color introduction
whats color
color accuracy
color temperature
color models
icc workflow
color tools

Color Perception...

The way we perceive color can often times trick us. A white horse under the shade of a tree might appear white to us visually, yet if we were to photograph that horse or read the spectral data from it, it would actually have a blue cast from the sky or green cast from the leaves of the tree. This is known as Chromatic Adaptation, the ability of the human visual system to adapt to various light sources to preserve an objects original color appearance.

Adjacent colors will also have an influence on how we perceive color.

The green boxes in this image appear to contain different shades of green. As you move your mouse cursor over the image however you will see that both boxes are indeed the same color green. This is really a color illusion.







Why is this all so important? What is really important to recognize here is that our viewing conditions, the color of light we view our images in; surrounding color areas, walls, ceilings, even our clothes can have a serious affect on our perception and judgment of color. Viewing standards have been developed to provide us with guidelines for judging color. Standard viewing booths for making critical color assessments are available from a number of different manufacturers. Some color experts even recommend painting your walls and ceilings a specific shade of gray so that image evaluation is done in a completely neutral color environment. The bottom line here is that you should view your final images in the environment in which they will be displayed or under lighting that is representative of the display environment and always be cognizant of surrounding colors as they will effect your ability to accurately assess color.

This brings us to our next topic, one that is very important to understanding and assessing good color, color temperature.

Key Concepts and Terminology...

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  • Chromatic adaption is the ability of the human visual system to adapt to different light sources to preserve an objects original color.
  • Adjacent and background colors impact our ability to correctly assess color.
  • Color should be assessed under controlled or standardized lighting conditions comparable to the lighting conditions in which the images will be displayed.



Sect. I| ColorIntro.| WhatsColor|ColorAccuracy| ColorPercept.| ColorTemp.| ColorModels| ICCWorkfl| ColorTools|

Sect. II| Monitors| Scanners| Printers| Photoshop|

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