The basic definition
of color from the Merriam-Webster
on-line dictionary is: A phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink,
or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate
otherwise identical objects.
The two most
important words in this definition are light and
visual. Without light and
the ability (vision) to see light there is no color. The sun emits
electromagnetic radiation across a wide spectrum that includes both
visible and invisible wavelengths. In this tutorial we are not concerned
with the invisible spectrum, radio waves, gamma waves, etc. but
rather the visual
spectrum (the wavelengths of light
that human vision can perceive).
The human eye
is sensitive to light from approximately 380 to 780 nanometers.
Light wavelengths are measured in nanometers. Some wavelengths have
high energy and short wavelengths (blue/violet side of spectrum)
and some low energy and long wavelengths (red/yellow side of spectrum).
spectrum shown here contains all of the colors visible to the human
eye. When we see equal amounts of all of these wavelengths we see
white light. The absence of all wavelengths or no light would be
that the full visual spectrum cannot be reproduced by any capture,
display or printing device. They all have limited and differing
color gamut's, a term that we will define and explore later in this
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Without light, there is no color.
The human eye is sensitive to light from approximately 380
- 780 nanometers.
In terms of human color perception we are concerned with
the visual spectrum only.