Dahlia X-ray photogram © Julian KöpkeDahlia X-ray photogram © Julian KöpkeRose mammography X-ray positive photography © Julian KöpkeRose mammography X-ray positive photography © Julian KöpkeHow I can see my personal favourite chocolate before I open it © Julian KöpkeHow I can see my personal favourite chocolate before I open it © Julian KöpkeBlack swan: pumpkins and fir cones X-ray photo © Julian KöpkeBlack swan: pumpkins and fir cones X-ray photo © Julian KöpkeOak leaves with acorns X-ray photo L-inversion © Julian KöpkeOak leaves with acorns X-ray photo L-inversion © Julian KöpkeX-ray photo of a ball from snail shells L-channel inverted © Julian KöpkeX-ray photo of a ball from snail shells L-channel inverted © Julian KöpkeGrape X-ray photo © Julian KöpkeGrape X-ray photo © Julian KöpkeSpider conch (lambis lambis) © Julian KöpkeSpider conch (lambis lambis) © Julian KöpkeX-ray three tulips © Julian KöpkeX-ray three tulips © Julian KöpkeEnergy difference X-ray photo of a Nautilus shell. The fusion image is the difference of a 70kV and a 40 kV image in X-ray positive representation. © Julian KöpkeEnergy difference X-ray photo of a Nautilus shell. The fusion image is the difference of a 70kV and a 40 kV image in X-ray positive representation. © Julian KöpkeDigital X-ray photo of a sunflower (inverted representation). © Julian KöpkeDigital X-ray photo of a sunflower (inverted representation). © Julian KöpkeX-Ray positive of a Nautilus with flowers as Argonauts © Julian KöpkeX-Ray positive of a Nautilus with flowers as Argonauts © Julian KöpkeOdyssey (light inversion) © Julian KöpkeOdyssey (light inversion) © Julian KöpkeOdyssey © Julian KöpkeOdyssey © Julian Köpke
Mountain chain Eiger Mönch Jungfrau. There will be a weather change. © Julian KöpkeMountain chain Eiger Mönch Jungfrau. There will be a weather change. © Julian Köpke2020 Tunnel View and Bridalveil Fall © Julian Köpke2020 Tunnel View and Bridalveil Fall © Julian KöpkeVilla d'Este, Tivoli © Julian KöpkeVilla d'Este, Tivoli © Julian KöpkeCrepuscular light at Heceta Head © Julian KöpkeCrepuscular light at Heceta Head © Julian KöpkeBlack Forest near Hinterzarten © Julian KöpkeBlack Forest near Hinterzarten © Julian KöpkeDettifoss detail western drop edge © Julian KöpkeDettifoss detail western drop edge © Julian KöpkeSkogafoss time fusion. Walking behind the curtain. © Julian KöpkeSkogafoss time fusion. Walking behind the curtain. © Julian KöpkeMoonrise in Yosemite Valley © Julian KöpkeMoonrise in Yosemite Valley © Julian KöpkeBridal Veil fall © Julian KöpkeBridal Veil fall © Julian KöpkeFarmstead in the Black Forest © Julian KöpkeFarmstead in the Black Forest © Julian KöpkeTori in Heidelberg (Kumamoto) © Julian KöpkeTori in Heidelberg (Kumamoto) © Julian KöpkeLemon balm leaves on ice © Julian KöpkeLemon balm leaves on ice © Julian KöpkeTufts of grass © Julian KöpkeTufts of grass © Julian KöpkeFern bright © Julian KöpkeFern bright © Julian KöpkeFern © Julian KöpkeFern © Julian KöpkeForest floor © Julian KöpkeForest floor © Julian KöpkeLight and shades of grey © Julian KöpkeLight and shades of grey © Julian Köpke
Silver leaf © Julian KöpkeHeucheria leaf © Julian KöpkeFern © Julian KöpkeThuja conifer © Julian KöpkeThuja (Abendländischer Lebensbaum) © Julian KöpkeClematis I © Julian KöpkeTendrils © Julian KöpkePoppy capsule © Julian KöpkeBlooming thistle at the former railroad tracks © Julian KöpkePoppy © Julian KöpkeBlossfeldt Acorn © Julian KöpkeVetch © Julian Köpke
If you ever have the opportunity to see the work of the photographic pioneer Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932), then perhaps you will also be as moved and fascinated as I am time and again. In 2014, Taschen-Verlag Cologne published a book about him entitled „Karl Blossfeldt The Complete Published Work“ (ISBN 978-3-8365-5072-7), which I have kept near my bedside table for years.
Karl Blossfeldt was interested in the forms that occur in nature and which he understood as „archetypes“. His main work was published in 1928 under the title „Urformen der Natur“ (translated version as „Art Forms in Nature“, 1928) and became an international bestseller.
On his way to college, he collected plants that he used as a source of inspiration for his work as a professor of decorative arts. His photographic works are monochromatic and usually made by placing the object on photosensitive paper. Technically, therefore, they are actually to be addressed as photograms and not as photographs, because the image was not based on any imaging optics. X-ray images are also photograms, but with a central beam geometry. Therefore, in a very free interpretation, Karl Blossfeldt’s works could be placed in the middle between photography and X-ray images.
