Colors

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Elmud
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 04:17 pm
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a pretty cool place. It is nestled in the green mountains of southwestern Arkansas. Just outside of Hot Springs. The property is a 210 acre peninsula that stretches out onto Lake Hamilton.

It is a hilly terrain full of winding trails that descend down to the lake. Along the way, there are hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs, and blooming plants. So many various hues of red, yellow, orange and purple against the background of the various shades of green in the thick forest, giving way eventually to the blueish waters of the lake which reflects all the colors that surround it.

Continuing on, we travel uphill for another mile or so until we come upon a rocky hillside area. It resembles something you may see in a tropical rain forest. There is a small rocky creek which winds its way down the mountainside. Small waterfalls here and there create a mist that makes the rocky trails damp.There are hundreds of Japanese Maple trees , shrubs and flowers. I am told that in the fall, all the Japanese maple leaves turn a bright red. Along the creek there are tropical ferns and grasses, covering the full spectrum of green. As you reach the top of the trail, you stand on a rock bridge that crosses the creek. You look down a clearing which follows the winding creek,,down to a pond which is full of various colors of coy fish. Orange, yellow, gold and white, and combinations of each. Looked like something out of Swiss Family Robinson or The Blue Lagoon.

As I stood and observed this panorama of colors, I thought, there are very few things in the natural world,, that are black or white. And,,,even when they do show up,, there are several shades of those. Truth is, those two colors are very rare. Can't always make a call in favor of them. Even a black rose,, is really a deep purple. And,,a white rose of sharon,, is actually a very light,,dusty pink.

Difficult thing , trying to paint a verbal picture of the natural world. Too diffuse a thing,,and too many shades of each.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 07:02 pm
@Elmud,
Black and white are not colours. They are tones which affect how we see colours.
 
Elmud
 
Reply Mon 7 Sep, 2009 09:31 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Thank you holiday for sharing. A few short questions. First,,,what is the color of coal? Second,,,what is the color of snow? Third,,,can you define,,,allegory? thx.
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 07:56 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud;88926 wrote:
Thank you holiday for sharing. A few short questions. First,,,what is the color of coal? Second,,,what is the color of snow? Third,,,can you define,,,allegory? thx.


Oooo, Oooo, I know, I know.

(Raises arm high, waving it madly about to get attention.)

Coal is black and snow is white and allegory is... is...
Is 67 a passing grade?

----------------------

Elmud your description of that garden was remarkably visual. Felt like a memory of the beauty coming back to me. Thanks for that!

Samm
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 08:28 pm
@SammDickens,
I find it interesting how many more colors some people see than others.

Also, how many more colors we have nowadays than in ancient times.

As the human consciousness evolves so does its awareness - or does it just create new colors?

Rich
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 01:31 am
@Elmud,
there are not so many colors in india, i noticed that. i think in america we have created artificial colors that dont exist in nature-only in paint and computer simulations. but all the same, they are beautiful and i like them...

also in india there is one word for both snow and ice-while among the inuit there are something like 26 different words for different conditions or consistencies of snow!
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:03 am
@richrf,
richrf;94178 wrote:
I find it interesting how many more colors some people see than others.

Also, how many more colors we have nowadays than in ancient times.

As the human consciousness evolves so does its awareness - or does it just create new colors?

Rich
i read somewhere that a certain colour blue was not recognised by the old masters from the medieval period. Art historians have found even though the pigments would have allowed them to produce this hue, it was never used, but then starts to appear about two hundred years later, interesting.
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:23 am
@Elmud,
maybe after my cataract operation i will see new colors i never saw before. how do we know we see anything at all like anyone else? even if we all look at the same thing at the same time from the same distance and angle, it all depends on the eye and wiring from the eye to the brain i guess.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 08:20 am
@salima,
salima;94248 wrote:
maybe after my cataract operation i will see new colors i never saw before. how do we know we see anything at all like anyone else? even if we all look at the same thing at the same time from the same distance and angle, it all depends on the eye and wiring from the eye to the brain i guess.
I think it started off having the ability to see colours for hunting and gathering. The more opportunity we had to admire and ponder our surroundings, so did our awareness of the subtle hues. You can try it yourself when looking at the most boring of views, what at first is colourless, suddenly becomes a mass of colours.
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 08:46 am
@xris,
xris;94256 wrote:
I think it started off having the ability to see colours for hunting and gathering. The more opportunity we had to admire and ponder our surroundings, so did our awareness of the subtle hues. You can try it yourself when looking at the most boring of views, what at first is colourless, suddenly becomes a mass of colours.


