Atomic insects? Cochineal carmine has the answer!

Carmine is this week’s one word photo challenge from Jennifer Nichole Wells.  It’s a tough colour to nail.  Sample colour images I’ve found range enormously from bright primary reds to much deeper plummy or even rusty reds.  I’ve been taking part in this colour challenge for a while now, and I find it amazing that even with all these exact colour names in use, interpretation is still so varied.

In fact, I came across a chart of carmine colour comparisons, showing variations along the spectrum.  There must have been thirty or forty different shades of subtly varied carmines, some with very interesting names.  Carmine rose, Spanish Carmine, Pictorial Carmine, Carminorubaceous.  And my personal favourite from the selection – Japanese Atomic Carmine Pink.  Which for the record is different from Atomic Carmine Pink!

Who knew that the carminic acid produced by scale insects such as the cochineal could provide a pigment capable of so many different degrees of colour?  Not me.  I’ll never look at the bottle of cochineal food colouring in my kitchen cupboard in quite the same light again!

Two carmines from me today, both from a day out in Buxton to take our little girl on the miniature train ride there.  My first, the train itself:

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My second take on carmine is a couple of the very striking Muscovy ducks that we strolled passed on our way to find the train.  Not a British native breed, but what interesting faces. And such piercing blue eyes against the carmine skin.  They were quite calmly sitting and taking their ease on the grass, but didn’t look too impressed with the attention.  I can’t really blame them; I wouldn’t feel relaxed either if I suddenly had a little girl screeching and pointing excitedly at me!  So we left them to it and headed off in search of locomotive adventure.

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9 thoughts on “Atomic insects? Cochineal carmine has the answer!

  1. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Cerulean | Jennifer Nichole Wells

  2. Paula

    I find it odd that these are called ducks with the kind of feet they belong to a hen. Their face is nothing if not carmine. Amusing framing, Jenny 🙂


    1. jenny Post author

      Thanks. I totally agree – they are a strange looking bird all round if you ask me, Paula! They had icy blue pale eyes to add to the list of oddities! 🙂



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