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While nature tends to trump humans when it comes to color inspiration, at least in my opinion, when humans put their hands into engineering nature, like in the case of salt evaporation ponds, together, unimaginable colors can be created.
The beautiful colors in these images from Google Earth are created during the process of harvesting salt. The vivid colors, which can range from green to bright red, come from different concentrations of algae.
Salt evaporation ponds are shallow man-made ponds designed to produce salt from sea water. The seawater is fed into large ponds and water is drawn out through natural evaporation which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested. The ponds also provide a productive resting and feeding ground for more than 70 species of waterbirds, including several endangered species. The ponds are commonly separated by levees.
Due to variable algal concentrations, vivid colors, from pale green to bright red, are created in the evaporation ponds. The color indicates the salinity of the ponds. Micro-organisms change their hues as the salinity of the pond increases. In low to mid-salinity ponds, green algae are predominant.
In middle to high salinity ponds, an algae called Dunaliella salina shifts the color to red. Millions of tiny brine shrimp create an orange cast in mid-salinity ponds. Other bacteria such as Stichococcus also contribute tints. These colors are especially interesting to airplane passengers or astronauts passing above due to their somewhat artistic formations of shape and color.
Notable salt ponds include the San Francisco Bay salt ponds in the United States, and the Dead Sea salt ponds in Israel and Jordan and Useless Loop, and Onslow, Western Australia. Abandoned salt pans are a major feature of the southwest coast of Taiwan.
Salt pans are shallow open pans used to evaporate brine for the production of salt. The pans are usually found close to the source of the salt. For example pans used in the solar evaporation of salt from sea water are usually found on the coast, whilst those used to extract salt from solution mined brine will be found near to the brine shaft. In this case extra heat is often provided by lighting fires underneath.
The bikini has been raising blood pressures and making people blush since its modern creation in 1946. It has gone through a few changes over the years in style; different patterns, plummeting waist lines, disappearing amounts of fabric and fluorescent fishing lure-like colors, but like most things in fashion, things tend to come full circle, and designers look for something new by looking at something old for inspiration.
To celebrate these liberating two pieces of fabric, and as a reminder of the fleeting summer days, we're taking a look at the colorful history of the bikini, Styles from then and now, and the most famous (or infamous) bikinis known in pop culture.
S.I. Swimsuit Issue
Imagine if an artist could take millions of years to complete a single painting.
Over millions of years the natural process of water penetrating and seeping into stones, bringing with it solutions of iron and magnesium, along with other elements, leaves traces of color and forms within the stone. This, along with cracks created from pressure and channels of water, combine their lines to push up imagery of mountains and trees, creating landscapes of unmeasurable beauty.
Known under a few names, such as: scenic stone, pictorial stones, pietra paesina, marble ruiniforme, lithographic limestone, and stone Florence (there may be others too), these stones were highly prized in early modern Europe and, before that, Asia, because of the beautiful naturally created organic landscapes.
There are three areas in particular that are known (or were known at some point in time) for these types of stones: Florence, Italy; Jasper, Oregon; and Cotham, England.
Artists also used these stones as a canvas adding their own hand and transforming the natural lines and shapes of the stone's face with their own paints, like the one on top painted by Dutch painter Hercules Segers, and the other one by Johann König.
In the U.S. 7% of the male population – or about 10.5 million men – and 0.4% of the female population either cannot distinguish red from green, or see red and green differently. Color blindness affects a significant amount of the population, and it is even more prevalent in more isolated populations with a smaller gene pools. It is mostly a genetic condition, though it can be caused by eye, nerve, or brain damage, or due to exposure to certain chemicals.
For those of us who see colors just fine, it is hard to imagine what those with color blindness are seeing. Luckily humans are smart and have created technology like the Color Blind Web Page Filter.
The Color Blind Web Page Filter, which was used in this post to demonstrate the different types of colorblindness, allows you to view what a site looks like to people with each type of color blindness. Here are a few examples from some popular websites.
Some would say we all see art in our own unique way... that would be especially true for the color blind. Here are a couple examples of some of the most iconic paintings as seen by the color blind.
Using the filter we'll take a look at the current most popular palette, July, and how it is seen by those with different types of color blindness.
The normal human retina contains two kinds of light cells: the rod cells (active in low light) and the cone cells (active in normal daylight). Normally, there are three kinds of cones, each containing a different pigment. The cones are activated when the pigments absorb light. The absorption spectra of the cones differ; one is maximally sensitive to short wavelengths, one to medium wavelengths, and the third to long wavelengths (their peak sensitivities are in the blue, yellowish-green, and yellow regions of the spectrum, respectively). The absorption spectra of all three systems cover much of the visible spectrum, so it is not entirely accurate to refer to them as "blue", "green" and "red" receptors, especially because the "red" receptor actually has its peak sensitivity in the yellow. The sensitivity of normal color vision actually depends on the overlap between the absorption spectra of the three systems: different colors are recognized when the different types of cone are stimulated to different extents. Red light, for example, stimulates the long wavelength cones much more than either of the others, and reducing wavelength causes the other two cone systems to be increasingly stimulated, causing a gradual change in hue. Many of the genes involved in color vision are on the X chromosome, making color blindness more common in males than in females.
