Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Silver Chamomile

click photo to enlarge
Some numbers are more significant than others. For example, 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 12 and 100 seem to be put to more uses than, say, 9, 14, 17, 34 0r 95. Out of the infinity of numbers, however, a strong case can be made that the number 3 is the most noteworthy.

It has many important numerical properties - the first odd prime number, the first unique prime, the second triangular number (and the first prime triangular). Geometrical space has 3 dimensions (length, width and depth). In Arabic numerals (and the numerals of some other cultures) 3 is one of the few numbers to be represented by a glyph-like symbol directly expressive of the quantity (1 and, sometimes, 2 are the others.) The Christian tradition uses 3 to represents the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) and is pictorially represented in many churches. It occurs extensively elsewhere in the religion, for example in the Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity), the 3 Kings, 3 Patriarchs, Christ's rising on the third day, and Peter's triple denial. Early man, and some cultures, it is said, used the three-pattern idea of "one, two, many", with quantities equal to or greater than 3 denoted as "many". Symbolically the number has been linked to time and space - past, present and future, and beginning, middle and end. I could go on - and am frequently accused of doing so! But, you get the point - 3 is a significant number, though in retrospect probably as strong a case can be made for 10, and possibly 5.

My photograph of three Silver Chamomile (Anthemis punctata ssp. cupaniana) promped today's ramblings. The plant on which they were growing in my friends' garden had many flower heads arranged in no particular order. However, as I circled it on an overcast afternoon, trying for an interesting composition, the alignment of these three appeared in the viewfinder, so I pressed the shutter.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On