can you see auras? i always wished i could see auras, but all i get is stuff like halos and star points from lights at night because of my defects. pretty soon i will have new bionic eyes!
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 12:46 pm
@xris,
xris;94243 wrote:
i read somewhere that a certain colour blue was not recognised by the old masters from the medieval period. Art historians have found even though the pigments would have allowed them to produce this hue, it was never used, but then starts to appear about two hundred years later, interesting.


Yes, I find simple observations like this most interesting. Just little pieces of awareness about colors. Thanks.

Rich
 
Rubix Cube
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 09:40 am
@salima,
Holiday20310401;88898 wrote:
Black and white are not colours. They are tones which affect how we see colours.


First off I'd like to clarify what "Black" and "White" can be defined as. Black is, in essence, the absence of color (IE: the absence of light, since the color we perceive is determined by light waves of varying lengths interacting with the light receptors in our eyes.) White, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. White occurs when the receptors in our eyes are confronted with light from three different sources which all equally stimulate those receptors. In nature, only objects that do not reflect light are black (IE: objects that absorb all, or the majority, of the light waves being directed at them.) In the purest definition of the word, true black only occurs in a light devoid environment. On the other hand, white occurs much more often in nature than black does.

richrf;94178 wrote:
I find it interesting how many more colors some people see than others.

Also, how many more colors we have nowadays than in ancient times.

As the human consciousness evolves so does its awareness - or does it just create new colors?

Rich


As for the viewing of colors, the reason why some people see "more" colors, or see colors differently (more/less defined) than others could have a lot to do with the size of the persons eyes, and the way in which their light receptors accept light waves. Now this obviously doesn't explain why ancient cultures weren't able to see as wide a spectrum of colors as we can today, our eyes didn't evolve in the biological sense in a mere few thousand years.

One explanation for the shift in the way in which we see our world (from ancient to modern), as well as the way in which we perceive existence in general, is centered around the human brain. The most prevalent theory of why we see colors the way we do is that there are color channels that transmit color from eyes to our brain and that these channels are influenced by our own biology. And since everyone has slightly different biological traits, it stands to reason that these traits would effect our perception of color. And since certain traits are kept and other eliminated over time, it could be that our perception of color today is due to the trends of selection in the gene pool.

Of course there isn't any definitive scientific evidence to conclusively point to the color channels as being the sole way in which we perceive color, and the debate is left to philosophy. It is argued that biology isn't the only defining factor in the ways we perceive.

This leads us, of course, to the question of "Qualia". Qualia is the term used to describe the subjectivity of each individuals conscious experiences, the debate being "Is our perception of reality entirely subjective?" or "Is our perception of reality, as well as that of everyone else, based on the same foundations?", at least that is how I interpret it.

Personally, I believe that each individual's perception of reality is subjective. Which is where I will stop talking and propose a few related questions.

1. If everyone's perception of reality is subjective then how can we be sure that we are even talking about the same colors? For example, if I say to you "the apple is red", how can I be sure that you don't interpret my definition for red as my definition for green? We could all be seeing a different spectrum of color and not even be aware of it. And while you could say this doesn't matter, I'd argue that it would account for our different tastes in colors. Why people have different favorite colors. Why I love orange where as my sister can't stand it... Thoughts?

2. If an object that normally reflects light, say a yellow shirt, is placed into a completely dark room (devoid of all light) does it still have a color? Is an objects color based on the light it's reflecting at that moment or the light that it normally reflects when lit?

Also feel free to chime in on the topic of Qualia. I'd be pleased as punch to see the opinions of members with more education on the topic than myself.

-James (Rubix Cube)
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 02:05 pm
@Rubix Cube,
Rubix Cube;96018 wrote:

Personally, I believe that each individual's perception of reality is subjective. Which is where I will stop talking and propose a few related questions.


