Saturday, June 02, 2012

Orange and purple

click photo to enlarge
Orange and purple don't rank high in the colours that I like. I prefer orange over purple, but I'll take green, red, blue and violet over either of them. When I see the two colours I think of the 1970s, a decade when they seemed to rise in prominence and find uses in the most unlikely places. I recall seeing houses and shops with their exterior woodwork painted a deep purple; not very many admittedly, but it only takes a few to catch your eye and cause you to wonder about the aesthetic sensibilities of the owners of those premises. Then there were the bright orange walls in rooms - not every wall, just one or two to contrast with the more muted colours elsewhere. Clothes often featured the two colours as well, usually to the detriment of those wearing them. A few years ago the seventies came back into fashion and orange, more than purple, re-surfaced as a colour of choice. In this latter-day reprise it was often paired with strong lime green. I remember seeing the combination used for plastic kitchen implements. The very thought of them makes me shudder.

It has been said that as far as putting one colour next to another goes you have to be careful except in one very particular circumstance. Flowers, many believe, go together whatever the colours. I think there's some truth in that statement. Perhaps it's the omnipresent green of the leaves acting like a flux, binding one hue to another. In our garden we have a fine show of French lavender (Lavandula stoechas). We've grown a variety of annuals and perennials next to it without much thought for the colour combination, and we have not been disappointed by the display that has resulted. Last year we were given some poppy seeds that produce orange flowers in profusion, day after day, even though each bloom lasts for only a single day. When I saw the first flowers appearing against the blue green foliage and purple flowers of the lavender I wondered how it would look. But, despite my feelings about each individual colour I like the combination. So much so that I took this photograph.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 191mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On