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What is Color?
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Nov 21, 2022 00:18:31   #
Doyle Thomas Loc: Vancouver Washington ~ USA
 
What is Color?

As most Photographers know colors are wavelengths of light reflected off an object. "Color by the Numbers” But, what is a color and why does a given object reflect the wavelengths and harmonics that it does.

Think of a cube and one side of that cube.










One side of that cube is called a facet and most materials have a crystallin structure with many facets. Depending on the material the facets may have about any shape, size, and orientation. The facet or facets of the outermost layer of molecules are what reflect light in the wavelengths and harmonics that it does.

Some materials are amorphous, a non- crystallin structure. These materials do not reflect color however they may contain other molecules that do.



Copywrite 2022 Gary Doyle Thomas PrimaryFocusPhoto.com

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Nov 21, 2022 02:34:26   #
Ysarex Loc: St. Louis
 
You asked a question. Your description of function that follows does not answer the question. Color is not wavelengths of light reflected off an object. You're trying to define a phenomenon by describing the underlying mechanism that generates the phenomenon. That leaves the phenomenon undefined.

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Nov 21, 2022 06:15:51   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
Color is what we perceive it to be, but that perception is influenced by our genetics, the surroundings, the light cast upon the object.

Interesting is that our perception of an objects color can be changed by the colors that surround the object.
Viewing this article will mess your mind:
http://www.color-theory-phenomena.nl/11.03.htm

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Nov 21, 2022 07:21:27   #
Doyle Thomas Loc: Vancouver Washington ~ USA
 
Ysarex wrote:
You asked a question. Your description of function that follows does not answer the question. Color is not wavelengths of light reflected off an object. You're trying to define a phenomenon by describing the underlying mechanism that generates the phenomenon. That leaves the phenomenon undefined.


i am trying to define how the color of an object is seen and color is a range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Nov 21, 2022 07:23:27   #
Bigmike1 Loc: I am from Gaffney, S.C. but live in Utah.
 
One can argue over what is color from now on. To me, it ain't no big thang. When I look at something I see colors and that satisfies me. (:

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Nov 21, 2022 07:30:12   #
Doyle Thomas Loc: Vancouver Washington ~ USA
 
dpullum wrote:
Color is what we perceive it to be, but that perception is influenced by our genetics, the surroundings, the light cast upon the object.

Interesting is that our perception of an objects color can be changed by the colors that surround the object.
Viewing this article will mess your mind:
http://www.color-theory-phenomena.nl/11.03.htm


what you are saying is true, you are talking about how the brain interprets the color reflected.

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Nov 21, 2022 07:54:02   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
The perception of the different wavelengths of visible light reflected off an object.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:33:53   #
selmslie Loc: Fernandina Beach, FL, USA
 
Doyle Thomas wrote:
i am trying to define how the color of an object is seen and color is a range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Longshadow wrote:
The perception of the different wavelengths of visible light reflected off an object.

That's it in a nutshell. If we can't see it we don't call it color, just wavelength outside our normal range - 380 to 700 nanometers.

It's not only reflected. You are looking at a screen right now.

To record the visible range of digital colors the wavelengths are deliberately limited to the visible spectrum and divided into three groups - red, green and blue. That makes it possible to reconstruct what the eye might interpret as a full range of colors. But as you can see:



The process is not simple. Even "pure" colors within a narrow wavelength range will get some values for all three colors.

The same thing happens with film and in our own eyes. What is being received by the camera is interpreted to try and match what we might perceive with our eyes.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:39:48   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
selmslie wrote:
That's it in a nutshell. If we can't see it we don't call it color, just wavelength outside our normal range - 380 to 700 nanometers.

It's not only reflected. You are looking at a screen right now.

To record the visible range of digital colors the wavelengths are deliberately limited to the visible spectrum and divided into three groups - red, green and blue. That makes it possible to reconstruct what the eye might interpret as a full range of colors. But as you can see:



The process is not simple. Even "pure" colors within a narrow wavelength range will get some values for all three colors.

The same thing happens with film and in our own eyes. What is being received by the camera is interpreted to try and match what we might perceive with our eyes.
That's it in a nutshell. If we can't see it we do... (show quote)

And everyone should understand that not all people perceive colors the same way. (But we like to believe they do.)
What looks fine to person A may look "off" to person B.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:41:06   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
Doyle Thomas wrote:
i am trying to define how the color of an object is seen and color is a range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.


Yes, a lab spectrograph, or a simple prism may help define the color numerically.

The Photo Astro people really are a great source of technical information. Many of the things regarding correctly DIY converting a camera to IR are well/technically explained in the Astro blogs.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:41:21   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Longshadow wrote:
And everyone should understand that not all people perceive colors the same way. (But we like to believe they do.)
What looks fine to person A may look "off" to person B.


Those are just uncalibrated monitors ...

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Nov 21, 2022 09:42:22   #
selmslie Loc: Fernandina Beach, FL, USA
 
Longshadow wrote:
And everyone should understand that not all people perceive colors the same way. (But we like to believe they do.)
What looks fine to person A may look "off" to person B.

Some people are color blind and some sensors or film are designed to record beyond the visible range and return "false color" images or simply B&W.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:48:22   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Those are just uncalibrated monitors ...


Additional complication, Monitors radiate light, objects adsorb light and we see what is left, visual subtraction:
https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/light/u12l2e.cfm

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Nov 21, 2022 09:51:21   #
Ysarex Loc: St. Louis
 
Doyle Thomas wrote:
i am trying to define how the color of an object is seen and color is a range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.


You asked the question; What is Color? It is not a range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. That's focusing on the processes that produce color -- light wavelengths, rods and cones in the eye etc. Describing how it works doesn't answer the question, what is it?

dpullum and Longshadow are closer by acknowledging human perception.

Most of the dictionaries get it wrong and do the same thing you're doing. They focus on what causes color but fail to define it. Webster's get's it right: "the sensation resulting from stimulation of the retina of the eye by light waves of certain lengths."

A component of human visual perception, color is a sensation in the occipital cortex of the brain produced when the retina of the eye is stimulated by either reflected or direct light energy in the visible spectrum between 400 and 750 nanometers; a sensation in the brain related to visual perception.

Getting the definition right matters because a correct definition includes human perception, for example color can be changed by stress which can alter human perception.

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Nov 21, 2022 09:55:56   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Those are just uncalibrated monitors ...

I thought they were uncalibrated eyeballs.

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