There’s an old rose in our front yard that we inherited with the place; it’s slender and spindly and not very tall, and produces only one or two flowers each year; its colour has, every year since 1997, defeated my photographic wiles. This year we have a partial victory.

It’s darker than pink, but partakes of no flavours of crimson or blood or ruby: “brick-red” is the closest I can come but it’s not very close: this is the mildest, smoothest, kindest colour you can imagine. I think of words like “dusty” and “creamy” and “silky,” but words don’t do colours.

Anyhow, I’ve been trying for six years and finally, with the help of a bright but indirect sun and endless fiddling with white balance and any number of other camera settings, this one is starting to get close (the Pentax at work, ISO 800, a bit of Photoshop sharpening here and smoothing there). Worth enlarging, I think: ain’t it pretty?

Old rose blossom in shade

The flower looks great in direct sun and especially dappled, but only to flesh and blood, even a bit of sun sends the poor old camera’s electronic eye veering into blood and crimson and all sorts of colours that aren’t there. Not that it’s not pretty, it’s just not true.

Old rose blossom, dappled

I’ll try again next year.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

June 28, 2004
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