Orchid in Silhouette

If it seems inappropriate to be taking pictures of flowers and looking away from global suffering, I wonder if this photographer Tim Purdue knows the work of Fred Koch. You would be forgiven if you had never heard of Fred Koch (1904-1947?) although he is now considered to be one of the most groundbreaking photographers of the Weimar Republic. He mainly photographed flowers and crystals, liked to present them as pure aesthetic forms, liked to play with light, reflection and shadow to create striking dramatic images. He was a tech head who puttered around with equipment until he created the sharpest macro lens, or a camera that captured the speed of olympians. It seems he  liked to photograph orchids, his photographs really pushed their sexy vitality. I haven’t found any information about his politics, or the role he played in WW2. Most of his work was published anonymously so he was largely unknown until very recently. He died as a prisoner of war, probably in 1947. I guess that if I have a point, it is that even Tim’s beautiful photograph of a flower can connect back to our history of global conflict, and if we are privileged enough to be safe then there is no shame in celebrating nature.


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