This scan of the Jacqueline du Pré rose is a creation of local photographer and writer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward (disclosure: Alex is the husband of one of UBC’s Friends of the Garden). Alex has an upcoming exhibit in Vancouver that will include a number of super high-quality prints of his botanical scans, which he wrote about in “Getting Rid of the Box” (image gallery).
Alex writes that his methods to achieve the scan are as follows:
I placed it on my Epson Perfection 1640SU flatbed scanner. The initial scans are at 100% and 1200ppi. I have a green garden bamboo stick clamped to a lamp on my desk and I clamp (clothespins) the rose on the other end. I swing the rose so it is as close to the scanner’s glass without touching. I do the scanning in the evening as I have the scanner’s top off. This way the scanner reads my white ceiling as black.
If you’d like to see these and Alex’s other works, he’s passed along an open invitation to attend his exhibition (with a note warning that there will be some artistic nudity). Here are the details: “Exactly As We Were”–photographs by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward. Artist’s reception on December 8 at 7pm, exhibition from December 9 through to December 24, 2005. Location: Vancouver Gallery of Photography @ The Art Center, 2060 Pine Street, Vancouver, BC. 604.731.5412.
You may have noticed that I’ve titled the entry Rosa ‘Harwanna’, yet also called it the Jacqueline du Pré rose (this is the name Alex used for it). In what can only be described as something analogous to a tragedy of the commons, this rose has three “names”: scientific (Rosa ‘Harwanna’), common or vernacular (‘Harwanna’ rose), and a marketing or trademarked name (Jacqueline du Pré rose).
In brief (far too brief), when a new plant is bred, it can be patented so that royalties are paid to the plant breeder. However, patents eventually expire, and once they do, royalties no longer need to be paid and anyone can propagate the plant for sale. In response, some nurseries came up with the idea of assigning a trademark to the new plant, essentially a name that only they could associate (or license to others to use) with the plant for marketing purposes. As long as it is protected from becoming a generic name, this marketing name is permanent, and enables the nursery (and its licensees) to sell the plant under an attractive name, (such as Jacqueline du Pré rose) while everyone else (once the patent has expired) has to sell the plant under the less attractive ‘Harwanna’ rose or Rosa ‘Harwanna’.
This is akin to the tragedy of the commons scenario, so to rewrite what is on the Wikipedia entry:
Positive : the owner of the trademark receives all of the proceeds from each additional trademarked name
Negative : the understanding and communication of “what plant is that?” is slightly degraded by each additional name
Crucially, the division of these components is unequal: the individual owner of the trademark gains all of the advantage, but the disadvantage is shared between all people using names to communicate about plants. Consequently, for an individual owner of a trademark weighing up these utilities, the rational course of action is to trademark the new plant. And another, and another. However, since all potential trademark owners reach the same conclusion, confusion and misunderstanding and frustration about names is the long-term fate. Nonetheless, the rational response for a potential owner of a trademark remains the same for each new hybrid, since the gain is always greater to a trademark owner than the distributed cost is.
Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights Nursery, has written an opinionated piece on the matter entitled, “The Trademark Myth (When is a Name Not a Name)“, which is a highly recommended (and entertaining) read. And yes, I agree with Tony.
Photography resource link: for inspiration, the photography of Wynn Bullock. Please be forewarned that the site contains artistic nudity.
If I were ever forced to create a list of favourite photographs, “Sea Palms” would be on it, though the small size of the image on the site doesn’t do it justice. It’s worth seeking out a print version in a book to get a better idea of it, such as Bullock’s The Enchanted Landscape. I have the book, and to get an idea of Bullock’s philosophy, he accompanied “Sea Palms” with this quote:
I feel the time of a thing just as strongly as I see its form or color. Equally, the spaces between the limbs of a tree are as real as the limbs themselves. When I can photograph spaces filled with smoke, fog, or mist, the effect is one that greatly adds to the visual and emotional impact of the picture. The photographer is slowly becoming aware of, and more and more will extend, his search for greater visual expression in a reality that is not frozen in time or limited to the surface appearance of objects.