Anna Atkins Essay

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All of Anna Atkins’ works have a few things in common: plants are the subjects and they use the method of cyanotype. Because Anna Atkins had a penchant for botany and scientific illustration , she often documented plants in her photographic works as a hobby. This documentation was often done using the photographic process called cyanotype, a photographic process that produces a cyan blue print, as observed from the blue in the background in all of her works. In addition, she tends to include the plant’s whole leaf structure. All the artwork that will be analysed in this essay involve plants. “Chordaria flagelliformis,” also known as the “black whip weed,” shows the intricacy of Atkins’ works. One can observe the little details of where the “whip” is leading…show more content…
“Aspidium Angulare,” the soft shield fern, shows a clear outline of the plant. Although the colors are more or less inverted because of the cyanotype method, the plant still remains somewhat realistic. Furthermore, while being realistic, it can also look like a piece of artwork rather than a real life object. Even though the realism of the piece is questionable, the piece of work shows a lucid outline of the fern. “Aspidium Goldianum,” also called the Goldie's wood fern, is another type of fern. Atkins’ had documented many different kinds of ferns, even if they were very similar to each other. This is documented on a lighter background compared to the other two photographs that were analysed but it does not make the fern harder to see. Despite the light colors, one can still observe the intricate curves and edges of the fern. In conclusion, Anna Atkins has a tendency to document plants, to use the cyanotype method, and to be very detailed while being clear of the purpose and subject of the photo. Her documentations are also very lucid; one can clearly trace the shape of the documented plant. In addition, they are all very simple.

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