• Landscape,  Sylt,  Texture,  Travel

    Heavy winds

    In the evening in Keitum we went after dinner in a pub a little walk. The light of the sunset was special and it changed continuously with the cloud train. After all, there was quite bit of wind to be felt. Within less than 1 hour I took many pictures, leaning on fence posts to be less shaky.

    Initially, there were phases with almost homogeneous cloud backgrounds.

    Church St. Severin, Keitum, Sylt © Julian Köpke

    The simple geometry of the lateral image of St. Severin calmed the increasingly wild sky.

    Church St. Severin, Keitum, Sylt © Julian Köpke
    For a moment it looked like thunderstorms. A crack went through the clouds that reminded me of an old church song.
    Tearing open clouds over St. Severin church, Keitum, Sylt © Julian Köpke

    However, the threat of an approaching thunderstorm dissolved without a single drop of rain and the setting sun colored the clouds before we got back into the car for the drive home.

    Evening clouds at Keitum © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Sylt,  Travel

    Clouds of Sylt

    Expressive pictures on Sylt seem to be easier to achieve with clouds. The last days, first in black and white, now increasingly in color. The cloud structure of the sky reminds me again and again of Emil Nolde’s oil paintings.

    First I edit the RAW images with Capture One. This allows me to determine the light and dark parts as well as the contrasts and colors. Then I erase the unavoidable stains, either from the sensor or from the optics. At the end a few filtering in Photoshop with Topaz or Nik Collection. All filters masked out and painted in at some homeopathic dosage.

    Church St. Severin in Keitum © Julian Köpke
    Dyke Rantum and clouds © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Sylt

    Thunderstorm clouds near List

    This image was shot when looking back on our way to the sunny southern beach. The area is located in the north of Sylt and is called “Ellbogen”. Shortly before, we had protected ourselves from a heavy rain shower by waiting in the car.

    The path to northern beach was illuminated like by spotlight, the dune next to it dark, the thunderstorm clouds even more dark. The raw image didn’t reflect what I saw during that short moment. The raw image was flat and without extremes. By processing I tried to restore my original impression.

    Thunderstorm clouds near List © Julian Köpke

    You can find this photo in my album of in explore pictures (Flickr) or right here.

    I like to let my thoughts be taken by cloud formations on journey into the indefinite. In order to emphasize the weight of the clouds in the following photo, I tried to present the relatively close parts in a clearer and more contrasted way. The RAW image had a lot of width, but without a center of gravity. The colours are rather pale and not very saturated, thus emphasizing the nordic look.

    Cloud formations near Kampen ( Seagull) © Julian Köpke

    On the westcoast of Kampen, the Red Cliff, which contains oxidized iron ore and has therefore assumed a red color, offers strong contrast. The erosion leads to washes that may be reminiscent of skin wrinkles. The picture is interesting if rendered in color or monochrome.

    Red Cliff westcoast Kampen, Sylt © Julian Köpke
    Red Cliff westcoast Kampen, Sylt © Julian Köpke

    After a short climb we reached the upper edge of the cliff.

    Beach of Red Cliff, Kampen © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Sylt,  Travel

    Flotsam and jetsam

    The Braderuper Heath is a northeastern part of the island of Sylt, with a white cliff of kaolin. While walking we came across an eviscerated duck that was suddenly lying in front of our feet. The head was dark or black, the throat was flabby, the internal organs were probably used for food. Maybe some dog owners had become angry already about their naughty four-legged friends.

    That’s not enough. A short distance later we came across shipwreck whose hull with the upward-facing edges offered the same aspect as the duck’s disemboweled body with its ribs. Since the tide was low, we were able to approach the mortal remains of the ship without water running into our shoes. We just sank a little into the tidal mudflats.

    Wreck in the mudflats of Braderup. © Julian Köpke

    We could have made bets on the age of the ship and the cause of the accident. The three-masted grain schooner was moored as an unauthorized party ship off the coast of Braderup and sunk due to a fire in 1981. The cause of the fire was never determined.

    There are many places with a white cliff. This one is part of the same geological structure as the cliff in Morsum.

    White cliff at Braderup © Julian Köpke
  • Background,  flowers,  Heidelberg,  Macro

    Heidelberg Castle, flowers and flypaper textures

    Heidelberg Castle is a landmark. In winter its red color becomes softer. For one winter Frederick V. became king with his home in this castle. After that, Germany sank into the 30 Years War. The castle had been ruined already by fire a couple of years before.

