Karl Blossfeldt and His Artistic Representation of Nature
Today we are going to take a look at some work by Karl Blossfeldt, whose work was original for his time, and served as a tool to educate the world. I remember seeing the image above in a slide from The Barnstone Studios, but I didn’t make the connection until I was going through the list of books Myron Barnstone recommended for his students. Let’s see if we can get some inspiration from Karl and his ability to capture nature.
He was a German photographer and artist that was well known for his closeup photographs of plant life. He and his father were greatly interested in nature and the way plant life would grow.
“The plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.” ~ Karl Blossfeldt
Like most great photographers, had no formal training, but that didn’t stop him. He ended up creating a homemade camera that would magnify the plant life up to 30 times it’s size. Karl was also appointed a teaching post at the Institute of Royal Arts Museum. Just looking at some of his photos you’ll see that he was definitely onto something for his time. He was creating original photos that were used as teaching tools through the years. I really enjoy the way they are all black and white photos, on a blank background, and detailed shots. With them being in black and white we aren’t concerned with color and the design is first and foremost. With the blank background Karl creates a nice FGR. He certainly established a strong style within his work. His book “Art forms in Nature,” published in 1928, made him famous overnight.
Just look at his photos and you’ll see that nature was definitely an excellent designer. It even makes you take a closer look at Phi and the wonders of math and nature (see Day 70). Nature is a master of creating beautiful arabesques, unity, patterns, and gamut.
Hopefully this inspires some of you! It just goes to show you that you don’t need formal training or a top of the line Zeiss lens. You just need a passion and a means to capture and create the art you envision. Make your own lens like Karl, just don’t keep making excuses as to why you aren’t creating your art.