I love Polaroid, so when the opportunity came along to interview Patrick Winfield, a graphic designer and photographer who frequently uses Polaroid to create dynamic visual stories, I jumped at the chance to speak with him.
Patrick’s work has a healthy following. I’m excited he took time to share his work; his love of Polaroid and playing around.
CL: Please share with us a bit about your background:
Winfield: I studied computer and stop-motion animation initially then moved onto graphic design, painting and photography. I landed a job doing graphic design for a startup company in 2000 and have been working in the industry pushing pixels ever since.
I grew up in upstate New York and have always been most at home in nature, walking through a trail in the forest or exploring a riverbed.
beaver pond, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on board - h:20 w:21 inches
CL:Tell us about when Polaroid came into your life:
Winfield: A photographer friend of mine told me about her ideas and techniques she was experimenting with, it was only a matter of time before I picked one up and did my own thing.
CL: What Polaroid Cameras do you own?
Winfield: I own a few. The original SX-70 is my go-to camera. I use a basic one-step for all my photogram work, just to eject the film from the cartridge.
CL: What camera do you wish to own?
Winfield: I am pretty excited about the release of the Zink cell phone printer. There is something similar out now, but this looks cool with prints that go to the edge of the sticker paper...fun stuff! O yeah, and the 20x24 camera is always there...the possibilities! But really any camera will do.
origin, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on stretched canvas - h:38 w:38 inches
CL: Why did you choose Polaroid film?
Winfield: It is all about the flow of working with images as soon as I create them. The process is like playing in a way. When a photo comes out of the camera I can see if I want to adjust it or take another shot right away. Polaroid film isn't the only way I can do this and I have experimented with disposable cameras, Xerox machines and flatbed scanners, but the immediacy and characteristics of the Polaroid film is unique and seductive.
CL: Polaroid film does not seem readily available. How does this affect your work?
Winfield: It is actually very available and I enjoy working with it knowing it is available to everyone. It is not as depleted as one may think, but it surely is not the cheapest medium and most formats are being discontinued so I do keep a cache in my fridges crisper drawer. This makes me more conscious at times when using film, as well as preparing food. I am not hesitant if I want to take a shot or start a big composite, rather I will think about it more.
piecemeal, 2007 - polaroid 600 film on board - h:20 w:21 inches
What's blacker than black? Well, black, apparently.
Researchers at Rice University in Houston have succeeded in creating the veritable black hole of all color-dom: a material that absorbs 99.9% of all visible light. This penultimate black supersedes the current black, a carbon based substance housed at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, and is measured as being 30 times darker.
If this isn't blowing your mind already, then how these researchers inadvertently flipped the design community for a loop might. The team, led by Pulickel Ajayan, used carbon nano-tubes 400 hundred times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair and stood them on end, arranging them in a tightly gathered group. Imagine a carpet's pile, but on an infintessimilly small nano scale.
The tops of the nano tubes are also arranged irregularly in order to cut down on reflectivity. This results in a material that has a total reflective index of 0.045 percent, a far cry from your basic black paint which has a reflective index of 5 percent to 10 percent.
The application of this new black extends to fields as diverse at design, astronomy, and solar energy conservation, however if tests with infrared and ultraviolet light prove as successful as those with visible light, the potential application may extend to stealth operations and the defense sector.
Mr. Ajayan has stated in numerous media interviews that this new material could be used to improve optical devices and increase the efficiency of photolytic cells on solar panels, which would be good things; and, unfortunately, there could be some national 'defense' applications as well - think stealth bomber, but only stealthier.
While this is inspiring, I'm left wondering when superblack's going to show up in a paint can. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.
The Color Black
Black does not reflect light at any point of the visible spectrum.
Not only is black associated with rock bands, such as the likes of Spinal Tap, but black is also associated with a whole slue of other symbols both positive and negative; negative: black death, bad luck (black cats), black list, blackmail; positive: black is the color of rain clouds, and soil. Krishna means the black one. And being in the black is good for business.
Some Black Color Inspiration
When we were developing COPASO, we found that we needed to have a more advanced color picker to work inside the application... and since COPASO is built with DHTML it was easy enough to pull out the picker to use on the other creation pages of our site. Once we'd modularized the color picker code it made sense to offer it to others to use on their own sites and projects. So here is the code to get our Color Picker working on your site for free. (We'll even host the files)
License: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
If you have a need that doesn't fit the license above, contact us.
COLOURlovers Color Picker Demo
Here is the Code You Need & Examples...
Picker Attached to a Single Text Field:
Picker Attached to Multiple Text Fields:
[Example with an image]
Multiple Text Field Example Code:
Here is a break down of the object passed to
Feb. 24, 2008 - Update
Fixed a bug in IE where users couldn't click-drag-highlight other objects within the page.
May 1, 2008 - Update
Fixed a conflict this script had with jQuery. Thanks to Ozh at planetOzh.com for the report!
