We perceive colors differently

JJWP433That’s right. We pick up colors in various varieties and shades. What may be red to me can be amaranth, scarlet, crimson, ruby, flame, burgundy, cardinal, rose, terra cota and rust to another. And those are just a sampling of red varieties. That’s just one color. There are many other shades in other colors. How we see and receive color is unique to each individual. And how we interpret such color is different from person to person. Generally, the color red is active and dynamic, but others may perceive it as romantic, sensual and even playful. Others will see it as the personification of evil, blood, lust, greed, domination, among others. What am I getting at? In color photography, color defines an image. How we perceive colors in an image is how we understand the message of that image, or what it is trying to convey. Red as rust or age may describe a subject that has gone through the passage of time, such as the picture of the old house above. In his article Color Perception And How It Might Apply To Photography, Spencer Seastrom presents two unique ways of how we see the world. First is that the world is unique from the perception of others and, second, we can’t explain our own perception to others. He relates this to color and as I’ve made examples earlier on, we see colors differently. This is compounded by the fact that colors evoke emotions, and when emotions are involved we feel it in extreme sensations. Saying “I love you” is best with red roses, passionate and heartfelt, but it can also be with white roses, pure and meaningful. In other words, color photography is not mainly how the photographer sees it. It is as much as how others will see it, feel it and be moved by it. Parallel to satisfying the photographer with his capture is ensuring the contentment of the viewer.


2 responses

  1. I love the philosophical aspect of this. Like, does what we call ‘green’ look the same to me as it does to you?

    February 26, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    • Junsjazz

      If we are on the same wavelength, we might see the same “green”. Thanks!

      February 27, 2013 at 1:29 am

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