First of all, for my first post for 2014, Happy New Year!
And appropriately for my first post, I am continuing a 7 year tradition in following Pantone’s Color of the Year. The 2014 Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid. An interesting, energetic color to say the least, not quite pink, not quite purple, but something in between, bringing the qualities of both together.
Here are some of the Technical aspects of it:
And from the Pantone press release:
“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”
As with previous years, I dive into my archives on a treasure hunt of sorts, looking for close matches to what is to be the “hot” color for the year, at least by the color authority of Pantone®. Even if it never amounts to any particular business lead (can’t say it has), it is a unique way of exploring older photographs.
Many people may go through their archives by dates, places, or subjects as a way to rekindle those moments. I happen to also keyword by dominant colors, which helps in a search like this, so I can at least come to a good starting point. It would certainly be nice if Lightroom had an eye dropper feature where you could set a tolerance limit, and have it hunt throughout your database. (Note to self – write Adobe.)
Sometimes it is quite hard to find close matches, but I think Radiant Orchid is a pinkish / purple color found in many of Michigan’s native wildflowers. In fact, many of them are native orchids! Michigan’s Grass Pink Orchid, for one, is very close to being a match to my eye.
To make sure what I was seeing was accurate, I also used Photoshop’s color sampler to pick the closest tones from the flower that matched the swatch of Radiant Orchid. I guess my monitor and my eyes are still calibrated pretty good, as the RGB values were only off by less than 10%.
Other examples I found are in Michigan’s rare, native Calypso Orchid and less so in the Showy Lady Slipper.
I have only known these to grow in parts of upper Michigan, either in the very northern ends of the lower peninsula or in the U.P. This one goes way, way back – photographed in May 1998, with my Nikon F5, on Fuji Velvia film, and a 105 f2.8 (non VR at the time) macro lens.
Michigan’s Showy Lady Slipper Orchids also come close in color match, drifting a bit perhaps more towards red/pinkish tones. These can also be quite rare, but they do grow further south than the Calypso’s.
And one cannot forget one of the earlier blooms of Springtime, the delicate Michigan Spring Beauty, where you will find close matches to this intriguing color. These accents drift towards the purple end of the spectrum.
Moving away from the obvious wildflower sources for finding Radiant Orchid, I think it can also be found in the landscape, particularly at the ends of the day, during civil or nautical twilight, when skies begin taking on pastel-like colors. I thought there was a close match for the 2014 color in the sky of this landscape from Georgian Bay.
And perhaps more obviously found in this winter landscape from my favorite ice spot in Michigan.
Or going back in time, into this ancient landscape, where resemblances of Radiant Orchid are found in stone, millions of years before anyone knew of such a color.
Expanded creativity and originality – if that is something that this color is predicted to bring, I hope you all have a Radiant Orchid colored 2014.