We report results from a wide range of laser operating conditions, typical for laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation (LA) experiments on copper metallic target, which form the basis of further systematically investigation of the effect of laser irradiance, pulse duration and wavelength, on the target, plume and plasma behavior, during and after laser-solid interaction. In the LA experiment, the laser beam was focused through a 25 cm focal length convergent lens on a plane copper target in air, at atmospheric pressure. The target was rotated in order to have fresh areas under laser irradiance. In the LIBS experiment, the Applied Photonics LIBS-6 instrument allowed modifying the laser irradiance at the sample surface by changing the pulse energy or the laser focusing distance. For the duration of the laser pulse, the power density at the surface of the target material exceeds 109 W/cm2 using only a compact laser device and simple focusing lenses. The plasma parameters were experimentally estimated from spectroscopic data generated by the plasma itself, namely by the line intensities and their ratio which reflect the relative population of neutral or ionic excited species in the plasma. The fitting of the Saha-Boltzmann plot to a straight line provides an apparent ionization temperature, whose value depends on the lines used in the plots. For the typical conditions of LA and LIBS, the temperature can be so high that Cu+ ions are formed. The first-order ionization of Cu (i.e., the ratio of Cu+/Cu0 ) is calculated.