Karl Blossfeldt is a German photographer and sculptor. He is best known for his close-up photographs of plants and living things, published in 1929 as Urformen der Kunst. He was inspired, as was his father, by nature and the ways in which plants grow. He believed that "the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure."
Never formally trained in photography, Blossfeldt made many of his photographs with a camera that he altered to photograph plant surfaces with unprecedented magnification. His pictures achieved notoriety among the artistic avant-garde.
The clarity, precision, and apparent lack of mediation of his pictures, along with their presentation as analogues for essential forms in art and architecture, won him acclaim from the champions of New Vision photography. His work was a central feature of important exhibitions, including Fotografie der Gegenwart and Film und Foto, both in 1929.