Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Meaning of Color

Where does color exist you may ask? Some might say that color exists in the surface of objects or the texture of things. Well whatever you may think, let me tell you what the real answer is. Color exists in the eye of the beholder. Color is generated behind your eye and in the brain of each individual. Perhaps it is one millionth of a bit different in each person, but generally the color that we see, is dependant upon our eyes.

Color has a couple important aspects or features to it. There is the physical aspect of color as well as the psychological effect. We could also include the emotional or historical affect of color on us but for now we will just focus on the first two.

The physical aspect of color regards the perception and physics, while the psychological aspect regards the way in which we think about color and the role it plays on our minds. Color is defined as a component of light. This is an interesting fact when we think about it. Color is defined according to light. In a way this makes a lot of sense.

If there is no light, there is no color, but only blackness. For those that are saying, well black is a color is it not? No, black is not a color. Black is the absence of color and is a shade. Depending on how much light is taken into our eyes and the amount of tone, shading, or tint, we will see a variety of color. This variety of color has millions of different shades.

There are three primary colors of light. These colors are red, green, and blue. These three colors are the basis upon which every single other color is formed. This is accomplished by mixing the red, green, and blue together. Other colors that we know well such as yellow, violet, and orange can be accomplished by mixing these primaries.

To demonstrate how we see color it is important to understand that some surfaces refract or absorb certain colors better than other surfaces do. If you are wearing a red shirt, the reason we see your shirt as a red color is because that is the only color the shirt does not absorb. The red shirt is absorbing all the green and blue wavelengths. This is why the shirt is a red one. Does this make sense to you? Black reflects no light and this is why we see black. The same goes for nighttime. If there is no sunlight, there is no color.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting observations on color... and the tie in to the World Cup. We actually just wrote a whole piece - on both topics!

    Feel free to read one - or both: