number of birds showed up to drink or to take a shower in it. The urge of the birds to bathe there was always stronger than the fear of our presence. What do they see in the fountain ? I couldn’t imagine an answer until today.

    Great Titmouse (Kohlmeise) © Julian Köpke
    Crow in our garden © Julian Köpke

    Today I made macro images of the fountain with a wide variation of exposure values to find a small world within it. Many of my fountain images remind me of the night sky and its wonders. Sometimes I had to think of our universe.

    The birds might see this ? I cannot be sure. But they are not blind, for sure.

    A macro of our fountain appears like a painting under many exposure conditions. A first glance of four images is presented here. 

  • Landscape,  reflection,  Travel

    Ammersee in wintertime

    Our last day should be sunny. It started foggy with the rising sun. Landscape photography gets painterly without much processing efforts. 

    Church St. Martin in Herrsching © Julian Köpke

    Some kilometers further in Aidenried we explored our well known landing stage. Attracted by an impressive reflection of the Marienmünster in Dießen I made two compositions. The first contains just the central part of the second image.

    Marienmünster with fog in winter © Julian Köpke

    Before leaving this spot the second image contains a more outlined cross composition. Both images remind of colored old engravings.

    Winter morning with fog at Ammersee (Marienmünster) © Julian Köpke

    After a walk along the newly piled up dam it became afternoon and the light more reddish. From the landing stage of Seehaus Riederau we could see the Alps at the horizon.

    Alps behind Ammersee © 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