    Winter Castle of the Winter King © Julian Köpke

    The delicacy and dreaminess of a photo is not always the result of intensive digital processing. The ranuncula of the following image hardly needed editing. You can feel it. With a tripod and a 85mm Lensbaby velvet at f/16 I shot this image with really delicate color.

    Ranuncula © Julian Köpke

    The lavish feast is over. Paradise is no more. The king went into exile. We’re staying.

    The roaring party is over © Julian Köpke
  • General,  Landscape,  Monochrome,  Travel

    Ups and downs

    January 6th is a holiday in our region, commemorating the three holy kings or three wise men, who had been probably astronomers. The Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas. In the United States of America, a reigning madman with his mob is degrading his country to a banana republic. Looking at this rises questions about our German history 87 years ago.

    I spent the whole night absorbing  the latest news. Sleeping was almost difficult if not impossible. This morning a bug in the Flickr software ? A picture of mine with so many views and favorites ? Well, that was the good surprise this morning after all: an in explore for a picture I had been thinking about for a long time and that I repeatedly failed: taking tree trunks in landscape format.

    This time it worked out better than expected. Christa and I started a late walk up at Posseltslust to see some people riding sledges. We took a forest trail away from the slopes. The twilight was already advanced, the ISO high and the aperture only slightly closed. A pleasant winter light surrounded us. Between the tress it became bright, the tree trunks covered with snow below. This image got an in explore.

    Tree trunks in winter near Posseltslust in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke

    Not far from there, I made a second attempt of the scene, which seems a bit more delicate in my eyes. I posted it two days later.

    Tree trunks in winter near Posseltslust in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke

    Winter forest looks a it like a fairy tale to me. That is why color is also important, which additionally stimulates the imagination. Even a tree trunk presumably struck by lightning becomes a sight to behold. It works with the color even if there is only little light.

    Broken tree in the forest near Posseltslust in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke

    At the end of the forest path, a light shines like in a cathedral, in which the faithful are moving. Is there the light at the end of the tunnel ?

    Walk through the forest in winter near Posseltslust in Heidelberg © Julian Köpke
  • Heidelberg,  Landscape

    Staying at home

    This year we spent 5 weeks of our holiday involuntarily in Heidelberg. with the light of a late winter afternoon just before the winter solstice and some mist in the air, dreamlike impressions arise. We didn’t have to cover a long distance. In the hills above the town there is a plateau within walking distance with a farm, commemorative cemetery and a forest all around. Had it not been tor the photo equipment, we would have really been on foot up the mountain.

    Two trees above Bierhelder Hof © Julian Köpke

    Going closer to the fence that surrounds the dairy cattle, you will see straight into the foggy valley. No roofs, no industry, no highway, no noise. Just a wooden house in the forest like in a fairy tale. The colors blur into a monochrome something.

    Valley view in Heidelberg above Rohrbach © Julian Köpke

    Perhabs we feel invited to sit by a bench in the woods. When the seat is dry really ….

    Bench in the woods © Julian Köpke

    At the end of the short walk we step on a Tori, which in the backlight shows us the lightness of Japanese beauty.It is probably to be assigned to the Heidelberg twin town Kumamoto on the southern most Japanese island Kyushu.

    Tori in Heidelberg (Kumamoto) © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Moab

    Who’d thought it ? The company that supplies me with printerpaper named itself after a place in Utah, which is located in Arches national Park. There is certainly no deeper wisdom behind it. Leaving Escalante via Capital Reef National Park. There one could marvel at petroglyphs. If you turned around, wonderfully white trees shone towards you.

     

    Capital Reef Trees © Julian Köpke

    Similarly, the name Dead Horse Point does not make sense for a geological formation of the Colorado River, which shows a footpath near a bend of the river that runs together with the river. These tracks will certainly be less persistent and pass away faster than the whole valley.

  • Landscape,  Travel

    Grand Staircase – Escalante

    From the beginning we had to reveal how long we would stay in Escalante. A hike to the slot canyons Peek-a-Boo, Spooky and Dry Fork put a quick end to all wishful thinking. Very narrow Canyons, little promising light and sometimes difficult climbs made this clear to us.

    On a pleasant morning we got first to Devil’s garden.

    Escalante Devil's garden © Julian Köpke

    The narrow canyons were the work of erosion caused by water flowing fast for a long time – long ago. The reflections of sunlight on the walls of these aka slot canyons occasionally created a shimmer of orange and rosé at the bottom which was promising to photograph.

    Dry Fork Canyon Escalante © Julian Köpke

    At the end of the day we were given the best light in the world. Grand Staircase is a great natural spectacle that surprises again and again. Don’t count your chicken before they hatch.

  • 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