Hanne Castein

small branch with roots in a metal container

an interestingly curled leaf shape

a bunch of tied flower stalksaabandoned

thistle leaf skeleton on roadside

oldseed branch with young leaves growing

Small seed pod on the move

branch of pine needles against metal base

this is a nigella seed pod cut in half

autumn chestnut

"penny plant" leaves and shadows

dried remnant of an agave blossom

simple arrangement of white tulips

roadside leaf "down and out"

fine springtime blossoms at the roadside

a bunch of poppy seed heads

nigella seed head against complex metal background

Hanne Castein

I am a German photographer living in London. My photographs are chiefly of plants in all seasons, and mostly in black and white.

About five years ago I came across the work of Karl Blossfeldt, a pioneer of plant photography in the 1930’s. Intrigued and challenged by what I saw, I bought a camera and started to take photographs of twigs, seeds, leaves and flowers, in fact, any plant parts with promising shapes and textures. Unlike Blossfeldt and later plant photographers like e.g. Imogen Cunningham, I embed the plant subjects in a varied and textured background.

I experiment with all manner of textures, using metals, slate and wood, preferring them to be not too clean, but weathered, damaged, rusty, dusty and streaked. The plants I photograph are mainly what I find on walks round town, in parks, and my garden throughout the seasons.

If my pictures are ‘about’ anything then it is time, what it creates and leaves behind, as we witness it in the life cycle of all plants.


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