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Color Shenanigans

Colors Do the Unexpected

When choosing colors, experiment.

The color you're selecting is not in its "home" yet.

The color may look different when it's amongst the neighboring colors in your photograph.

Example #1

Complimentary colors are relatively "silent" when they're apart.

     
     
     
     
     
     

When next to each other, their "conversation" vibrates.

This is due to the afterimage of each color in our eyes.

The green box has a magenta afterimage, and the magenta frame has a green afterimage.

     
     
     

Example #2

The background color or tone change the foreground color.

The small pink squares, inside the larger squares, are the same color.

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Example #3

The two blue squares below may look the same, due to their interaction with the background colors, but they're different.

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Example #4

Background tone affects who we perceive the tone of the foreground subject.

The small gray squares, inside the larger squares, are the same shade of gray.

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Here's a variation of the same effect.

           
 

 

       
           

Example #5

Similarly, background tone affects who we perceive the color of the foreground subject.

The small pink squares, inside the larger squares, are the same pink.

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Here's a variation of the same effect.

           
 

 

       
           

Example #6 - Bezold Effect

The white mortar lightens the red, while the black mortar darkens the same red.

 

         
         
         
         

 

         
         
         
         

 

Resources

Go to Color Picking.

Go to Light, Color, Perception, & Optics.