• flowers,  Macro

    Astilbe

    An Astilbe has an umbel-shaped inflorescence and therefore consists of countless small blooms. While blooming, its structure is extremely delicate and light. It looks as if spotted in the light that shines through everywhere. An Astilbe seems to be floating. What a delighting gift to get such a plant from my preferred flower dealer.

    Blooming Astilbe in a vase © Julian Köpke
    Blooming Astilbe © Julian Köpke

    I had planned to reproduce this impression photographically. The three-dimensional impression of the human eyes is a complete different reality than a two-dimensional photograph. My photographs didn’t seem as delicate and fragile as the original.

    The richness of the flower structure better unfolds in image crops. The resolution of my PhaseOne is high enough to have sufficient quality available in a cropped image.

    Blooming Astilbe © Julian Köpke
    Blooming Astilbe © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Lightbox

    Staying at home

    Light is subject to permanent change. The transformations of light accompany us always. In the course of the day, we immerse ourselves in the light of various sources and their shaping unnoticed. In a photograph, too, the imperceptible shaping of light is our companion.

    The light in a photograph and its impression is shaped or transformed by postproduction. The changeability of the light by postproduction helps an image to its final expression. 

    What light do we see in our dreams ? What light do we see when pre-visualizing an image ? What light do we see when we get the idea to a photograph ? The latter light we experience like „a flash within a long night“. It is only after the completion of the work that relaxation may take place.

    Inner light in a red rose © Julian Köpke

    Having learned how to do focus stacking on my PhaseOne camera, I made two series of 20 macro images with a rose on a lightbox, the box switched on and off for the two series. Combining the two light situations made this image possible.

    You may find more roses here.

  • flowers

    Sadness never ends, but luck

    Tulips have become an attraction to me. For a long time I found them extremely boring and meaningless. That has changed over many years. Should I have become older because of that ?

    We also have many tulips in our garden. A group of red tulips at the edge of then planted tomato bed is particularly beautiful. But is this beauty also photographicable ?

    The beauty in a vase is the epitome of transience. In the meantime, changing light conditions trigger a feeling of tension and happiness in me. This bouquet of tulips has been staying with us for a week now.

    Tulips © Julian Köpke

    With my iPhone I took a shot in our living room. Filter apps help me to get a presentable result.

    Tulips imagination iPhoneography © Julian Köpke

    Today I wanted to try out the same light with the tulips, which spoils my eyes every day with the orchids.

    As one can see, our tulips in the living room get already weaker. They are old guys now. Fresh water doesn’t really help. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. How sad is that.

    Bouquet of pink tulips © Julian Köpke
  • flowers

    Orchids

    For more than a year I observed a special light condition in our bathroom, where orchids usually lead a more or less varied life. During the last weeks new blossoms showed up. I felt a sense of a gleaming white. Would it be photographable ?

    White Orchids © Julian Köpke

    Our lives have fundamentally changed during the last 5 weeks. There is more time now for private life. Fortunately we have a small garden to enjoy the sun. And we talk to friends in video sessions like FaceTime. But still 3 Weeks of quarantine is a challenge.

    How wonderfully soft these orchids caress me in their shimmering light ! They shall accompany me through this time. 

    Yellow Orchid © Julian Köpke

    A print is different from a posted image on a website. The expression of precision and painting in some cases is created in print better through a background. I prefer a print, because a print starts a personal communication with an image.

    White Orchids with background © Julian Köpke
    Yellow Orchid with a background © Julian Köpke
  • 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,  Long time exposure

    Time fusion tulips

    Inspired by a photography of german photographer Michael Wesely, I tried to superimpose the movements of orange tulips in a white vase to create an equivalent to a longtime exposure image. A longtime exposure with 3 or 4 days exposure time was unfortunately not possible for me. Therefore I took 35 pictures with my camera at irregular intervals dictated by occupational requirements whose pixels were to be averaged. Here 4 examples of the highly active flowers in a vase:

    Each RAW image has a file size of 125 MB, after RAW conversion this was 580 MB per image as TIF. The entire stack had a size of 21,5 GB. The image of the average then becomes 580 MB again. The pure mean value image was interesting to me but not exciting. Therefore I took this image and layered in parts of original images. The result became convincing:

    Time fusion tulips © Julian Köpke
  • flowers

    A rose is a rose is a rose

    Just photograph a rose and show its beauty – how wonderful that would be. Is the light right ? Do false shadows emerge ? Is the structure correctly reproduced ?

    Again and again I have to go through our garden and look at the flowers. Yesterday was it again. The sun had just set and the full moon should have decreased a little later.

    I tried it with all f-stops the camera and lens gave to me. To my surprise the aperture 32 at ISO 50 with 45s exposure speed was my favorite. Only at the edge the picture had to be darkened and desaturated. Post-processing can be as simple as that.

    Rose during Golden Hour © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Orchid X-ray fusion photo

    It feels like very long ago. Harold and I were taking the shots and X-rays of new compositions last week of  April this year. Our first try was an orchid with two stems. The transparency effect is very much augmented using an X-ray. A stem behind petals doesn’t show easily in HDR light box photography.

    With a Phase One camera at my disposal a strong crop of the composition shows the tenderness of our orchid much better. With a resolution still sufficient.

    Orchid fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Purple Clematis

    Clematis is a reliably blossoming flower in our garden. Every year we look forward to her blooms for many weeks. Photographing flowers means sacrificing beautiful little things. It took me some time to go there.

    With growing experience I feel less pain to sacrifice a bloom for artistic purposes. It relieves me a little, that I have the blooms swum after my photo and X-ray sessions in a soup-plate filled with water which is in the kitchen. Many people like the floating blooms in a soup-plate, if they are in a break.

    The HDR series of my composition with three clematis gave me a hard time. Although a tripod is indispensable and always used, a small pixel shift between exposures was perceivable. After fixing this, light, color and structure was processed for an HDR image.

    The X-ray of the three clematis was performed as mammography due to the size of my composition. The fusion image can be understood as a texturized HDR by means of a radiograph. But there is no unique solution to all compositions. The best solution has to be found out individually.

    After all, the clematis look as light as a feather in this image. It was worth it.

    Three purple Clematis fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • Fusion imaging,  Lightbox,  X-Ray

    Spring and X-ray fusion photos

    First flowers in spring show up. With much support from my colleagues I’m able to do some fusion images. We all would like to have another calendar.

    Preparing the lightbox, the X-ray machines, my camera and picking out the data is a bunch of hassle.

    My personal favorite is the blue cornflower. It looks like a print of an old botanic book:

    Cornflower X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    The next day I turned my attention to our white and blue Aquilegias. No chance to process the raw data yesterday. Eventually, there was a chance today, after quite a bit of tedious work at my desk:

    Blue aquilegia X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke