In the mid-19th century, Anna Atkins – a botanist and photographer from Kent – published the first book with photographs as illustrations, in a guide to British algae, ferns and flowering plants.
Some 160 years later and the relationship between botany, books and photography hasn’t wilted: London-based photographer Steve Harries addresses a British botanical heritage in new publication – Studio Botanical – containing 23 varieties of plants that prove there are still new ways to capture natural forms and foliage on camera.
While Atkins’ early cyanotypes were intended to be didactic and descriptive, Harries’ pursuit comes out of a more whimsical rapture, and with the addition of colour (the book is resplendent with vermillion, mauve and turquoise shades). ‘With such a familiar area of study, the aim was to search for a fresh shade of expression, through nuances of movement, repetition or sequence.’ Harries says.
Signed and numbered #166/500