The Colours of North by Northwest

Colours, and the moods they evoke, play an important role in Hitchcock’s films.

With that in mind, I got ImageMagick to figure out the average colour of each of the 1000 frames for “North by Northwest” — you can see the results here.

To put the average colours into context, here they are annotated with a selection of scenes…


Getting the average colour of a given image got me wondering if it might be possible to do the same with the book cover scans on the OPAC. You could then virtually arrange and group books by their cover colours, in the same way that Huddersfield Public Library physically did last year:

(image courtesy of Iman’s photostream)

  1. Iman said:

    thats a wonderful experiment Dave. reminded me of this work by Brendan Dawes.

    – – –

    one of the things the huddersfield uni librarians told me when I was interviewing them was that on occasion a student will come up to them, obviously desperate to find a particular book they once saw and theyd ask things like ‘im after a book i saw last year on this floor that has a really bright green cover, can you please help me!!’

    Search by colour here we come! 😀

  2. Jonathan Rochkind said:

    Yeah, it’s occurred to me before that automatically getting the average color from a book image could be an easy way to the ‘holy grail’ (just kidding, but it is something often talked about) of providing access by cover of book.

    Of course, the book image you have doesn’t always _really_ match the cover on the actual item you’ve got. But still, it would be neat. Somebody should try that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: