June, 2008

Thoughts on Color as related to B&W

I’ve been thinking a lot about color and its perception. Not so much the true science behind it but rather the way each person sees it.

Newton said “Indeed rays, properly expressed, are not coloured.”

If we all see color slightly differently then what is the best way to get people to see the color I want?? If I show you a firetruck that was shot in B&W you will see red paint on it. Not literally but mentally you know that it is red. Same goes for a can of Coke.

What about an object that we aren’t familiar with?? How does the concept of color get transfered from one person to another??

Language.

That said one needs to think about their images in new ways. Will a person in the UK see the firetruck as the same red as an American??

With these ideas in mind it will be interesting to see how one can effect perceptions using B&W film and a greyscale.  Since it seems that at our core we seem to recognize a color when there is none.  We see Dorothy’s dress as being blue before she steps in to Oz.  We know it is before seeing the color scenes or the entire movie for that fact.

People tend to talk about color in photography as a matter of monitors/color space/bits.  What they don’t tend to talk about is the minds behind the eyeballs doing the viewing.
Newton was right…
There is no color until we assign one to an object.

Posted in Adam Forslund, Black and White, Color Theory, Photography No Comments »