• 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
  • Long time exposure,  Texture,  Travel,  World at night

    Painterly strokes or magnetic fields ?

    A short trip for recreation in Bavaria led us to a completely sunny Bad Tölz at the Isar river. That way I also increased my knowledge of local geography. With a long time exposure, taken without a filter, only with a large aperture and low ISO, some assembled pebbles on the ground instead of a tripod, I wanted to capture the wave play of river Isar.

    It was only in our hotel on the computer that the resulting structure became more interesting and clear to me. For Christa the image shows picturesque brush strokes of an oil painting. I can think of the surface structure of the sun which is a fiery dance of magnetic field lines and mass distributions of hydrogen.

    Painterly strokes of Isar waves. © Julian Köpke

    In the evening a long sunset glowed for us in Königsdorf. The rotational planes of sun, moon and earth are quite close and in a few days we expect a partial lunar eclipse.

    Waxing crescent Moon and Venus at sunset in Königsdorf with view of the Alps © Julian Köpke

    The light takes 8 minutes from the sun to the earth. Due to atmosphere it remains visible to us longer than the sun itself.

    Sunset with view of the Alps © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Moonset in Alling

    It had become very late last night and my tiredness did not let me think clearly. I also didn’t know what happened after I went to bed. It could easily have been the end of a human being.

    With the warm morning sunlight from the left the winter fields of Alling in December were wonderful to look at. With my senses clouded, I thought the moon would rise. It took me a long time to figure out he was going down.

    Moonset - Landscape near Alling © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Japanese paintings

    On the return flight I remembered the many Japanese drawings and paintings. During my stay I had taken extra pictures of pine branches in the hope that I would be able to achieve a painterly effect by post-processing them. I set to work with my laptop. The first image should be a pine branch of the Rengeo-In shrine in Kyoto.

    Pine impression Rengeo-In temple Kyoto © Julian Köpke

    I felt encouraged to try more, although operating the laptop on the plane was sometimes a bit difficult. The next try should be an image of the Golden Shrine Kinkaku-Ji in Kyoto.

    Golden shrine Kinkaku-Ji Kyoto © Julian Köpke

    The coloring of the picture is decisive for the success of this illusion. The colors of the Japanese paintings I have in mind are rather not saturated and the contrasts are raised more. With the photograph of an art installation in the port of Takamatsu I could still achieve a little of this illusion.

    Art installation in the port of Takamatsu © Julian Köpke

    We met the first signs of autumn in Nikko.

    First signs of autumn in Japan in Nikko © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Japan, mon amour

    Why do I like Japan so much ? People are polite and friendly and you never get hurt. How great is that ! The Japanese like beauty for their eyes and their ears.

    Fresh flower bouquets can be found in the toilets of the motorway service areas. Nice music in restaurants, in the streets, in shopping malls. Decorated vases in our hotels when leaving the elevator.

    Decorated vase in Takamatsu © Julian Köpke

    Entering the port of Takamatsu, I found this beautiful composition of an artwork with propped firs. This was a pleasant introduction to our stay on Naoshima.

    Takamatsu port artwork © Julian Köpke

    The combination of an exhibition and nature is an essential feature of the Naoshima Island. Beside the possibility to visit very special and beautiful, but expensive Museums.

    Camel © Julian Köpke
    Naoshima squares © Julian Köpke
    Balls (Walter de Maria) © Julian Köpke
    Naoshima pumpkin (Yayoi Kusama) © Julian Köpke

    At noon we found a little rest at the Pacific Ocean near this Torii.

    Naoshima torii © Julian Köpke

    On our way back to Takamatsu nature itself showed a wonderful spectacle of the sunset.

    Ferry from Naoshima to Takamatsu © Julian Köpke
    Firy bridge near Naoshima © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Castles, shrines and gardens

    Matsuayama Castle was erected on a hill above Matsuyama. It hadn’t been a real strategic installation. But a demonstration of power. Inside, the paths are intertwined so that no one can easily find their way around.

    The buildings seem to reach the sky. Like clouds they hover above the hill.

    Matsuyama Castle © Julian Köpke

    Today our ascent at Kotohira-Gu shrine was higher and steeper than yesterday to Matsuyama Castle. Before the ascent the usual shopping street for religious and tourist needs was located. I was happy with to oil-paper umbrellas, although it was rainy today. No sun at all.

    Oil-paper umbrellas (Karakasa) © Julian Köpke

    After a night that I had slept badly, the ascent had been particularly exhausting. It is a construction feature of the plants to offer the interested again and again new and beautiful aspects.

    That’s why photographers take a lot of benefit there as well.

