• Landscape,  Travel

    Valley view of Upper Rhine

    Two weeks ago I went to Lake Constance for business reasons. At 7 o’clock in the morning I could see a red sun rising in the fog between trees. That’s why I made a stopover at Lake Constance to take pictures there in the evening and in the morning.

    The morning drive two weeks ago might have made you think of ghosts and of course there is literature on this subject from the area. The evening when I arrived was wonderfully sunny and fogless. By car I made an “ascent” to Hohenklinge Castle in Stein am Rhein, to see the valley from above. The view reminded me of Renaissance painting.

    Sunset over rhine valley near Stein am Rhein © Julian Köpke

    There is no repetition for the landscape photographer. The natural light will never be like that again when you go back to a place. Where the sun was supposed to rise it was not foggy. It was cloudy. From here the Upper Rhine begins.

    Early in the morning, all of a sudden, two women drifted in the river. The two of them wished me from below a “good morning.

    Morning at Stein am Rhein © Julian Köpke

    Here in Stein am Rhein ends Lake Constance, which lies between the High Rhine and the Upper Rhine. Before sunrise you could see some discoloration of the sky, along with very little ground fog.

    End of Lake Constance at Stein am Rhein © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Monochrome,  World at night

    Porphyry

    In our vicinity there is a quarry that shone over to us in the afternoon with its warm colors. Loading the car with the heavy photo equipment, I drove there to try a few shots. The grounds were not as welcoming a I had imagined. Concrete paths and many closed gates that hindered a free study of light conditions. A remarkable amount of people on the road, often with dogs.

    The quarry named Referenz was used to mine for quartz porphyry, a red stone similar to granite, either used for road construction or e.g. statues. One rock formation was outstanding, with trees on it and a warm and yellow surface.

    Quarry Leferenz in Dossenheim (mined for quarz porphyry) © Julian Köpke

    On a mountain north of river Neckar through Heidelberg that was used spiritually by different subsequent cultures, there is a ruin of the monastery St. Stephan, with an arch that has probably bee reconstructed. It was already pretty dark when I got there. For the following shot it took me 2 minutes exposure time and 2 more minutes for noise reduction. You don’t see it.

    Arch of a door of Stephan's monastery Heidelberg. © Julian Köpke

    The Heidelberg Castle is always a great sight. It was almost too late to find a balance between the decreasing daylight and the electrical illumination. Nevertheless, with a single 90s shot at ISO 400and f/8, the basis for this image, which is a kind of negative, was achieved. The dark Heidelberg Castle dominates the scene.

    Heidelberg Castle and castle gardens © Julian Köpke

    There is also a version in Black ad White and a color version of this photo.

  • Travel

    A special color palette

    It’s the primary goal of many photographer’s who travel to Heligoland: bird photography. For more than 20 years now the Northern Gannet populates largely the red rocks of the island.

    A short walk leads to the rim where these birds are breeding amongst seagulls and guillemots. Birders populate this rock early in the morning or late in the evening close to the rim, where the birds are nesting.

    Couple of Northern Gannets at sunset on Heligoland. © Julian Köpke

    Gannets like to fly like students roam around in their school yard. Very attractive to see. A long and late sunset close to the summer solstice enhanced the experience.

    Sunset Heligoland close ton the summer solstice © Julian Köpke

    The birder population varies largely with the year as the bird population does. This January, empty nests and no birders on Heligoland. This evening we were attracted by a beautiful sunset. After the sunset no further bird photos could be made. What a pity !

    No birder, no cry © Julian Köpke

    After sunset the color palette turned into orange and turquoise. Turner in Venice used these colors in his last watercolors often. A power plant still was working a little bit.

    Power plant close to Heligoland in the North Sea. © Julian Köpke
  • Travel

    Goodbye Bürgenstock

    Last evening in a special resort. Flowers in every room. A view like on an airplane window seat. Meeting friends from long ago and renewing friendship. Happiness, breathlessness, intense talks, laughter.

    Great sunset seen from above Lake Lucerne and Lucerne itself.

    Sunset over Lucerne, Lake Lucerne © Julian Köpke

    Wonderful sunrise in the morning, blue sky and fresh air. Breakfast in the sky. Last conversations. Melancholy of farewell. Final goodbye. The composition resembles a painting of a former family member: Otto Flechtenmacher.

    Bürgenstock: snow on mountain tips © Julian Köpke

    Luxuriant floral decorations everywhere in the lobby. Manual HDR without tripod: works.

    Magnificent floral decoration with orchids © Julian Köpke