COLOR  PHENOMENA Page: 07. 00
Introduction Ingredients Spectra Attributes The Human Eye Color Mixing General Terms
Color Spaces How to measure Color Scales Color Effects After Images Contents

General Terms

COLOR IN GENERAL SENSE and PRECISE COLOR COMMUNICATION on this page
LIGHT SOURCES on page 07.01
BLACKBODY and COLOR TEMPERATURE on page 07.02
COLOR SYMBOLISM on page 07.03
REFERENCES Book/Work on page 07.04 
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COLOR  IN  GENERAL  SENSE

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Color is a Phenomenon

Color is a physical phenomenon of light or visual perception associated with the various wavelengths of the visual part of the Electromagnetic spectrum also called the Visible spectrum.
As a sensation experienced by humans and some animals, perception of color is a complex neuropsychological process.


Color is Light

The color of light of a single wavelength or of a small band of wavelengths is known as a pure spectral color or Hue.
Such pure colors are said to be fully saturated and are seldom encountered outside the laboratory.
Light composed of vibrations of a single wavelength in the Visible spectrum differs qualitatively from light of another wavelength.
This qualitative difference is perceived subjectively as the Hue.
Light with a wavelength of 700 nanometer is perceived as Red and light of 400 nanometer wavelength is perceived as Violet.


White Light

White light is composed of Electromagnetic vibrations, the wavelengths of which are evenly distributed from 40 to 70 millionths of a centimeter.
If the intensity of these vibrations is strong ( great amplitude ) the light is white, if the intensity is less, the light is weak and if the intensity is zero, the light is nonexistent or black.


We need more knowledge
about color

Looking around, a wide variety of colors leap into our Eye's.
We are surrounded by an infinite variety of colors in our daily lives.
However, unlike length or weight, there is no physical scale for measuring color, making it unlikely that everyone will answer in the same way when asked what a certain color is.
For example, if we say "blue ocean" or "blue sky", each individual will imagine different blue colors, because their color Sensitivity and past experiences will be different.
This is the problem with color. So let's study a little and determine what kind of color information would be useful.


Color language

If you show a colored Object to five different people, you are bound to get five different answers.
Color is a matter of perception and subjective interpretation. Looking at the same Object, people will draw upon different references and experiences and express the exact same color in vastly different words. Because their is such a wide variety of ways to express a color, describing a particular color to someone is extremely difficult and vague. Verbal expression of a color is too complicated and difficult.
However, if there was a standard method by which colors could be accurately expressed and understood by anyone, color communication would be smoother, simpler and exact. Such color language would eliminate color-related problems.


Common and systematic
color names

Words for expressing colors have always changed with the times.
If we consider for instance a red color, there are "vermilion", "cinnabar", "crimson", "rose", "strawberry" and "scarlet", to mention just a few. These are called common color names.
By analyzing the color condition and adding adjectives such as "bright", "dull"' and "deep" we can describe the color a little more precisely. These terms are called systematic color names.
Although there are a variety of such ways to describe color, different people hearing just "crimson" or "bright red" will still interpret such expression in different ways. So... verbal expression of colors is still not accurate enough.
Then how should colors be expressed to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding?


Light

An apple which looks so delicious under sunlight in front of the green grocer somehow doesn't look so good under fluorescent light at home. Probably many people have had such an experience.
Sunlight, daylight, candle light, fluorescent light, tungsten light, et cetera;  each type of illuminant will make the same apple look different.


Observer

The Sensitivity of each individual's Eye is slightly different; even for people considered to have "normal" color vision, there may be some bias toward red and blue.
Also, person's eyesight generally changes with age.
Because of these factors, colors will appear differently to different Observer's.


Size

After looking at small sample pieces and selecting wallpaper which look good, people sometimes find that it looks too bright when it's actually hung on the wall. 
Colors covering a large area tend to appear brighter and more vivid than colors covering a smaller area.
This is referred to as area effect.
Selecting Object's which will have a large area based on color samples having a small area may result in mistakes.


Background

If an apple is placed in front of a bright background, it will appear duller than when it was placed in front of a dark background.
This is referred to as contrast effect and is undesirable for accurately judging color.


Directional

When looking at a car, viewing the car from just slightly different angle can make a point on the car appear brighter or darker.
This is due to the directional characteristics of the car's paint.
Certain coloring materials, particularly metallic paints, have highly directional characteristics.
The angle from which the object is viewed and also the angle from which it is illuminated, must be constant for accurate color communication.


The wide variety of colors

The wide variety of colors seen every day are colors of lower saturation, that is, mixtures of light of various wavelengths.
The Hue and the Lightness and the Saturation are the three qualitative differences of physical colors.


Devices

A device for producing and observing a spectrum visually is called a spectroscope.
A device for observing and recording a spectrum photographically is called a spectrograph.
A device for measuring the various portions of the spectrum is a spectrophotometer.
The science of using spectroscopes, spectrographs and spectrophotometers to study color is called spectroscopy.
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PRECISE COLOR COMMUNICATION
Source indication: 1991 MINOLTA Camera Co.Ltd

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07-00-01

WHAT COLOR HAVE THESE APPLES?

RED ?

BURNING RED ?

CRIMSON ?

BRIGHT RED ?


IF YOU SHOW THESE APPLES TO FOUR DIFFERENT PEOPLE,
YOU ARE BOUND TO GET FOUR DIFFERENT ANSWERS.

Color is a matter of perception, of subjective interpretation.
To express the same color, different people will draw upon different references and express the exact same color in different words.
It is because there are such varied expressions that communicating a particular color is so difficult and vague.
Can we tell someone "these apples were a burning red" and then expect them to be able to exactly duplicate that color?
Verbal expression of color is simple too complicated and difficult.
But... if there were a standard method by witch colors could be accurately expressed, color communication would become much simpler and more straightforward. Precise color communication would, in a word, simply eliminate color troubles.



COMMON COLOR NAMES AND GENERAL COLOR NAMES:
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN WORDS EXPRESS COLOR?

Words that express colors have always changed with the times.
If we consider, for instance, the red we've been talking about, there's "vermillion" , "cinnabar" , "crimson" , "scarlet". These are called "Common color names".
Today a somewhat more precise expression is obtained by using such adjectives as "bright" , "dull" , "deep".
Terms such as "bright red" are called "General color names".
Although there are many such devices used for a slightly better definition, different people will still interpret "crimson" or "bright red" in different ways. This is obviously still not clear.


07-00-02

TWO RED BALLS

NOW TELL SOMEONE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM.




TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ACCURATE COLOR EXPRESSION, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT COLOR
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The two red balls are extremely similar, exactly how are they different?
At first glance they look the same, but upon closer examination you know they are different.
But in how many ways?
The color of both is red, but the upper ball is somewhat lighter than the lower one and of course the lower one is darker.
At the same time, the upper appears VIVID, which the bottom ball certainly isn't.
When colors are classified, they can be broken down into three primary elements of their


"HUE (color)"  See also page 04.00
"LIGHTNESS (brightness)" See also page 04.01
"SATURATION (vividness)" See also page 04.02
These three attributes on page 04.03

 


07-00-03

   
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