• Travel

    Italia bel paese

    A trip to Italy always has the whiff of a quest. We started across the Verzasca Valley, which is in the Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland, close to Locarno. Harold couldn’t wait to see and photograph the Ponte dei Salti. There in Lavertezzo, the emerald green Verzasca creek crosses an area of streaky rocks with small depressions where the water collects and does not flow any further.

    Ponte dei salti © Julian Köpke
    Verzasca Valley © Julian Köpke

    There was a moment on the day of arrival when seemingly golden light from the late afternoon sun made the hollows look like liquid gold. The next morning, time seemed to stand still, only the electric supply showing the arrival of modernity.

    Verzasca Valley © Julian Köpke
    Morning in Verzasca Valley © Julian Köpke

    Stopover in Pavia, whose main dome shows a honeycomb-like structure, especially when using a focal length of 11mm in full frame. The river Ticino flows quietly and slowly, a counterpoint to the traffic noise of sporting Italians. The photo on the right was taken on the Ponte Coperto.

    Wikipedia tells: Pavia Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Pavia) is a church in Pavia, Italy, the largest in the city and seat of the Diocese of Pavia. © Julian Köpke
    Sunset Pavia (Ponte Coperto) © Julian Köpke

    A short overnight stay in San Gimignano, the next morning still exploring the area at a distance from the old town. A large car park, a charging station for electrical energy in a multi-layered state of construction – in statu nascendi.

    At San Gimignano © Julian Köpke
    San Gimignano sunrise © Julian Köpke

    Arriving in Siena, we immediately studied the cathedral in the light of the afternoon sun. The contrast between inside and outside could not be greater.

    Duomo, Siena © Julian Köpke
    Colonne all'interno del Duomo. Inside the darkness there is structure. © Julian Köpke

    Probably more famous than the cathedral is the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Communale. We could see it from the cathedral and from the Piazza del Campo, where the annual Equestrian Festival takes place.

    Torre del Mangia, Siena © Julian Köpke
    Palazzo Communale e Torre del Mangia © Julian Köpke

    In Assisi, the accommodation did not allow us to be creative because it was far too cold. The man who handed over the flat to us could not be described as sober at all.

    Coming down from Rocca Maggiore © Julian Köpke
    Assisi © Julian Köpke

    We took up quarters in San Gemini, Umbria, and roamed the area from there. On the way there, we passed Trevi. The towns are situated on hills, which made them easier to defend in the past. Inside the old cities, you encounter a maze of alleys and bridges between the houses.

    Trevi, Umbria © Julian Köpke
    San Gemini © Julian Köpke

    At the southernmost point of our journey, in Tivoli in Lazio, we began to feel the winter change. The light and the clouds were now becoming more dramatic, the garden of the Villa d’Este was devoid of blooming flowers, the visitors might be fewer than in summer, all the more eager to take a selfie everywhere. With a little patience, it was possible to take pictures without other visitors in them.

    Villa d'Este, Tivoli © Julian Köpke
    Villa d'Este, Tivoli © Julian Köpke

    In Orvieto, in Umbria, north-east of Tivoli, we then found the perfect fog. The entrance with the car a bit tight on both sides, nevertheless we got away without any scratches. The sunset after the foggy day in the medieval quarter of Orvieto with a break in style because of the electric street lamps.

    Avenue of pines on the entrance road to Orvieto © Julian Köpke
    Sunset medieval quartiere Orvieto © Julian Köpke

    The front of the cathedral was for me of outstanding beauty, always accompanied by a demonstration of former power and wealth, yet also of simple beauty. Before sunrise, the building seems almost threatening, the outer splendour only coming to light in the morning.

    Dark Duomo, Orvieto © Julian Köpke
    Piazza Duomo, Orvieto, at sunrise with clouds and rain © Julian Köpke

    On a foggy and rainy day, Orvieto was a good place to pass the time in the Pozzo di San Patrizio or the city’s underground economic spaces dating back 3 millennia. On the Torre del Moro there was fog at first without any view. We were also not really oriented about the points of the compass. We philosophised about Ed Weston and Ansel Adams, who also argued about whether one should hold out in a place or better moving on. Ed Weston was for staying, Ansel Adams for moving on. Harold, however, did not want to accept my suggestion to simply leave the tower on a trial basis, that the fog would have a chance to clear for me. After one and a half hours, the time had come. In just a few minutes, the sunlight broke through the fog of the old town and exposed magnificent compositions.

    Pozzo di San Patrizio © Julian Köpke
    Duomo Orvieto with fog © Julian Köpke

    If a farewell is to be particularly difficult, one must leave Italy from Florence. A warm sun greeted us with the last of its summery strength, the arrival of winter already noticeable here.

    Giardino delle Rose, Florence © Julian Köpke
    Ponte Vecchio, Florence © Julian Köpke
  • Architecture,  General,  Heidelberg,  Texture

    Heidelberg Castle

    the Heidelberg Castle is world-famous and famous for the romantic feelings it triggers. Anyone who comes to the city in spring or early summer enjoys a mild warmth and a light wind that flows through the Neckar Valley.

    In autumn, the winds that hits the photographer is icy cold and the facial masks that you have recently at hand are a welcome support in taking pictures. The warm colors of the following photographs deceive one of them.

    Fog in the valley of river Neckar at Heidelberg (sunrise over Old Bridge). © Julian Köpke

    The warmth of the Neckar gives rise to considerable early mist during a cold night, which stretches over the trees to the south and west. The mists also reach the Heidelberg Castle, which subsequently appears a little more romantic and ruined.

    The Heidelberg Castle in the morning mist © Julian Köpke
    The Heidelberg Castle in the morning mist © Julian Köpke
  • 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