• Travel

    Fagradalsfjall

    The last highlight of our trip through Iceland was the newly erupted volcano Fagradalsfjall in March in the Krýsuvík volcano system of the Reykjanes peninsula. After arriving at the parking lot, which we unfortunately could not pay for lack of local app without internet connection on site, was by a lava river on the footpath to the viewpoints a long walk fully loaded with photo equipment to tackle.

    A long horizontal path to a steep climb that should be worthwhile. The last part of the 150m ascent was provided with a rope on which you could pull yourself up. Then came a plateau, on which the visitors spread out over large area.
     
    Admiration and shiver at Fagradalsfjall © Julian Köpke

    Right hand side in the background on a hill has landed a helicopter. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t noticed so much aircraft noise. A burning smell was everywhere in the air, sometimes pungent. After a short time, I started to have slight headache.

    Volcanic fumes at vent of Fagradalsfjall © Julian Köpke
    Hot lava out of volcanic vent Fagradalsfjall © Julian Köpke

    The impression of a primordial landscape induces the last image.

    The very beginning © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Texture,  Travel

    Rain and heavy winds

    In the morning a short review of the Vestrahorn in the hotel at the computer. The warm light of the morning sun was reflected in the dune grass, which grew into the black sand in repeated small domes. And in the mountain range that gave the name to the place.

    Morning sun at Vestrahorn © Julian Köpke

    I liked the simplicity of the house forms in Iceland. I’d like to photograph them all. Remotely, they are reminiscent of the wooden shapes of the houses and hotels of a Monopoly game.

    Corrugated-iron shelter or barn on Iceland
    House at Seljalandsfoss

    A road that didn’t seem to be difficult on the map should take us to the foothills of Eyafjallajökull. On the way there we met riders who used the same road with Icelandic horses. They were clearly faster and, as if by magic, always quite a bit of us. The road was interrupted by watercourses that our simple car could not pass through. We had to turn around.

    Difficult road to Eyafjallajökull

    After a visit to Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi we drove to the ferry port, which takes you to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). Hefty wind and thin rain awaited us. The lens could hardly be held straight with the hand. Some grains of sand from the black beach penetrated into my left eye and keep me busy for some time.

    Vestmannaeyjar during storm and rain © Julian Köpke
  • reflection,  Travel

    A day at Vestrahorn

    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.

    Vestrahörn at low tide © Julian Köpke

    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.

    The photographer at Vestrahorn. Black sand beach. © Julian Köpke

    Sometimes I find it difficult to make panoramic shots because 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 shots with identical parameters.

    The rocks of Klifatindur (panorama 2 shots). Black sand beach. Vestrahorn. Estrahorn. © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Snaefellsjökull

    The weather got better and better, but remained changeable, which gave us plenty of opportunities for beautiful shots. Detlef had already programmed all stops in the navigation system, so we could go there in peace as we wanted. 

    The weather varied considerably from region to region, sometimes necessitating quick decisions. Or a chance to take nap.

    Ingjaldsholskirkja and Snaefellsjökull © Julian Köpke

    On our way to Budir a second time we passed by the foothills of Snaefellsjökull. 

    Foothills of Snaefellsjökull © Julian Köpke

    The small hotel near the red beach of Budir has an excellent location and its own charm. Prepared for tourists are two old cottages, decorated with milk jugs.

    Red hut at Hotel Budir © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Long time exposure,  Travel

    Test results

    It was impossible for me to sleep really long. The long day in Iceland and the tension about when the test result would arrive kept me awake. In the end, it was 12 hours that we waited. We spent the quarantine in the car on the way to the hotel as indicated. After12 hours of tiring waiting, the result a negative test -was as text message on our mobile phones.

    The weather was constantly changing on the way. In addition to great photo opportunities, there were also boring sections with rain or dull views. At the end we arrived in Arnarstapi. Again along day with excursion to the basalt coast with finely distributed rain.

    Black basalt coast at Hellnar (Arnarstapi) © Julian Köpke
    Despite the unpleasant rain, the sky was full of interesting light conditions that the eye was not accustomed to correctly estimate.
    Snaefellsjökull © Julian Köpke
  • Landscape,  Travel

    Eternal day

    Our flight to Iceland started in Germany with summer darkness, which was far from reaching its maximum. To the north over Germany and to the northwest over Scotland, th edusk could be seen in the west, and after not too long already the dawn in the east. The topology of the sphere allows us to see the evening in the left plane window and the morning in the right plane window.

    Red clouds, sometimes dense, sometimes filigree, hovered over an almost closed cloud cover over the sea. Seeing the sun was reserved for the captain of the flight.

    Sunrise after take off © Julian Köpke
    Sunset and sunrise © Julian Köpke

    After a Covid test, we had to go into quarantine. Outside it was still bright as in our home on a winter afternoon at 4 pm. Everything was deserted, so I took a photo session at the harbor without violating the purpose of the quarantine. I was greeted by a strong eruption of the Krýsuvík-volcano system in the Fagradalsfjall mountains, for which I was only partially equipped in camera technology.

    Eruption © Julian Köpke

    In the morning I was able to see the volcanic region again from the pool of the hotel. A half-full wine glass was on the edge. In the night three young mermaid have had loudly their fun in this pool.

    Sleeping volcano under clouds. Krýsuvík-volcano system © Julian Köpke
  • 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
  • Heidelberg,  Landscape,  Motion Blur,  Train window,  Travel

    Train ride

    Lockdown drives us crazy. Official measures increasingly breathe the spirit of decay. The Age of Enlightenment is over. It is no longer a reasonable reflection that counts or thoughts, that are discussed. Politics behaves more like a war management. The first victim of a war is the truth. That’s more and more disturbing.

    This morning I stepped over an enigma. A structure in the roof of our Main Station in Heidelberg. As an image, there are many ways this structure could be thought of: a top-down bowl, a flying saucer – or a light dome. As it was still dark about 6 o’clock the windows appeared in a dark blue, like the adjacent ceiling.

    Other perspectives show a content that could be seen as a china plate. I couldn’t stop to photograph this dome.

    Longtime exposures made from a train window have a look and feel of their own. Perspective loses its sense. A moment loses its meaning. But these images are inspiring.

    How to photograph the feeling of eternity ? Can there really be a feeling of eternity or are we subjected to a deception when we perceive it ? Does time fusion help although a finite process ? The following image was captured with the Slow Shutter app on my cell phone with 8 seconds.