The images in this gallery are created with photographic optics and a digital sensor. Photographs of plants or better: parts of plants, which highlight selected structures, are excellently suited for a monochrome presentation. Harold Davis describes one way of creating the look-and-feel of a Blossfeldt image with the help of a photograph. Harold calls the result „The Blossfeldt effect“.
4 bars of chocolate were meant as a reward for a calendar of the year 2023. To eat, of course. However, it is a special pleasure to subject them to an X-ray examination with the mammography before opening them. After three attempts, I placed them on top of each other, which is why their penetration with radiation required 20% more energy so that the image was not underexposed.
What happens to green leaves when I turn them into black and white? Again and again I photographed ferns. During a hike in the Black Forest I photographed groups of different leaves with different shades of green and brightness.
The result was clear to me beforehand. I had found such an idea in the images of Ansel Adams.
Less subtle is the following motif with a wooden bench for tired hikers. In this image the fern, the bench and the stone marker are the brightest objects.
Different hues of green lead to different levels of brightness in the black and white cosmos. Our destination for the day was Lake Buhlbach, which unfortunately could no longer be circumnavigated on foot in the newly opened national park.
The basic question of the creative photographer is, wether the representation of a photograph is literal or a departure from reality as projected in his „mind’s eye“. An expressive image is photographer’s goal. When the interaction of the different factors of exposure, aperture and camera characteristics is well understood, creative freedom knows no limits. Positively speaking: the sky is the limit.
The scenario of an almost threatening thunderstorm cloud, which, however, is still in a protective distance, is sometimes surprising on the beach. The tetrapods on my image will protect the island from flooding, but not us from rain.
A colored picture blurs this impression completely. Black and white rendering clearly shows the energy inherent in a thundercloud. We came across this cloud at Hörnum and it accompanied us all along the beach.
Just a short time before, I managed to capture the impression of a constantly beautiful weather with a cool wind and gentle waves. A strong sun pushes away all dark thoughts. On the horizon, the clouds are raining a bit.
Many times we are waiting. We like to draw strength from contemplation. Time is passing by imperceptibly, almost a little too fast.
With color photos expressive images can also be created. The true brightness values of a color image like to deceive our eyes. Quantitative estimation with the help of Lab color display is a great help in the accurate determination of brightness values. To make an image look like I had it in my „mind’s eye“.
An idea of Ansel Adams regarding the reality of a photo keeps me captive. His best photos, as he writes in hisbook “The Negative”, are often described by viewers as truly realistic. But they’re not. On the contrary. These would often have been the most intensively worked on by him.
He repeatedly insists in this book that the best images would have been those in which he left reality in the processing to show what he wanted to show or felt.
I am often impressed by the clouds passing by or the play of clouds in the sky. In a colored picture, I don’t quite succeed in directing the weight of the picture to the clouds in the sky. Despite the use of filters with and without gradients, the color image is beautifully colored and bright, but the desired focus is lost. With black and white pictures, it seems to be easier.
I wanted to study shadows of simple bodies again today. It all started with an egg last week. The shadow of last week’s egg photo was ring-shaped. I noticed that, but it didn’t bother me. Could the ring shape of the shadow be overcome by skillful selection of light and would the backside of the egg lie entirely in the shadow? This assignment was given to me by a school friend, who himself is a professional photographer.
The shadow looks better today, with a little help from Photoshop.
A neighbor had given me simple bodies, which I placed like an egg on the white background. First of all as a play with form and shadow, where I had to think of the X-ra image of a human hand.
The small wooden blocks were wonderfully colorful. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as many as my imagination would have liked. Arranged in concentric circles, they are delightful to the eyes. At the suggestion of a friend, I arranged, the number of blocks into Fibonacci numbers. The processing of the shadows leads to an exciting image, similar to solarization. Since it is a kind of negative, I named the picture after the impression it makes: „Flow of light“, although in reality it was the shadows of the blocks.
Shades of grey in interaction with light: this is a theme for monochromatic images. For a long time I wanted to photograph an egg against a white background. The idea was stimulated by photos, mostly of people I know personally. Geometric, white-colored bodies from the mathematical collection would also be fun for me. Unfortunately, access is not as easy for me as with an egg.
On the left side the egg is brighter than the background, on the right side it is the other way round. The background itself loses a little brightness from the left to the right, but is brighter than the the egg on the right. The contrast changes. There is no clearly defined shadow for this setup. The same is true in the next photograph.
With the help of a simple light source whose color temperature does not matter after conversion into a black and white image, a soft shadow can be achieved if the source is not point-shaped.
It is always overwhelming to be on the road in Yosemite Valley. One is welcomed by silence and forest air. One of the points that provide an easily accessible overview is the former parking area for road construction machinery at the tunnel to the south: Tunnel View.
Everything slows down when you dive in there. The modern distractions are eliminated. The internet connectivity is so slow that you can’t present your pictures to anyone else while you are there. It’s a pity for those being at home.
Native americans lived in this valley and were given plenty of water. That has changed in the meantime. Precipitation is missing. An endangered jewel of this earth. It was a privilege to have been there with a friend and to be allowed to take pictures