Karl Blossfeldt was a German photographer who, like many others, found inspiration in nature. He believed the plant “never lapses into mere arid functionalism; it fashions and shapes, according to logic and suitability, and with its primeval force, compels everything to attain the highest artistic form.”

Born in 1863, Blossfeldt spent a lot of time as a child in the Harz Mountains of central Germany. He was an apprentice in iron casting and sculpture in Magdesprung and began studies at the Institute of Royal Arts Museum in Berlin. As an art student, he started collecting interesting plants to use as models for a drawing class.


Blossfeldt never received formal training in photography. Amazingly, Blossfeldt created many of his photographs with a homemade camera that could magnify the subject up to thirty times its size, revealing the interesting details within the structure of various plants—an amazing bridge between art and science.  This work was innovative: a simple yet extraordinary way to uncover the small secret patterns of the natural world.