Karl Blossfeldt (born June 13, 1865, Schielo, Germany—died December 9, 1932, Berlin), was a German photographer best known for his precise photographs of plants; however, he began his career as a sculptor. Blossfeldt had no formal training as a photographer, but nevertheless designed his own cameras that he outfitted with lenses capable of magnifying his subjects up to 30 times their natural size. As a result, everyday garden flowers are presented in such a way that their rhythmic forms are emphasised to the extreme and the plants take on new and exotic characteristics. Blossfeldt wanted his work to act as a teaching aid and inspiration for architects, sculptors and artists. It was his firm belief that only through the close study of the intrinsic beauty present in natural forms, that contemporary art would find its true direction. The first of his three photo books, Art Forms in Nature was enormously successful and remains one of the most-significant photo books of the 20th century.