Funny Colors (Mostly OT)

wellspringDecember 12, 2011

I have this cool new toy. I�ll try to work in something landscape designy, but I just really want to talk about my new color identifier ap. Not an ad. It�s intended for the visually impaired and I�d read on the internet how one blind person used it right away to "view" his garden, pointing the camera at every leaf and blossom and stone. He also used it to "watch" a sunset, listening to all the color changes in real time.

The ap is downloaded to a cell phone and the cell phone�s camera reads the color; a voice program "speaks" the colors, verbalizing continuous shifts in the spectrum by using different names for each change in the camera�s digital reception of light (or shadow). It�s good and it�s bad. It�s good because it can verbalize up to a billion different color names. It�s bad for the same reason.

So here�s a quiz. In each case below, I carefully pointed the camera at something. I moved the camera around so that it might catch different aspects of the colors in view. Each example was done with the camera about 6 to 8 inches from the mystery item and in about 30 seconds, so not shade over time. Only one example in the list refers to something outside in my Illinois landscape � told you I�d throw something in �

What 3 mystery items are these colors describing? (First hint: One is animal, one is vegetable, and one is mineral.)

1. Brandy punch



Carrot orange




Reno sand

Fuel yellow


Texas rose


2. English walnut




Indian Khaki

Crater brown

Tobacco brown

Ochico (sp?)





Rodeo dust

Spicy mix




Bizarre (or did it say bazaar?


3. Rose Sienna

Mule fawn

Burnt sienna

Sandy brown

Tan hide

Macaroni & cheese


Santa Fe



Welcome any and all comments, hijacks, crazy guesses, or color wonderings. It�s been commented on this forum before how Ops often want to start with plants and the colors of their blossoms. Our culture seems to teach children to name their favorite colors at an early age. There are deep emotional and cultural currents associated with colors. Note that in the list above someone thought place names sufficient to hold their place in the color range. I know this ap has the following colors: Chicago, Dallas, Moonlight in Paris, as well as Casablanca, Santa Fe, etc.

And this doesn�t even begin to touch on color trends orchestrated by fashion.

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Good Heavens! :-) You'd certainly need some other input (touch...?) to give more definitive clues to identity! My guess for the first one is maybe an orange cat...? The second one might be something like a granite rock - something speckled...? The Mac & Cheese in the third one immediately brought pumpkin to mind :-)

Quite a few of those color names don't have an immediately definitive color association for me - so I can see that a tool like that would be both helpful as well as frustrating at times.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:15AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Fun question, interesting puzzle. I'm not good using color, but I appreciate color when it's well done.

My wild guesses:

1) some kind of flower, perhaps a yellow daisy?
2) a dog
3) a brick

I'm probably way off, but it's fun to play your game.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Hi, Woody! "Quite a few of those color names don't have an immediately definitive color association for me" - Yep! I haven't tried googling the program / ap name to see if a list exists, so that a person could locate where in the spectrum a particular color falls. While in use, you can pause it and get it's "number" read-out for a specific color name. I'm still getting the hang of it ...

Kim- You got the brick exactly right! That was the "mineral" and landscape element.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 12:17PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

That's a great idea for software! I wonder where they found those billion color names?

Now you can go plant shopping ... or clothes-shopping ... and be confused!

And all over the world, shy people have a new conversation-starter. "Excuse me, do you know what color 'Chicago' is?" [I've been to Chicago, and I certainly haven't a clue.]

Here are my guesses to your puzzle:

1) I thought orange cat before I read woody's response. [Not sure about the "firebush" color, though -- but I'm assuming this gadget reads minute areas, catches reflected glare etc.] My second guess would be upholstered furniture.

2) A tree trunk. Second guess: your hair.

3) A copper pot in your kitchen. Second guess: the outside of your house (I think I remember seeing a photo of your house). Third guess: an onion (finally another possibility for "vegetable"). Fourth guess: a terra cotta pot.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 1:25PM
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I think 1 is a carrot. That leaves 2 to be an animal since three is a brick. I'm going to go with 2 being a tabby cat.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 2:36PM
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Number one seems to be mostly yellow with a touch of red orange and white and then there is the brandy...I'm going for a drunken cat

Number two is definitely brown so I would say that is either soil or mulch unless Wellspring uses red mulch and then it has to be earth and a thumbs down

As we know that number three is brick I suggest that macaroni cheese is either the mortar or the remnants of a food fight.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:17PM
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Hee hee hah hee.
MTO wins the prize for number 2. It's my hair. But I think the program was more complimentary yesterday. The first time I checked out my golden locks things like copper, golden light, and yellow gold were mentioned. But today in the kitchen I was "rock" and "rodeo dust" and "crater brown".
It's kind of cool that this little thing makes it clear that the organic world (including hair) has way more color variation in it than things that are manufactured. When I checked out the bricks on the east side of my house this morning it repeated color names multiple times. Item 1 and item 2 (my hair) pretty much said something different every few seconds as I moved the camera, repeating the same color only rarely.

Don't know why but I just love pointing this thing up at the sky. All the blues it comes up with on a sunny day; all the shades of grey for clouds.

There is another ap that reduces the colors to a more manaegeable number. Maybe that one will help me find my purple socks.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Ink- Nope. Not a drunken cat here. Now, I have been known to purr.
No 1 is the "vegetable". Probably the color name that gives the best hint is "zest".

Yeah ... I like most of the colors in the brick. The macaroni and cheese threw me. I think you're right. Mortar or left overs from the last time I went outside and threw dinner against the wall.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 3:53PM
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OK now I see where this thread is going there is obviously a button on this gizmo for flattering/realistic with a turnbuckle for socks ranging from purple to sensible. It's a lemon, number one that is not your camera.

I would love to see the names that come up for the sky.

Since you are a self confessed food thrower with an aim impairment do guests eat under the table Welly?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 5:56PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Sorry I confused your hair with a dog. Dogs are nice, though. (smile)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 5:56PM
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The dog and the cat are under the table.
My other guests risk it.

Ink, Knew I could trust you to catch the zest! But that's one of the red ... or mayhap orange ... herrings. You came closest ... Drum roll ... I piled 6 or 7 clementines in a bowl. My assistant (the no 1 son) tells me these clementines are bright lemony orange.

I went and visited the manufacturers website. Turns out that this color identifier is actually part of a set of drawing aps, specifically to allow persons remote from each other to collaborate. With the Color Identifier, the site mentions the ability to isolate and share color information. It uses the example of literally circling the desired color pulled from a stone to be used in a hearth. Who'd uh thunk!

I'll gather sky colors tomorrow ...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 7:40PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

At first I thought you'd downloaded the Benjamin Moore Color Matching app...those sound like paint names. (I have a friend who has it on his Iphone.) I love the way you are using it!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Well welly that was a disappointment I have been waiting a whole week to find out what colour the sky is. Today I took the bull by the horns and downloaded an app. for my Kodak Brownie and pointed it upwards with great expectations, I had to wait some time for it to connect to my typewriter but this is what it printed out

sKy BloO.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Maybe the printer was having problems and skipping, so that the sunset picture captured by your Brownie was really supposed to be - ri"sKy BloO"dy mess.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Strangely enough Adrienne that is exactly the message it printed out when I pointed my camera the other way.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 8:11AM
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