Colour-blind: A surprisingly common problem… [White-balancing red skies]


Multiple wildfires have ravaged the western United States in the past month, scattering particles of ash and smoke into the air. On Wednesday, residents across the West, woke up to a dark, bronzed sky that nearly shut out all daylight.

But as people tried to capture the scene, many noticed a strange phenomenon: Certain photographs and videos of the weird orange sky seemed to wash it out, as if to erase the danger. In some cases, the scene seemed to revert to a neutral gray, making it impossible for the people experiencing the problem to document it and share it with others.

The cause of this is interestingly simple and unsettling.

The un-oranged images were caused by one of the most basic features of digital cameras, their ability to infer what color is in an image based on the lighting conditions in which it is taken. Like the people looking up at it, the software never expected the sky to be bathed in orange.

You see, digital photography camera sensors are color-blind – they see only brightness, and engineers had to trick them into reproducing color using algorithms. A process called “white balance” replaced the chemical, color tone of film. But automatic white balance isn’t terribly reliable. Under the blood-red San Francisco sky, white balance did not have a reference against which to calibrate accurately. Because everything was red, the software assumed that the entire scene was generally neutral. (Note that this is not a problem of digital photography alone. The same problems exist for film cameras: Different stocks of film and development processes had their own renditions of color) (source)

Do you see now?

The most certain things in life, are the ones you need to question.

You see colors.

And yet…

Do you see colors?

Related article: Philosophy of colours: Do they exist?

When people started to figure out what was going on, they downloaded apps allowing them to set the white balance on their own.

And the colors were ‘corrected’.
But wait a minute…
How does our eye determine color?

How are you certain that you see what you see?

How do you know that you know what you know?

What if someone else sees something else?

In a cosmos full of red, the algorithms thought everything was grey.

Close your eyes.

In a cosmos full of senses and light, could you see everything black?

Babies categorizing colours…


Researchers have revealed that infants aged between 5 and 7 months hold the representation of color categories in their brain, even before the acquisition of language. [1] We believe we have evolved and changed. But we are still that baby which tries to “categorize” everything it sees. Babies we still are. Trapped in the bodies of grown-ups… Try to remember what you once “knew”. And you will understand what you can never know.

Colours. Synesthesia. One.


A new study has shown for the first time that people can be trained to “see” letters of the alphabet as colors in a way that simulates how those with synesthesia experience their world. The University of Sussex research, published on 18 November 2014 in Scientific Reports, also found that the training might potentially boost IQ.

Synesthesia is a fascinating though little-understood neurological condition in which some people (estimated at around 1 in 23) experience an overlap in their senses. They “see” letters as specific colors, or can “taste” words, or associate sounds with different colors.

A critical debate concerns whether the condition is embedded in our genes, or whether it emerges because of particular environmental influences, such as colored-letter toys in infancy.

While the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive, psychologists at the University’s Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science devised a nine-week training program to see if adults without synesthesia can develop the key hallmarks of the condition. They found, in a sample study of 14, that not only were the participants able to develop strong letter-color associations to pass all the standard tests for synesthesia, most also experienced sensations such as letters seeming “colored” or having individual personas (for instance, “x is boring,” “w is calm”). (1)

Colours. Letters. Sounds.
We tend to separate them.
But we could not.
We could live in One.
We have just chosen not to…

Colours. Subjectivity. Mind.


“Can you imagine a color you’ ve never seen?” Jeffrey Tibbetts asks, looking directly into the Skype camera. We would like to think that we can, of course, that our imaginations are limitless. But the answer, no matter how much we skirt around it, is actually “no.” However, Tibbetts insists that he himself can see another color. He, along with several friends, is part of a homegrown experiment where he has attempted to alter his vision to see in the infrared, which humans can’t usually see. The three experimenters have just completed a 25-day nutritional regimen and, as their bodies return to normal, they will continue to document their vision for the next two weeks. Very early results appear promising, albeit incomplete. But several experts in ophthalmology have doubts about the purpose and safety of the project, not to mention the validity of the results themselves. (1)

Our eyes deceive us. No matter what we think we see, we will always have a problem to convince the others of what we see. Because vision is a matter of the mind.

Everything is in our mind.

And how can you convince someone of what you have in your mind?

Unless he and you share the same m…