Widgets, Widgets everywhere! One of the coolest recent web trends has been the development of widget platforms that allow people to easily create and share tools to help communicate and connect any number of their interests or ideas. It is much more simple for individuals with good ideas and a bit of gumption to develop tools that thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people will enjoy using. The idea is often the easiest part, the execution of it is the challenge... So we hope by using our resources you'll be able to share your widgets with the world in any number of colors and color combinations.
Widgets are great because with little effort you can add music, a timer to your baby's birth or a clock for keeping time on your site... but if the widget's color options are locked in place, it makes it less appealing to the public when they can't find a color option that fits in well with the colors of their site or matches their personal style.
But, don't beat your head in trying to come up with great color combinations for your widgets... More than 250,000 palettes are already being shared on COLOURlovers.com
I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.
Widget Color Showcase: MyFlashFetish.com
MyFlashFetish has tons of flash widgets that you can add yto your websites, blogs or profiles... Clocks, Countdown Timers, Days You've Been in Love and two dozen or so styles of mp3 players. And with almost all of these widgets they allow you to customize the colors to match your style.
Some Top Widget Platforms
I'm a lover of great design and Dwell gives me a monthly dose of just that... and the February issue is covering a topic close to our hearts... Color. The new issue isn't the only place Dwell is embracing new colors, they also recently overhauled their website:
Dwell was created to champion an intelligent, thoughtful, and modern sensibility that stimulates our audience to envision—and realize—life at home in the modern world.
The recent Dwell.com redesign gives the site a fresh look, fluid navigation, and flawlessly showcases Dwell's award-winning editorial content and photography in a way that is distinctly Dwell. As a result, Dwell.com is better positioned than ever as THE leader for what's news in modern design.
The Dwell Design Leader video series is an inside look at some of the most influential, inspirational, and innovative designers in the industry today. From landscape architect Andrea Cochran to prefab architect Michelle Kaufmann to co-housing expert Kathryn McCamant to Airstream designer Christopher Deam, a full spectrum of modern design disciplines are explored from a personal and professional perspective.
Finding Colors for Your Home Renovations
We all know garishly loud colors when we see them. Typically in the range of red, orange, and yellow, loud colors are unwelcome in business attire, unless one's business happens to be the circus. And we all know quiet colors by their instant calming effect. The quiet range of blue, green, and violet is beloved by home designers. But what of silent colors? If they exist, would we find them in cloistered monasteries, or hushed libraries, or ruined castles?
The American ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson found a "sea of silent colors" when he tearfully witnessed the grandeur of the Grand Canyon for the first time. He reported a vivid array of silent reds, yellows, grays, and lavenders (Wild America, 1997).
The poet A. F. Moritz found silent colors within the curves of a white seashell. He described a "diminished spectrum" of "shades of milk" ("You, Whoever You Are," Early Poems, 1983). The naturalist Timothy Duane found "the silent colours of winter" blanketing the Sierra mountain chain (Shaping the Sierra, 2000).
When feminist activist Ginny Foat found herself incarcerated, she discovered silent grays, blacks, and greens in the steel and cinder blocks of her cell (Never Guilty, Never Free, 1985).
The COLOURlovers library offers a beautiful spectrum of silent colors.
Few cultures are more renowned for their stunning use of color than Japan's maiko, more commonly known as apprentice geisha in the western world. However, the icons of the geisha culture are rich with meaning, and the colors used within it are no exception. Each careful detail of the maiko's appearance is intended to invoke specific emotion in the people who come into contact with her. They accomplish this goal most effectively, which is why these mysterious women continue to fascinate foreigners and native Japanese alike even today.
A maiko's hairstyle is one of the symbols most commonly recognized by Americans. There are several styles that geisha wear, but many agree the most striking of these is the Wareshinobu, also known as the "split peach." The style is characterized by kanoko, strips of red ribbon that are woven through the bun on the crown of the head. While it is not confirmed that the meaning is correct, it has been suggested that the red fabric implies the shape of the female sexual organs. The Japanese find this highly erotic, as maiko were traditionally virgins until their mizuage, which was a ceremony in which they sold their virginity in a bidding war. This ceremony is now considered antiquated and no longer takes place in Japan.
by Rob Gruhl
According to color supplier Pantone®, the color of 2008 is Blue Iris. The blue is a radiant, calming hue, dark, but not dark enough to be in the realm of navy, and is a sharp contrast to the 2007 choice, Chili Pepper Red.
"From a color forecasting perspective, we have chosen PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris as the color of the year, as it best represents color direction in 2008 for fashion, cosmetics and home products," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast."
Pantone has chosen some form of blue for Color of the Year in 2000, 2003, and 2005. Now, Blue Iris is it in 2008.
Is Blue The New Green?
Other professionals disagree with Pantone’s choice. Margaret Walsh, director of the Color Association, says her color of 2008 is bamboo. She believes the strong green, hinted with yellow, represents the changing social desire to be more environmentally clean.