Part of the mollusk phylum, Nudibranchs are the shell-less relatives of the snail and are known for their garish colors. These tiny sea creatures are usually only 2cm - 6cm in length and can be found worldwide. They are able to thrive in any depth of salt water from the deepest darkest ocean floors to warm shallow water.
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There are over 3,000 known species of nudibranchs, and scientist estimate that only half have been discovered so far. The creatures soft-body and short life span of 1 year make it possible for many of them to live undetected and vanish from the earth without a trace.
Photo by wildsingapore
Nudibranchs are blind, and the animal relies on smell, taste and feel to navigate their surroundings to find coral, sponges, eggs, small fish, and other nudibranchs to eat.
When iron meets oxygen and water a colorful process takes place that leaves the vibrant red-orange color we know as rust. Rust is the corrosion of iron caused by a chemical reaction that take place when iron is exposed to oxygen in the presence of water or moisture. The chemical reaction creates red oxides, the familiar red-orange.
Iron oxides were used in the paints of the earliest prehistoric art. It is also used in ceramics, and synthetic versions of the pigments are widely used in cosmetics.
Rust can be a humbling reminder of the passing of time and the fragility of humans and their creations, like seeing rust appear on the edges of your first bike or car, or returning to a building or home to find it has taken on a new personality, one faded from the passing years, but it also can be inspiring with its rich color that changes and compliments the colors that surround it.
Let's have a look at some rusty palettes, colors and patterns pulled from incredible photos and the COLOURlovers library.
Photo by scottwills
2008 has been a great year for us so far. We reached several milestones like 1,000,000 named colors and 100,000 members and we received some pretty major recognition...
And TIME just named COLOURlovers one of the 50 Best Websites of 2008!
Thank you all for being a part of our community and for helping us grow as one of the best places to share some of your time online. We have more big ideas planned and look forward to ever increasing the amount of color love in the world.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last twelve years, you have probably seen at least one Pixar film. The famous animation studio seems to be releasing one delightful film after another, consistently producing family-friendly fare that speaks to both children and adults. Any lover of vivid color will find great delight in any of their films, as they tend to be a sensational assault on the senses. Some fans have voiced their feelings about Pixar as the "new voice" of Disney, as they continue to produce beautiful films with what appears as effortless grace.
Of course, things are not always quite what they seem, and a look behind the scenes proves that Pixar has worked quite tirelessly to achieve the success they now enjoy. Pixar's beginning reach all the way back to 1979, when they were founded as The Graphics Group, which was one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm. The team worked on the precursor to the programming interface RenderMan, which was called Motion Doctor at that time. The most remarkable quality about this program was that it allowed cel animators to use computer animation with very little formal training.
The team went on to work on several Lucasfilm and projects such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Young Sherlock Holmes. In 1986 ownership of the group changed hands, purchased by Steve Jobs shortly after his departure from Apple Computer. After plowing a cool 5 million into the company, he renamed it Pixar, a made-up Spanish verb meaning "to make pixels" or "to make pictures".
Pixar started off as a top-notch computer hardware company whose main product was the Pixar Image Computer, which was intended for government and medical use only. How funny to think that the creative demon that is Pixar now could have spent their days in a very different way! Disney were actually one of the leading buyers for these computers, but as a whole they did not sell well. The future was looking dismal until employee John Lasseter decided to take matters into his own hands by premiering his own short demo animations at a major trade show called SIGGRAPH and met with a positive reception.
Inspiration from the colors of the great impressionists, plus some information about each painting and artist from wikipedia.
For more information about each artist or to see more of their work, just click on any image.
Armand Guillaumin: La Place Valhubert.
Born in Paris, France, he worked at his uncle's lingerie shop while attending evening drawing lessons. He also worked for a French government railway before studying at the Académie Suisse in 1861. There, he met Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro with whom maintained lifelong friendships. While he never achieved the stature of these two, his influence on their work was significant. Cézanne attempted his first etching based on Guillaumin paintings of barges on the River Seine.
Armand Guillaumin: Sunset at Ivry
Noted for his intense colors, major museums around the world display Guillaumin's art. He is best remembered for his landscapes of Paris, the Creuse département, and the area around Les Adrets-de-l'Estérel near the Mediterraneran coast in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France.
Armand Guillaumin died in 1927 in Orly, Val-de-Marne just south of Paris.
Claude Monet: Grainstack, Sunset
The primary subjects of all of the paintings in the series are stacks of hay that have been stacked in the field after the harvest season. The title refers primarily to a twenty-five canvas series begun the autumn of 1890 and continued through the following spring, using that year's harvest. Some use a broader definition of the title to refer to other paintings by Monet with this same theme. The series is known for its thematic use of repetition to show differences in perception of light across various times of day, seasons, and types of weather. The subjects were painted in fields near Monet's home in Giverny, France.