• Background,  flowers,  General

    Do you like Karl Blossfeldt ?

    Karl Blossfeldt was a German photographer who lived from 1865 to 1932. He didn’t think himself a photographer. With his studies of plant forms he made an enormous contribution to plant photography. Here is a nice wikipedia article about him.

    He started to do photograms. Plants or parts of plants were placed directly on film or paper suitable for exposure. Exposure then takes place without any optics. Later he built himself a wooden camera, which reminds me of Andreas Feininger.

    Black and white backlit macro images with a background can be similar to Blossfeldt’s images.

    Silver leaf © Julian Köpke
    Heucheria in bloom © Julian Köpke
    Vetch © Julian Köpke
    Day lily © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Travel

    Stuttgart Television Tower

    You never know in advance what it means to return to the place of childhood. On top of a 217m high television tower physically overlooking the years I spent near a forest in Stuttgart Gablenberg there was a feeling of returning or being at home. 

    A few memories to the first visit to this tower mixed with the fantastic view. My daughters had invited me to this evening as their birthday present to me. The waiter is friendly and brings us as a special exception a white tablecloth to celebrate the day. So it’s fun to get to know the carefreeness.

    We enjoy delicious local food while the sun is getting lower and lower. Occasionally I feel a touch of fear of heights. Our table stands directly at the window with a view of the city.

    Nevertheless, we go up to the higher viewing platforms to look and take pictures. Suddenly many other photographers appear out of nowhere and we take many pictures of the view and a spectacular sunset.

    Green Stuttgart seen from Television Tower © Julian Köpke

    It’s still light when we left. The landmark of the city can be photographed in a variety of compositions. Here is just one of my many:

    Stuttgart Television Tower (Fernsehturm) © Julian Köpke
  • General

    RAW conversion matters

    Every camera stores sensor image data in a file for further use. The sensor image data are just grey values of different intensities in every pixel. A single pixel doesn’t show color. Our sensor image data contain a black and white world. How sad.

    How do we get color images with a sensor that maps only grey values between white and black  ?

    All the colors we know can be derived from a combination of a specific value of Red,  a specific value of Green and a specific value of Blue. If we know the shares of Red, Green and Blue in a color we know the color.

    Our camera sensor measures the shares of Red, Green and Blue with small lenses in front of each pixel on the sensor that act as filters for Red, Green or Blue. The complete sample of these filter lenses is called a color filter array or „CFA“. The distribution of Red, Green and Blue filter lenses on the sensor is completely known only to the manufacturer.

    The file that contains the sensor image data is called a RAW file. Beside the sensor image data at the beginning of a RAW file are informations about the complete file content. I found a nice Wikipedia article pointing this out. A RAW files contains also exposure data and information about the camera lens.

    A software converting the sensor image data of a RAW file into pleasing colorful images is called a RAW converter. A well known and popular RAW converter is Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). A Phase One Raw file can be straight forward converted by ACR to a 16-bit TIFF. No further postproduction has been applied (see left image below).

    A RAW conversion of the same file with the Phase One manufacturer’s own RAW converter Capture One to a 16-bit TIFF shows different color and brightness (see right image below). There was no setting of temperature, hue and saturation to make the images identical.

    Still. Conversion ACR. Courtesy P. Kleiber
    Still. Conversion Capture One. Courtesy P. Kleiber

    One RAW file was converted to two different TIFF. The difference between the TIFF can easily be obtained in Photoshop with the difference layer mode. The difference is an image in itself. With a sensitive gradient applied the following image is obtained:

    Difference image of RAW conversions using Capture One and ACR © Julian Köpke

    The difference TIFF (Capture One) – TIFF (ACR) is derived pixel by pixel. The converted TIFF using Capture One contains more green, more magenta and more yellow in the darker values. The impact on the final result is unclear at the moment.

  • flowers,  General

    Red calla lilies

    With my new glasses in my pocket I gazed the nearby market place on Saturday. I was captivated by six red callas whose price I could knock down to 10€ for all of them.

    With my Zeiss 50mm Macro lens and no tripod I was trying to get nice shapes late in the evening. The following images have been processed using Lab color to enhance contrast and colors.

    Calla lilies III © Julian Köpke

    Just normal light of our living room let me to a nice coloring and interesting shapes. The blossom next to the lower right corner is a Siamese twin on a double stalk.

    Calla lilies with a twin blossom right hand side atop a twin stalk. © Julian Köpke
  • General,  X-Ray

    Anyone can have a mishap

    There are many stops put to a CT-scan, especially when dealing with women in reproductive age. We are always very careful before exposing any patient to radiation. 

    This middle-aged patient with repeatedly nausea and discomfort opposing pregnancy very strict and claiming menstruation 28 days ago underwent some medical examinations including gastroscopy and, eventually, a CT-scan.

    We were prepared for a tumor when scanning the abdomen. We were amazed to find a baby despite many questions about patient’s history before the exam. Maybe, some obesity covered the situation with a veil.

    You can see the bones of the upper and lower extremities, as well as the skull and some parts of the spine. The ossification of knees, feet and hands will take place the next ten years after birth.

    Tumor of the lower abdomen causing nausea © Julian Köpke

    It appears to be discussion-worthy if it’s a boy. Our methods didn’t lead us further on this.

    To me the rotated, inverted and cropped image resembles to cave paintings. These paintings are assumed to be some kind of religious art, reflecting astonishment and grandeur of lost civilizations.

    Certain is, the baby touches its right ear, as it was amazed by itself or reflecting its life. What else than human life is this ?

    Tumor of the lower abdomen causing nausea. Rotated image, inverted gray scale and cropped. © Julian Köpke
  • General

    Organ music

    I like organ music. And I like the architecture of an organ. It’s always a composition of different metals and woods.

    Today my favorite organ player gave us nice preludes as a present during the service.

    Lantern above the fingerboards © Julian Köpke
    Fingerboards of our organ © Julian Köpke
    Organ pipes © Julian Köpke
  • General

    X-ray Odyssey

    How to communicate an erratic process in terms of an image ? The Iliadic greek were pirates of the Mediterranean with fast vessels, invading mainland from the seas, enslaving people, robbing stocks and much more.

    The writing down of the Ilias was between 678 and 662 B.C., a time of Assyrian dominance and cultural superiority.

    With three different Nautilus shells I bought last September on Crete I did this composition on my big X-ray sensor with 35cm x 43 cm and 170µm per pixel resolution. Two energy levels were necessary to get a high resolution image of the core of the Nautilus shells.


    Odyssey © Julian Köpke

    To overcome the look-and-feel of a medical X-ray it is a logical idea to invert the light. Black becomes white and vice versa. White means shining through of X-rays, black means opacity. It’s like a dream !

    Odyssey (light inversion) © Julian Köpke
  • General

    Cape Perpetua

    We went up to Cape Perpetua before our breakfast. I’d been there before after the eclipse in 2017 with Christa and friends. That year the sky was full of smoke.

    Today the sun was shielded by some haze coming from the Pacific Ocean. I wasn’t clear in mind about going there a second time. The impressive view of Heceta Head lighthouse the day before hadn’t left me.

    Black and white gives more meaning and feeling than faded colors. But it’s already long time ago and far, far away.

    Cape perpetua morning haze
    Morning haze at Cape perpetua. Being there a second time my feelings weren’t clear. Although only 2 months from now in the past I feel this morning like long time ago and very far away. © Julian Köpke
  • General


    My new homepage is brought more and more into line. I’m pretty happy about the seamless integration of my astrophotographies as a top menu link in the new design. To be more precise technically: astrophotographies reside as a subdomain now. Painting with light became the leading website.