Light and Color
How do we See?|
Did you ever look at a beautiful painting or witness a gorgeous sunset and wonder, `How is it that I am able to see that?' What enables us to see the light and experience such wonderful shades of color during the course of our everyday lives? Some may take seeing for granted, but if the process is looked at closely, you can see what a wonder it really is.
First Things First...
Color from Light
White light from the sun contains all the possible color variations. Yet, the human eye can only respond to certain colors and wavelengths, and not everyone sees the same colors or exact same shades of a color. We are capable of seeing color because our eyes have light and color-sensitive receptors. These receptors are called rods (receptive to amounts of light) and cones (sensitive to colors). Being able to see color is a sensation, just like smelling a pie fresh out of the oven or tasting your favorite meal. Different foods smell and taste different to each person, and likewise, no color is seen exactly the same by two people, because each person's rods and cones vary.
Color Coding: The Color Wheel|
Although most of the time we don't even think about color consciously, some people think about and plan colors very seriously. Whether it be a dress maker color coordinating fabrics, a painter imagining the perfect eye-pleasing portrait, or someone simply redoing their living room, a color wheel can be very useful. A color wheel is a tool that helps artists and others learn and visualize color relationships; it shows how primary colors can combine to create many other colors.
The Color Factor
Some people have trouble discerning colors, along with their shades and luminance. Color blindness is a color perception problem whose most common ailment is a red-green deficiency. This means that there is a lack of red or green photopigments and people have difficulty making out colors that are based on the `red to green' ratio. It is estimated that about 7% of all males are color blind, while only .4% of women are affected. This is because the defect is linked to the X-chromosome, of which males only have one, so there is less chance of it being naturally corrected by the genes.
"Shadowing" Light and Color
Coloring Vision, Appetite, and Mood
Other colors can alter how or what we eat. Blue is known to curb appetites. Why is this so? Blue food doesn't exist in nature, with the exception of the blueberry. There are no blue vegetables, and hopefully, if you encountered a blue meat, you certainly wouldn't eat it. Because of this natural color deficiency, there is no automatic appetite response to anything blue.
There are colors that can put us in a better mood, too. Green is the most restful color for the eye. It has the power to soothe and comfort. Studies have even shown that people who work in surroundings that are green experience fewer headaches, stomach aches, and other signs of sickness or fatigue.
Out of Sight!
Now that you understand more about Light and Color,check out some colorful facts about Rainbows!