“My color for 2008 is bamboo.” A yellowed green, chosen from the association’s interior palette, she said, it “represents the stable green that is most on people’s minds.” She said it’s similar to a hue called Vineyard, adding: “I feel it just has a power. You know, these are very insecure times.”
Pantone's Color of the Year Is...
What colour is so awe-inspiring, so out-of-this-world that it elevates viewers to new heights of wonderment? The quest for the sublime colour is as old as pigment and likely older still. Imagine the first humans to witness a majestic sunrise. They'd have had a transcendental experience, in that sublime colours open a window into a realm of grandeur beyond mere human experience. Imagine the first artists experimenting with dyes like alchemists in search of the Philosopher's Stone, driven to discover the secret of sublime colour and to possess the power to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Sublime colours are commonly described as being:
- incomparably beautiful
- natural (sunrise, clouds, rainbows, mountains, or sea, for example)
- lofty, divine (in that they foster a spiritual experience)
Ultraviolet and deep indigo are often called sublime, and black more so. Colour expert Benjamin Jan Kouwer notes that Western culture once hailed yellow as a sublime colour with a favorable symbolic meaning (Colors and Their Character, 1949). Colour mixers usually discover sublime beauty by accident, but art teacher Gabriel Boray suggests that artists can hone their sense of the sublime through careful practice.
Boray developed a system for sublime colour mixing. Through his system, colourists learn to feel when a colour is "singing." Boray instructs the colourist to begin with two complementary colours of the same temperature (such as a warm yellow and a warm ultramarine). "Mix 5 variations between them, from yellow-green to blue-green, paying careful attention to separating them enough to be recognized as a unique variation." By adding a tiny amount of blue into the yellow, then a bit more, and more again, each variation will be distinct. "After you have 5 clear color variations between those two, create one in between each (there may be many more than one), until you have 10 variations. Now look at those colors. Are they clean and unique? They should be singing. If they aren't singing, you are to immediately find the correct light to see the variations properly, or rush outside, close your eyes, and take 10 deep breaths while telling yourself you are a master of color! If the colors exist—and an infinite amount of colors exist—then you can identify them."
Boray assures that "When you open your eyes you will see nature as you may never have before. Return to your exercise, choose two more colors and continue. Combine as many pairs of colors, creating 5, then 10, or more variations. Gradually you will begin to feel the changes in your blood. Go outside again and look at something in nature. Make a ring with your thumb and forefinger and look as if through a magnifying glass. See the infinite variations. The same colors you see are available to you for painting. There is no barrier between your mind and your brush."
Some sublime colour inspiration from the COLOURlovers library:
We've been working on an advanced / pro color palette tool for quite some time and finally have it ready enough to share with you. We're still fine tuning and adding more updates... but we feel like this is the best color palette tool you'll find... if you don't think so, let us know what you'd like us to add or improve and we'll keep striving to give you the best experience anywhere.
Click Here for a Larger Video Demo (Narrated and presented by Andrew Sorcini)
COPASO is an advanced color palette tool that helps you create the perfect color schemes and themes. With a scratch pad to save colors you're working with, a photo tool to extract colors and an advanced color picker and color theory wheel to give you tons of color inspiration. Using COPASO you can save your palettes to a private folder or download them to keep on your local computer. When you're ready, click publish and share your color palette with thousands of other color enthusiasts. If you're finding COPASO a bit too rich you're your color creating tastes, you can always use our basic color palette tool.
Custom Color Widths... Base, Secondary and Accent
With COPASO you can give each color a specific amount of space in your color palettes. This will help you show what colors you intend to be the base colors, secondary and accent colors. Click and drag the <|> icons above the color squares to change their widths.
Save Colors to Your Scratch Pad
You can save a color you're working with by clicking and dragging it down to the scratch area. To set a main color above with one of the colors in your scratch, simply double-click the color in your scratch.
Get Color Inspiration from Pictures
Advanced Color Picker and Color Wheel
The new advanced color picker in COPASO allows for even more precise color selection. You have hue, saturation and brightness sliders as well as input areas for Hex, RGB, HSV and CMYK color values.
Also built into the advanced color picker are gradient step filters that will allow you to see any color with steps towards white or with steps towards black. To work with any of the colors in this filter, simply click and drag the filter color strip to the right of the color wheel onto your scratch area.
Below the picker is our color wheel and color formula filters. By selecting one of the formula filters (Blend, Complementary, Triadic Tetradic or Split Complementary) the color wheel will allow you to spin the selected color around by clicking anywhere on the wheel. Once you've found some great colors in the preview bar on the right, all you need to do is drag the bar to your scratch area to begin using those colors.
Double-clicking any of the color squares in the preview bar will update the main color picker to that color and give you a new perspective on your selected color filters.
As mentioned above, we're very proud of COPASO and hope you'll find it very useful for all your professional and hobby color projects. COPASO couldn't have been built without the expert programming of Chris Williams and the design work of Stephen Hallgren. Last but not least the hundreds of thousands of COLOURlovers who have helped us build and grow our color community and who've provided us with great advice, suggestions and inspiration over the years.