• Travel and break

    The changeable weather is a great blessing for the photographer, who is constantly surprised with new lights. In fact, there are wet days with lots of gray and humidity from all directions. Atmospheric images are best created in the transition phases to sunshine.

    The appearance of a parhelion on the beach of Reynisfjara indicates finely distributed ice in the upper layers of the air. The high humidity after a rainy day makes the light warm and soft in low sun. The photographic image approaches a painting.

    Colors of parhelion (Reynisfjara beach) © Julian Köpke
    Evening at Dyrhólaey © Julian Köpke

    Through fog one even reaches a conclusion of the composition in the distance.

    Vík í Mýrdal © Julian Köpke

    Most of the rainy Wednesday we spent indoors. Around 3 pm we got up the courage to drive to Dyrhólaey again, before it was closed again at 7pm because of the birds that were brooding on the ground. A finely distributed wetness at pleasant, but cool temperatures set us down without getting into us. With winds from the south, the sky suddenly turned bright and blue again.

    Lighthouse Dyrhólaey © Julian Köpke

    Our mood brightened up and we were hardly willing to go indoors again. In Vík í Mýrdal, the church stood on a gentle hill sheltered from the forces of the sea in the sun.

    Church of Vík í Mýrdal © Julian Köpke
  • Macro,  Monochrome

    Light and shades of grey

    Shades of grey in interaction with light: this is a theme for monochromatic images. For a long time I wanted to photograph an egg against a white background. The idea was stimulated by photos, mostly of people I know personally. Geometric, white-colored bodies from the mathematical collection would also be fun for me. Unfortunately, access is not as easy for me as with an egg.

    Light and shades of grey © Julian Köpke

    On the left side the egg is brighter than the background, on the right side it is the other way round. The background itself loses a little brightness from the left to the right, but is brighter than the the egg on the right. The contrast changes. There is no clearly defined shadow for this setup. The same is true in the next photograph.

    White egg on a white background © Julian Köpke

    With the help of a simple light source whose color temperature does not matter after conversion into a black and white image, a soft shadow can be achieved if the source is not point-shaped.

    Shadow cast of an egg © Julian Köpke
    Shadow cast of three eggs on white © 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
  • 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.

  • Monochrome,  X-Ray

    Vegetables X-ray photography

    Harold implanted the idea of X-rays with onions in me. Although more than covered with professional requirements, I tried my hand at vegetable x-ray photography.

    I can say it’s fun. Although a defective screen had to be replaced at the beginning. And you need some patience. Not every shot shows its beauty from the beginning. Some have to be developed first.

    Let’s start with a corncob. It has many outer leaf layers, which lie close to it. X-rays look through and show the layers at the edge of the bulb as fine lines.

    Corncob X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    Here is a comparison of X-ray on the left side versus Mammography on the right side. A Belgian endive and a lettuce show much more contrast and fine structure in a mammography whereas X-ray gives more the impression of softness. Which goes well for a salad.

    Chickory (Belgian endive) and lettuce X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
    Chickory (Belgian endive) and lettuce mammography X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    Onions have a lot of liquid and are therefore radiopaque. I was curious to see which method  would make it better to reveal the layerstructure of the onions. To my surprise mammography did a pretty good job.

     

    Onions mammography X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
    Onions mammography X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    Conventional X-ray offers more mystery, especially when you stack onions.

    Stacked onions X-ray photo © Julian Köpke

    Some kind of layered structure also has fennel. I got two specimen that looked like mittens.

    Fennel © Julian Köpke

    This year we had so many apples in our garden. They are red and look juicy. I had the chance to take two of them to my X-ray machine. With the help of two different orientations an interesting picture succeeds, because on of the apples still has a small branch.

    May be there is some truth in the saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But as the dentist would say: no teeth, no apple.

    Sleeping beauty's choice © Julian Köpke
    An apple a day keeps the doctor away © Julian Köpke
  • 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
  • X-ray images

    Digital X-ray photo of a sunflower (inverted representation). © Julian Köpke
    X-ray three tulips © Julian Köpke
    Nautilus shell as a vessel © Julian Köpke
    Five Dahlias X-ray photo © Julian Köpke
    Nautilus X-Ray Energy Compressed © Julian Köpke
    Odyssey © Julian Köpke
    Nautilus shell 3D Digital X-ray Photo tilted beam © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Tilted Nautilus X-ray photo

    Imagine a Nautilus shell tilted to the surface of the X-ray sensor. The parts close to the sensor are sharp, the distant parts unsharp. Because the X-ray beam creates a central projection. The focal plane is the plane of the sensor, in focus are those parts close to the sensor.

    The shell looks like entering the image or leaving it.

    Tilted Nautilus digital X-ray photo. © Julian Köpke
  • X-Ray

    Sunflower X-ray photos revisited

    How to show the sun in the middle of a sunflower ? For astronomers it is quite common to look at the sun in hydrogen alpha light, which is a pure red at 635nm. With artistic eyes, a red center might be overdone.

    So I tried two different representations, one in BW that is close to the natural look and feel of a sunflower and one with a light blue in the center as complementary color to the yellow petals.

    This sunflower is a fusion photo of X-ray, monochromatic Hα light of the sun converted to BW and a sunflower on a lightbox. © Julian Köpke
    This sunflower is a fusion photo of X-ray, monochromatic Hα light of the sun converted to blue and a sunflower on a lightbox. © Julian Köpke

    The surface structure of our sun can be seen like astronomers see it.

    There is no photo of the next digital X-ray image of a sunflower with its stalk and a leaf:

    Digital X-ray photo of a sunflower (inverted representation). © Julian Köpke