Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Amnesia' Roses - or - Why a Picture Might Be Worth 1000 Words But Not Worth as Much as a Swatch

Had a nice on line chat with some florists about how difficult color matching can be. You can fall in love with a new flower (or at least new to you flower) in a nice glossy mag or on someone's web site, but until you see it in person you can't be 100% sure about the color accuracy in a photo.

Case in point - the 'Amnesia' rose. It may be the rose that forgets what color it is LOL!

This is a funky antique-y colored rose that can definitely vary a bit from grower to grower - a little more green on the guard/ outer petals, a touch more lavender in the center or maybe it's beige, well, OK, a little more gray. It's a bit of a chameleon color-wise, which is one of the things that can make it so fun to play with.

But if you're trying to match it to a dress or a piece of stationary and all you have to go on is a photo, well, we all know monitors and printers can vary.

This is where the expert and experienced eye of your florist can come in handy.

Here are three pictures that feature 'Amnesia' roses. They were all taken of the same arrangement, with the same camera, but under three different light conditions. Do they look the same to you?

Example 1.

Example 2.

Example 3.

Does it look different to you in each example? It sure does on my monitor.

Since these are my pictures, I can tell you (based on what I see on my monitor) that the color of these roses was not as gray as Ex. 1, less pink than #2, and nothing at all like Ex. 3. If I had to narrow it down I'd say halfway between numbers 1 and 2, but that's on my monitor. It might look very different on your monitor.

So what to do? Well, a florist who is familiar with the flower could tell you after seeing say a fabric swatch of your bridesmaids dresses (I'm saying swatch because I think we just learned how unreliable a tool the computer can be for color matching, so I know you're going to have a fabric swatch) whether this will complement them.

If your florist is unfamiliar with a particular flower you've spyed in a photo, and lord knows new varieties come out every day faster than I can keep up, then it's really helpful if there's a familiar flower or object in the picture to use as a reference point. I can look at the flower in context next to that baby green hydrangea or Campbell's soup can, and since I am intimate with their colors, I can tell if the photo is running towards unnatural shades.

So a long post to tell you -

A. Identical flowers can vary in nature, never mind in photos.
B. Printers and monitors may vary and are not great for color matching.
C. A fabric swatch in the hand is worth a 1000 words, or something like that.
D. You need an experienced eye, AKA color whisperer, to spot the unnatural colors.

Have you ever had any color matching disasters?!

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