Our journey to the Land of the Midnight Sun starts in Oslo. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from the harbour. A lot of rain and constantly changing light from more or less dense clouds greet us. Because we don’t want to miss anything, we start our first tour right after arrival, despite a certain tiredness.
The first building that caught our eyes is the opera. Built with Carrara marble is white.
A sculpture in the middle of the harbor attracted me. It took me some moments to see the resemblance to a painting of Caspar David Friedrich („Eismeer“).
In the morning it is very cold in the Verzasca valley. Two hours earlier on site than the day before saved me the search for a parking lot. Two photographers were just at their last pictures. Again, I was relatively late.
First the rocks of Lavertezzo with the church, then the many puddles in the rocks with their reflections.
After many photographic attempts to gain momentum from the waterfall, I took one last picture in which I look at it flowing down into the valley. Note the sun’s rays in the tree on the left, as the clouds slowly move away.
The bright house near Motta had already noticed me the day before. As good as it is preserved and as beautiful as it stands, it might be a holiday home.
Waterfalls can be seen everywhere, in some places several waterfalls from different directions converge into a large one.
The furthest eastern destination of our trip was the Vestrahorn. With a private beach of black sand, this place is interesting at low tidal ranges because of its reflections. The nice lady at the entrance gave us a ticket for morning and evening. So we came there in the morning and in the evening hours.
The blue colour of the reflections deceives the fact that a warm morning sun illuminated the beach. My friend Detlef is almost lost in the vastness of the beach.
Sometimes I find it difficult to make panoramic shots because I can’t plan the picture in my head. Every panorama always contains a small surprise. On the Vestrahorn I made this panorama with reflections from 2 shots with identical parameters.
You don’t go to Iceland to watch a solar eclipse. The visibility of the event is unlikely. Taking a solar eclipse with you as a by-catch on a trip has a different quality.
So we managed to record the early and late phases with a tripod, we had to miss the maximum due to heavy rain and dark clouds. Only a few minutes later than the maximum at 10:16h local time we drove off road into the wilderness and took this photo through the clouds.
With a picture like this in the box, every other photo of the day is a gift. The icebergs of Jökulsarlon were a cool attraction with reflections, sunshine and rain showers alternating.
After a short visit to the hotel we drove back to Diamond Beach, which is located right on the southern coast of Jökulsarlon. The many small ice blocks formed by the icebergs broken by the surf gave the beach its name.
The German philosopher Karl Jaspers described in his memoirs the boy’s experiences with the sea. The sea, he noted, is a symbol of philosophy, because it makes infinity present to us.
Is a photo on the beach enough to bring us closer to the infinity of thought? Maybe at that moment, I think, when we stop thinking focused when we look at the photo.
Different motifs are able to change our inner view. They don’t have to be pictures of the sea. But with these, our feeling is often more evident.
Technically I did three longtime exposure of 15s, which is a sort of time fusion. I used a 6EV Lee filter to photograph these three stones at the beach short after sunrise. You can see the colourful reflections of the morning sky in the sea and on the damp beach.
My darkroom studio is convenient for flower photography and high contrast, especially white. Today I tried out glasses with reflections and a nearly complete homogenous white vase. The only variations are reflections imposed on it from little light leaks of my improvised studio.
A photograph of a glass in a more documentary style is the following. The representation of the glass cutting is realistic. The stem out of the focal plane is appropriate for the focus of the photograph.
The combination of black and green thrilled me in the composition with traditional wine glasses for regional white wine. Unexpectedly, I got some copper allusions with some warmth in the transparent glass.
A more cool representation is the following composition with more glasses, including a tasting glass for Whisky. Is it the morning after a roaring party ? No leftovers can be seen so far …
A more detailed view ist the following photograph, which is more on the warm side. The glasses get a copper-like appearance.
Everyone has an idea about infinity. Infinity always confronts us with the question of wether we can see or recognize it at all. Modern mathematics knows that infinite series of numbers may well have a finite limit. The ancient greeks had realized that Achilles will always outrun a tortoise, but they couldn’t prove it. For the solution remained hidden.
Photographing a single, well reflecting steel sphere I got on the surface pointing to my macro lens a distorted image of the surrounding. One can see the tree in our garden, the lens and the tripod of my equipment, even the photographer’s legs are visible. That’s why I think it’s sort of a selfie.
Immediately, I thought of my friend Harold, who had worked a lot on photographing water drops and who had made a book about the photography of water drops. In the juxtaposition of several water drops the environment is displayed several times side by side in the drops.
Well, this happens as well, if you place two well reflecting steel balls side by side. So far, there is nothing unexpected.
On closer inspection, the opposite sides of the spheres show further images of the surroundings slightly outside the original image, well visible on the tree. These images of the tree become smaller and smaller lying within the circular image of the first reflection.
An infinite series of images in one picture is created by the reflection on the surface of two adjacent steel spheres. As the reflected images become smaller and smaller, the total area of the image is finite. A similar effect is known with water drops as well.
It is a nice experience to walk the same path under changing light conditions at daily distance. In winter there is not much botanically happening, only the snow can be more or less – or the fog. The possibilities of imaging with a camera essentially change with the extent of the available light. A sunny day shows a maximum of available light.
Does sunlight make a picture atmospheric ? With cloudy skies or even some fog, the conditions for background and foreground change substantially and pictures without sunlight can be be very varied and gain a special depth of expression.
The above image shows: shadows during a day with a blue sky are blue, too.
The detection of expressive light situations without a tripod and without HDR technology requires a limited amount of light that the sensor can still process with out blown-out lights or drown depths.
The Old Bridge in Heidelberg has the same attraction to visitors as the Charles Bridge in Prague or th Bridge to the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. Not everyone that the connective building between the two white towers houses an apartment. You come to the bridge early in the morning, you’re almost alone. This lonelyness is especially emphasized by a single walker.
The morning calm is reinforced by the fog. Even the car traffic is not so loud as usual. Maybe the noise will decrease even more with electric cars. That would do us good. The view form the bridge downstream shows ships tied up on the shore. Only a few rowers are on the river with trainers whose voices hardly penetrate.
The castle exercises the rule over the city. The strong contrast of the castle ruins over the roofs off the Old Town on the river bank is attenuated by the morning mist.
Most of what we do see with our eyes is a reflection. Any light from a bouquet of flowers is just reflection. Looking through a bottle shows beside reflection some refraction. The only exception, where we don’t see reflected light is e.g. offered by an open fire or a light bulb. The sight of a star also shows direct light, which is usually subject to refraction due to the atmosphere.
Our eyes seem to absorb the light when we see. In fact, they can also reflect the incident light. We know this phenomenon from cat images that we have mistakenly photographed with a flash light.
Sitting in front of me my right eye is on the viewers left side and the left eye is on its right side. The instrument uses a red and a green laser at a harmless energy dose.
With different wave lengths of a laser an ophthalmologist is able to see different structures of the fundus and uses this property for diagnostic purposes. Looking at the green color only that stems from the green laser, the result is a monochrome image that shows vessels of the surface of the retina and smalls nerves joining the papilla.
Looking at the red channel displaying the reflections of the red laser light, monochrome images show deep vessels behind the retina.
Beside the medical point of view there is an aesthetic one, too. Dr. Gösele, to whom I owe these beautiful pictures, confirmed to me the impression of an astronomical night shot, which other viewers also feel. With a courageous crop you get there:
This is how the central part of my sensor looks like when creating photographs or X-rays. My wife immediately urged me not to fall into a narcissistic trap ….