• Landscape,  Travel

    Gone with the wind

    The title of the novel „Gone with the wind“ comes from a half line of the poem „Cynara“ by the British poet Ernest Dowson, who spent most of his life in France. His verses were translated to German by Stefan George. Arnold Schönberg and Frederick Delius set selected poems to music.

    The author of the novel, Margret Mitchell, was well-read and knew the melancholy character of „Cynara“. The reception of her novel in the 1930s saw a resilient and admirable Scarlett O’Hara and a wonderful life in the southern states before the war. The ambivalence of the protagonist’s character and the unhappy end of the novel faded into the background. By the filming 1939 this neglect was still solidified.

    The new translation into German from 2020, based on the 1936 edition (The Macmillan Company), adapts the author’s original intention of a clear and simple language. With a sometimes cruel relentlessness, the work depicts an American condition of life: the shaping of personality through money. This opens the reception of a realistically written development novel about a young women from the American South who is exposed to strongly changing living conditions before, during and after the war from 1860 to 1872. 

    My friend Harold led me on our way to The Pinnacles and Trona to a spot with several freight trains on sidings. Around us a sometimes close and then again distant sandstorm. From above the midday sun in a dusty haze. Immediately I felt the disaster of a broken economic cycle, which affects the entrepreneur and the workers alike.

    Trains on sidings © Julian Köpke
    Trains on sidings © Julian Köpke

    Eventually, these trains will be gone with the wind, too. A straight ahead leading track made me the illusion of a still running business, because the switch was set correctly. And a railroad crossing was also present.

    Tracks, points and siding © Julian Köpke
    Railroad crossing Mojave © Julian Köpke

    I really don’t know what goes on with these trains. Maybe, a private company runs them to mine rare earths. Or, they are standing there for 30 years doing nothing. No money to make with it. Has this sight been a premonition of the current crisis that could leave us in a state of disintegration and decay ?

    Trains on a siding © Julian Köpke
  • FAQ: Time fusion

    Time fusion is something I couldn’t find elsewhere. Basically it is a longtime exposure. Nothing new so far. Why making a point ?

    Longtime exposures fascinate me. There are famous ones of extreme long exposure times, say one year. The camera is always at the same location. What happens with a moving camera while doing a longtime exposure ? Motion blur !

    A photographer typically uses a shake or a rotation of his camera while holding it in his hands or e.g. mounted on a tripod with full flexible ball head. Postproduction uses a single shot or a combination of blurred and non-blurred images to get  a result.

    Here is the new idea. Sun was shining and green and yellow summer fields exerted a strong attraction to me while driving at high speed from Heidelberg to Paris using a TGV train. With my iPhone looking out of a train window I started to experiment with the Slow Shutter App. The motion blur gets a horizontal orientation with some landscape in the background of an image. The foreground is completely blurred. Some light reflections of the train window are always added. No rotational or shaky effect occurs.

    Thus, a feeling of speed is transferred from the image to the viewer. See more in Discover or Flickr.

    Flying into Paris by train © Julian Köpke

    Compare this method to a single shot motion blur during the sunset at Sylt island or to the yellow trees in the High Sierra, CA. The foreground has to be more marked, the background tends to be more blurred.

    Sky and North Sea © Julian Köpke
    Lake and yellow trees © Julian Köpke