• Travel,  Yosemite National Park

    Berkeley

    Berkeley is my first stop. Here I meet my friend Harold and his wife Phyllis. Last decisions to take. After a very long day with a pleasant flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco the night was interrupted by short wake-ups due to time shift.

    As breakfast was not included in my hotel room I went around with a camera at my hand. The morning sun just came over the hills. Small signs explain the advantage of succulents during the increasing drought of the region, because so much water can be saved.

    Succulents © Julian Köpke

    As I move on, I am increasingly surrounded by students who have left for lectures. A lot of homeless people catch my eyes. One of them stands there with his pants half pulled down and shouts at everything and everyone with an aggressive tone of voice. He is near the globe with many layers of complex surfaces that I want to photograph. I’m glad I can disappear.

    Many layers on the globe in Berkeley at Shattuck Avenue © Julian Köpke

    An hour to sunset: we climb up the Berkeley Hills that show a splendid view on Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco downtown. Many young people drinking and smoking drugs up there.

    View on San Francisco downtown at sunset © Julian Köpke
    Sunset Golden Gate bridge © Julian Köpke
  • Travel,  Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite during the winter

    On my own I’ve been twice to Yosemite Valley and once with Harold to Yosemite National Park. This valley is small and a dream of light and nature for visual artists. I’ve never been able to see this little patch of earth with realistic eyes. I wasn’t really serious about that either.

    Before I fly to the ambitious conference „Out of Yosemite“ tomorrow, I’d like to review some older images.

    Already my first visit began with a surprise. Just arrived, the hotel wanted to send me back immediately in December 2016, as the electricity had failed and there was no heating. After a short back and forth I was allowed to stay and the heating went on again at 10 o’clock in the evening. 

    Internet connectivity was terrible. No images could be uploaded for those who stayed at home. I really don’t expect it to be different this time. The following images might give a foretaste of what awaits us.

    Half Dome in winter © Julian Köpke

    Many spots are known to photographers all over the world. This time I have the chance to meet experienced photographers that share their knowledge. Harold is one of the instructors.

    When leaving Yosemite Valley, before the road hits Pohono bridge at the entrance, there is a spot called Valley View, which in fact looks back where the glaciers came from long ago.

    Valley View in the morning. Ground fogs can be seen.

    During construction time of the road up to Glacier Point the road workers had a storage area for construction equipment, located in front of a tunnel. This is why the spot is also called Tunnel View. It is a parking lot today. The image I took was honored in Flickr in Explore. A nice view is also some steps above the tunnel !

    I took 9 EVs for this HDR at Tunnel View in Yosemite Valley. No tripod ! You can see here the glacial origin of the U-shaped valley. In former times there was a lake. © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Monochrome,  X-Ray

    Snowdrops X-ray photo

    I’ve never waited for snowdrops before. Inconspicuous and boring flowers. Strength of marsh mallows. The colors of a cold green and opaque white.

    From my father-in-law’s garden we just dug up some freshly flowering specimen of snowdrops, at the roots the soil of his garden, which he can no longer cultivate.

    My technician and I made a mammography of it, with low Voltage and lots of photons. The whole afternoon I could breathe in the scent of these flowers while working.

    Snowdrop X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
  • flowers,  Long time exposure

    Time fusion tulips

    Inspired by a photography of german photographer Michael Wesely, I tried to superimpose the movements of orange tulips in a white vase to create an equivalent to a longtime exposure image. A longtime exposure with 3 or 4 days exposure time was unfortunately not possible for me. Therefore I took 35 pictures with my camera at irregular intervals dictated by occupational requirements whose pixels were to be averaged. Here 4 examples of the highly active flowers in a vase:

    Each RAW image has a file size of 125 MB, after RAW conversion this was 580 MB per image as TIF. The entire stack had a size of 21,5 GB. The image of the average then becomes 580 MB again. The pure mean value image was interesting to me but not exciting. Therefore I took this image and layered in parts of original images. The result became convincing:

    Time fusion tulips © Julian Köpke
  • Texture,  X-Ray

    Pile of oranges X-ray photo

    This Monday arrived my new oranges from Valencia, Spain. They are sweet, juicy and just delicious. I shared half of the delivery with my employees who had also been waiting for it for a long time. We eat or drink them. Some were x-rayed for artistic reasons.

    There is already a routine in doing these X-rays with food. But sometimes an X-ray machine has a life of its own. The first images are taken to check the exposure before we venture into a composition. The aperture of the X-ray tube may become narrower and unwanted images like the following may be produced.

    Oranges in a frame X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    This image was created by playing with textures and colours:

    You can easily imagine a stack of oranges with the fruit lying on top of each other. The perspective of this X-ray image is from above, so that the effect of translucency is created. Because of the triangular arrangement of the oranges, one would think that the apex of the triangle would indicate at the top. In fact, the center of the triangle is at the top.

  • Fusion imaging,  X-Ray

    New X-ray fusion photo compositions

    New year, new ideas. A superbe bowl of fruits inspired me to do more X-ray fusion photography today. I got a bundle of bananas, lots of lychees, two pears, figs, an apple and a pomegranate.

    I changed my technique a bit. There is no chance to get a transparent banana image using a photo. But mixing the colors of the photo with the X-ray is also a fusion image. To my opinion, the bananas came out lovely, especially the color of the trunk.

    Fusion X-ray photo of bananas © Julian Köpke

    I like stills. They often come with a fruit bowl. My first attempt was a fruit bowl without lychees. The structure of an orange or a pomegranate is known to me from earlier X-ray studies. And I liked the grain of the wooden bowl.

    The following fusion image is resulting:

    Fruit bowl X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    This is the first time I tried to x-ray lychees. I piled them up in my wooden bowl. That way it was a bit less complicated to transport them for photography. They shouldn’t move at all between X-ray and photography session. I was lucky.

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

    Combining lychees, bananas, a pear and two figs in a fusion image yields a color explosion in the fusion image.

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

    Last but not least an X-ray fusion photo of all fruit. Color explosion by means of Lab color. The dark blue at the image edges  is a good counterweight to the intense yellow of the pears and bananas.

    Fruit X-ray fusion photo © Julian Köpke

    See also my FAQ section to learn more about fusion imaging with X-ray and photography.

  • 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
  • flowers,  Monochrome,  X-Ray

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement

    Today was a day of dense work and many technical problems. The day before I had made some flower arrangements for Christmas from my preferred flower dealer. A technician took me some X-rays so I could study the exposure values when my wirk was finished.

    The following two I liked most.

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement photo © Julian Köpke

    The vase on the right side seems to hover over the ground.

    X-ray Xmas floral arrangement photo © Julian Köpke