    Downwards at Kotohira-Gu shrine © Julian Köpke

    Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu has been constructed in 16th century for relaxation of its owner. Photos can reflect little of the complexity to this park. From the main southern view point several groups of people with umbrellas could be observed crossing a wooden bridge. They probably wanted to leave the garden purposefully in this weather. Except falling raindrops no noise could be heard.

    Takamatsu Ritsurin Garden in the rain © Julian Köpke
    Takamatsu Ritsurin Garden in the rain © Julian Köpke
    Takamatsu Ritsurin Garden in the rain © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Golden shrine – Kunkaku-ji

    Often gold is just pushy. Not in the wonderful garden of Kunkaku-ji temple. We started early in the morning to have a chance to take a photo. A warm and permanent rain supported us. There were many people, but not as much as usual.

    Kyoto Kinkaku-ji (Golden shrine) © Julian Köpke
    Reflections in Kunkaku-ji © Julian Köpke

    Our next stop was Ryan-ji temple. 15 is the sum of 3+5+7 and a holy number. 15 stones are dressed in a field in front of the temple. No one is able to see all 15 stones at once, without moving the head. Photographing the field without being allowed to move freely yields a distorted image.

    Kyoto Ryoan-ji temple Zen field © Julian Köpke

    The change from the quiet and rich impressions of the Zen gardens in the city to the Nishiki market was a kind of crash program. The folding fans of Kyoto appeared as a motif once again.

    Kyoto side street Nishiki market © Julian Köpke
    Kyoto folding fans (sensu) © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Zen gardens

    A narrow shipping street leads to Ginkaku-ji Zen temple garden. Many dealers offer all kinds of souvenirs. A merchant allowed me to take a picture of her folding fans.

    Sensu Kyoto (folding fan) © Julian Köpke

    The wild sea is a difficult subject of painting. So is it for a Zen garden, too. In the garden of the Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto temple I liked very much the intensity of changing aspects of a sand composition representing the wild sea.

    Ginkaku-ji temple "The wild sea" © Julian Köpke
    Ginkaku-ji temple "The wild sea" © Julian Köpke

    It’s impossible to show the variety of aspects of this garden: one has to experience it. The rapidly changing variation of experiences in a confined space is a design feature of this garden.

    The Moon at Ginkaku-ji temple garden © Julian Köpke

    Before leaving you look back on the beginning of the tour with these nice reflections on a slow moving water.

    Sone bridge at Kyoto Ginkaku-ji Zen garden © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Kyoto

    In the bus I look put for motifs than can convey a feeling of Japan. On a rainy day it might be not so hard. I find one at a rest stop. It doesn’t take much post-processing to get ready.

    On our way to Kyoto © Julian Köpke

    First impressions are important. The main station in Kyoto is loud and bustling. I’m not sure I imagined it under Kyoto. With a long time exposure I capture some of my first impressions of this great station. The lotus flower is everywhere present as architectural motif.

    Kyoto main station entrance hall © Julian Köpke
  • Japan,  Travel

    Calm before the storm ending

    The first time in Japan is an overwhelming experience for me. Difficult to find words. We don’t really get to know Japanese. They are always very friendly and have a pronounced sin for beauty. There are also people here  who live in homemade shelters on the street or rummage through waste bins.

    Our primary touristic foci are the weather and the food. The weather starts with a capriole of a special kind. 3 days before a typhoon is supposed to hit the islands it gets sunny contrary to the announcements of all weather apps.

    Sunrise in Tokyo © Julian Köpke
    Sunrise in Ikebukuro, Tokyo © Julian Köpke

    An earthquake is destroying our plans to observe volcanic activity in the mountains. Higher and higher waves force us to leave the coastal road to take our bus to Hakone. Traffic jam for the first time during our stay in Japan. The Pacific Ocean starts to show its aggressive moves.

    Great wave off Kanagawa © Julian Köpke

    The threatening disaster with the approach to the mountains and the first massive impressions of Mount Fuji are forgotten. I’m a little frightened by the force of the mountain as if a curtain were drawn up.

    Approaching Mount Fuji © Julian Köpke
    Mount Fuji seen from the bus © Julian Köpke

    Just arrived at the hotel we do not check-in, but quickly push around the shores of Lake Ashi to admire the mountain during sunset. The summit weather changes every minute.

    Fuji seen from Lake Ashi © Julian Köpke
    Sunset at Mt. Fuji above Lake Ashi © Julian Köpke

    At such a sunset no one thinks of the threatening typhoon.

    Sunset at Mt. Fuji in Hakone at Lake Ashi © Julian Köpke