Monthly Archives: August 2011

Tasteful combinations

When I was an adolescent, I had a book on style. It wasn’t too bad; it wasn’t, for instance, one of those books that tells you how to fix every single possible body shape because they are All Wrong. (How is that even possible?)

But it did have two fascinating pieces of advice I still remember, for no apparent reason, since they are not even vaguely useful to me. One of them is that jeans may be comfortable, but they are not flattering (like everybody else I work with, I wear jeans to work more often than not — uniforms do not have to be either flattering or official).

The other was that if you want to find a tasteful color combination, you can always look at nature. Flowers, for instance. Any individual flower is always a tasteful color combination, as long as you use the colors in the same proportion as they occur in the flower.

You have to wonder if the authors ever actually looked at flowers.

For instance, this would be a pinky-purple dress with a sunshine yellow bodice and dark brown piping:

purple flower, yellow and brown center

I wouldn’t wear it myself, and I wouldn’t call it tasteful, but it would certainly be interesting.

This one, with almost equal amounts of pale pink and celadon green, a significant pop of magenta, and deep yellow trim, would be a little less eye-catching, but certainly no more traditional:

pink flower showing green edges, dark center, and yellow threads

Maybe they have to be fully open? Because I have trouble imagining the word tasteful in the same room as any outfit consisting of equal amounts of celadon and deep magenta, with a major accent of bottle green:

purple flower bud, surrounded by light green leaves with very dark edges


Sweet Pea

Some sweet peas from Gamble Gardens

I took some pictures of sweet peas so that Opal would have some idea why one would call her that. It’s particularly appropriate because she loves to dress exactly like that, in two colors of purple with dramatic shapes.

More Aquarium

We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on the fourth of July, and the really big tank had just reopened the weekend before. For photo geeks, this is the joy of high ISO, and I should have gone higher (there’s some motion blur).

silhouetted people watching fish in rays of light in a big tank

The main problem getting this shot was being sure nobody else's flash or preview screen was visible in the final image (I cropped one out).