• flowers,  Lightbox,  Macro

    Last hot summer days

    The last hot summer days are noticeably less hot. Autumn shows up on my rose hips, which are still fed by the water of a vase. Over the course of the days her leaf green became increasingly discolored in autumn. I don’t want to believe it.

    Delicate rose hips before autumn starts © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Lightbox,  Macro,  Monochrome,  Texture

    Artichoke

    Melitta was looking for an image in her new kitchen. She felt a fusion image of a fruit basket to be too dark. The fusion image technique is not restricted to black and white or monochrome (FAQ: Fusion imaging). With only few structural content in the X-ray of the fruits I better inverted the background of the image and sponsored a golden backdrop like an ancient greek icon. You still can see some X-ray properties looking at the lychees or the bananas. As a print its appearance was best.

    X-ray fusion photo of lychees and fruit in a wooden bowl © Julian Köpke

    Also appropriate for a kitchen would also be an image of an artichoke. If I put it on a lightbox, there is always some resemblance to a copperplate print, which I like personally. This blooming artichoke is a type of a food image, if you spend some phantasy.

    Blooming artichoke © Julian Köpke

    A little change of perspective gives more direct access to the blooms. Every image shown in this blog entry is a combination of manual HDR and software assisted HDR. That way I get best results. The background helps to create the look and feel of ageing and simulating a print.

    Blooming artichoke © Julian Köpke

    The artichoke presented above has some resemblance to a thistle. By chance we have a place not far from home with lots of them. Old railroad tracks had been removed and converted into bike trails nearby our house. So we went this morning by bike to get a thistle of the former track bed for an image.

    Blooming thistle at the former railroad tracks © Julian Köpke

    As there is so much structure in these images, I felt tempted to convert my artichoke and thistle images into monochrome. To some extent they resemble images of Karl Blossfeldt.

    Blooming artichoke © Julian Köpke
    Blooming thistle at the former railroad tracks © 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.

  • 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
  • flowers,  Fusion imaging

    Purple Clematis

    Long lasting blossoms, turning up every year: my purple clematis in our garden.

    It was my third X-ray session with flowers this week. Third fusion imaging attempt. After blue cornflower and blue aquilegia now a purple clematis. Big data on my hard disk.

    Today we did it with mammography at 30 kV and 50 mAs. Lower noise ! Here is the positive representation of a single clematis:

    Clematis X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    I processed the lightbox HighKey series with a mask. There was a shift of 2 or 3 pixels from the lightest to the darker images. So I processed everything a second time to compensate for the shift. The HDR image shows a cut stalk. Photoshop is made for this.

    Purple Clematis © Julian Köpke

    The stalk can be lengthened like in the preceding X-ray. The fusion image shows hidden leaves, the core of the blossom and stalks much better:

    Purple Clematis X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    The flower looks pretty fragile now, close to its natural appearance.

  • X-Ray

    Fusion X-ray of tulips

    Fusion imaging is beauty made of composite X-ray images and HDR images on a light box. The primary question is what energy fits best for flowers. To my experience 40 kV is often suitable. But: the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Mammography systems start e.g. from 20 kV and reach 39 kV. The sensor is up to 24cm x 30cm. Conventional systems start from 40 kV and reach 125 kV. The sensor is up to 43cm x 43cm what makes them more attractive to floral compositions.

    The higher resolution and the lower energies of a mammography will suit better for transparent objects. But the spatial limit of a composition (which is 24cm x 30cm) might put hard restrictions on the artist.

    Floral compositions have more creative space with a bigger sensor. But the X-ray tube starts with 40 kV and this might lead to overexposure of tender structures.

    Thus I performed today more than ten compositions to study this relation.

    After four exposure of three tulips I found this composition with four dense blossoms attractive to go further. The composition might somehow resemble to a sketch of three angels. The image is nice due to very soft edges of their „wings“, technically blown out portions in the image.  The inner structure of the nearly closed blossoms is well resolved. The stalks serve as „body“. There is no advantage with higher energies.

    X-ray three tulips © Julian Köpke

    The same composition was done immediately after the X-ray as a bracketing series on a lightbox. After returning I processed a manual HDR, the colors not to warm.

    Three purple tulips HDR photo © Julian Köpke

    The final fusion image is a composite of the preceding two images. Compared to the lightbox photo, the hidden stalks reappear naturally, the inner petals are outlined like a sketch.

    Three purple tulips fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Radiating Beauty: Creating a new photographic form with fusion X-Ray images

    The shapes and forms are recognizable, yet the level of detail is deeper than the human eye can normally perceive: Leaves appear minutely laced and surfaces are impossibly intricate, somewhere between translucent and opaque. Welcome to the captivating work of photographer Harold Davis and radiologist Dr. Julian Köpke, who combine their skill, passion, and vision to create stunning X-ray photography and pioneering fusion images. Read more on the Pixsy blog (article by Natalie Holmes).

    This nice article was posted today to share the fascination of our common work on fusion X-ray images using a light box manual HDR photo of flowers and their X-ray.

    X-ray fusion image of a Gloriosa lilly © Julian Köpke

    Our X-ray data are the same, our photographic data a nearly the same: Harold used a Nikon D850 and I used a Nikon D810A, which is modified for astrophotography. Our common lens was a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZF.2.

    We have some techniques and some principles in common, yet we are different individuals with different results. The next image is partly inspired by Harold’s version. Blue is the complementary color to yellow and fits nicely into the petals. The red color in the center is an image of the sun in monochromatic Hα light using a Fabry-Perot-Interferometer. So this image is a triple fusion image of three different light sources ! If you look closer at 2pm in the center, there are two sunspots.

    This sunflower is a composit of X-ray, monochromatic Hα light of the sun and a sunflower on a lightbox. © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Shells fusion X-ray photo

    Long time I dreamed of this fusion image of shells. Because already on a lightbox some of the shells are transparent and have nice colors. I like the shining through effect very much.

    The X-ray image is a compromise of structure and density resolution, depending on the maximum energy the mammography system is able to produce.

    Today I’m not at all in a stable state due to a recurrent infection. So I allowed me to do this image instead of hard working.

    Shells fusion X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    It is the light inversion in Lab color mode that shows more of a X-ray look and feel. The colors are pretty close to the bright image.

    Shells fusion X-ray photo with inversion of the L-channel © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Composite of a sunflower: X-ray, light and Hα

    In a digital world we can combine different digital sources. This photo of a sunflower is a composit of its X-ray, its photo on a lightbox and monchromatic sunlight at a wavelength of 635nm (Hα light).

    In fact: this is an example of an impossible thing. But you may be able to feel the warmth of a sunbeam emerging of the core of the sunflower. And the petals act as prominences.

    This sunflower is a composit of X-ray, monochromatic Hα light of the sun and a sunflower on a lightbox. © Julian Köpke
  • Lightbox

    Primroses

    I felt very much attracted by these primroses. They were close to purple and red and I could see them already as a beautiful print.

    But how photographing them on a lightbox ? They always toppled over. Many efforts were useless. Blossoms tend to move, always.

    On this photograph I put the blossoms top-down. Because any arrangement could be done then. It works !

    Purple Primroses © Julian Köpke

    A different color show the orange primroses. Composition with or without leaves ? Without gives more the impression of a painting.

    Primroses II © Julian Köpke
    Primroses I © Julian Köpke