Yes. I have a similar belief with a different twist. I think that as consciousness/mind becomes more aware of colors it gradually develops the sensory network that becomes more sensitive to different colors. In other words, awareness precedes the development of the biological network and the external instruments to support the biological network (e.g. spectrum measurement tools).

Rubix Cube;96018 wrote:
1. If everyone's perception of reality is subjective then how can we be sure that we are even talking about the same colors?


We can't. All that we can know is that we agree that when two people see something they are seeming something that is approximately the same from one instance to another.

Rubix Cube;96018 wrote:
Why I love orange where as my sister can't stand it... Thoughts?


I think that each color resonates differently with each person and each has its own effects. These effects will produce some sort of reaction that may be pleasant or unpleasant similar to other forms of taste.

I think colors are fascinating and the whole process of discovering them is called the arts. Something I dabble in now and then.

Rich
 
ogden
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 06:10 pm
@Rubix Cube,
Rubix Cube;96018 wrote:


2. If an object that normally reflects light, say a yellow shirt, is placed into a completely dark room (devoid of all light) does it still have a color? Is an objects color based on the light it's reflecting at that moment or the light that it normally reflects when lit?

Also feel free to chime in on the topic of Qualia. I'd be pleased as punch to see the opinions of members with more education on the topic than myself.

-James (Rubix Cube)


You can be fairly sure I am less educated than you, but I couldn't resist commenting on your question.

No. The shirt would no longer be yellow because of the absence of light but it would retain the properties that would make it yellow should light be re-introduced. It could only have the potential to be yellow (whatever yellow is).

As I understand it a yellow shirt is yellow because it absorbs the yellow wave length and reflects the rest, or do I have that backwards?
 
Rubix Cube
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 09:41 am
@ogden,
ogden;103545 wrote:
As I understand it a yellow shirt is yellow because it absorbs the yellow wave length and reflects the rest, or do I have that backwards?


Actually you're quite right. The shirt would be yellow because it absorbs the other colors and reflects the light which we perceive as yellow. However, the way we see an object's color isn't entirely based on the objects ability to absorb and reflect light. Different circumstantial factors can also change the color of an object. So say, for instance, you take the same yellow shirt and put it under a black light. It's color changes completely then because we're seeing it under a different spectrum of light. I think that you're right in assuming that the shirt is not yellow when in a dark room but retains the properties that make it yellow under normal lighting conditions. In the same respect it retains the properties that make it another color under a black light. I think that any object will have the potential to become different colors depending on the circumstances we see it under. So in other words, any object is only the color we perceive it as at that time, but that same object retains the potential to become a different color under other circumstances.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 01:01 am
@Elmud,
How about the experience of color? Isn't it strange? We can imagine verbally a world with different colors, but I at least cannot actually imagine a color not on the usual spectrum. Would aliens or animals experience colors that we will never be able to?

One thing painters have on the rest of us is COLOR
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 01:39 am
@Elmud,
One of the things I like so much about being on the water very early in the morning, is the effect of light in creating colors. Color is so much more than most of us ever perceive it to be.

I wonder what it is that causes the eye of the true artist to perceive color so differently from the average person.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 01:42 am
@wayne,
wayne;154369 wrote:
One of the things I like so much about being on the water very early in the morning, is the effect of light in creating colors. Color is so much more than most of us ever perceive it to be.

I wonder what it is that causes the eye of the true artist to perceive color so differently from the average person.


Probably because when they were learning colors, there was some emotional connotations during the learning process that they associate the colors with. This could also be completely subconscious as well. Just my theory of course.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 01:43 am
@wayne,
wayne;154369 wrote:

I wonder what it is that causes the eye of the true artist to perceive color so differently from the average person.

Good question. Could it be genetic? learned? Hard to say.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 01:54 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;154371 wrote:
Good question. Could it be genetic? learned? Hard to say.


Yeah, I think about that a lot when I'm out in my boat in the morning or evening. I can understand it but I don't really have the eye. Good photographers have that kind of eye. I've been trying to learn how to do some of that, and I think it can be learned to some extent,but there still seems to be a certain kind of perception that some are apparently born with.

I see colors, when I am on the water, that have no name.
 
 

 
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