Wednesday, August 17

Do you see what I see?

I was watching an episode of Horizon the other day which was all about colour vision and how colour affects us. Considering I am wearing red and blue here I'll have to tell you about one of the experiments: Test subjects stood bathed in blue, red or white light. They were then asked to judge the passage of one minute. Turns out red light slows subjective time while blue speeds it up. I got me some fast ticking legs and slow feet you guys ;)

Colour perception seemed particularly interesting. We all know bananas are yellow, so no matter what colour light we see bananas in they always look yellow. Our brains just go right ahead and correct the cast.

That reminded me of my first days in the colour darkroom. I was unable to spot the difference between a green and yellow cast, blue and cyan, red and magenta. It all looked the same to me. Eventually I learnt to make the distinction and swiftly turned into a stickler spending my days in pitch black behind a beautiful beast of an enlarger. In a black and white darkroom you get to work under red lights because the paper is not sensitive to it but printing colour you just stick your hands out ahead of yourself like a somnambulist and memorize where everything is ASAP.

I am doing that digressing thing again, suffice to say: Looks like the answer is no. We experience colour subjectively. My pink is probably not your pink, it is coloured by all my past pinkness and the associations I've learnt to make regarding it. I found pink late in life, I wasn't a rose coloured little girl that much is for sure. Blue remains my favourite though :)

What's your favourite colour?
Have your feelings about some colours changed over time as well?

knitted bow: present (pass me down)
earrings: present (I'll show you a close up another day)
necklace: children's easter bracelets multipack (supermarket) DIY
dress: vintage 80s (etsy)
royal blue tights: c/o welovecolors
sandals: kurt geiger years ago


  1. Interesting!!
    I love it, the shots and the contrast
    with the place and the interesting outfit, very nice :)

  2. Love your little analysis of colour here. I took an Art History class called "Colour" years ago and it was all very interesting!

  3. The Quirky PoetAugust 17, 2011

    Quite an intriguing concept. I was just thinking of this the other day while I was shuffling through my dresser drawer in poor lighting, and all the t-shirts looked brown and red somehow.

  4. i don't have a favorite color because my preference for colors is changing together with my mood swings (not that I'm moody but I have a hate relationship with my hormones).
    however, i changed the most my feelings toward pink. i used to hate it. then i realized that my negative feelings aren't mine at all. my father was always mad if I would wear it so I gradually started to believe that these are my feeling too. now I like some pastel variations of this color.

  5. Oh, man, that "experiencing color subjectively" question has always driven me crazy. I'm sure lots of people obsess over that! My favorite color is green, but when I was younger it was purple. My preference changed during my twenties. I also really like green and blue together, especially for interior decor.

    I love the dress you're wearing in these photos. The sleeves and pleats are so pretty! The necklace also looks really nice against it.

  6. Crystal LeeAugust 17, 2011

    I enjoyed your digression on the dark room process. I would love how to learn how to print color photos in the dark room, but alas our community colleges don't have the budget for anything but b&W prints.  My favorite color was pink forever, usually a dusty shade of pink, and then it was lavender, and I guess now it's either peach or lavender. I like the pastels for sure. but depending on my mood, I will wear most any color, though certainly not a fan of black. black clothing is so serious/stern/aggressive. but you know, I'm also kind of scared of the dark - always have been - perhaps on account of my religious upbringing. (geez, talk about digressing). I love your sophisticated yet fun outfit.  The white pleated dress is so pretty & you've done a wonderful job of spicing it up with colorful accessories.

  7. Yay colour theory! I love thinking about colour, the way we see it how it affects us etc. It's so interesting to learn that something most of us think is an objective reality is actually pretty subjective (like anything I suppose), and, you know, colours are awesome! I don't have a favourite because of that, I do have favourite colour combinations though one of my favourite right now is orange and pink.

    You look so great, that dress is really stunning, and I love the colours you combined them with!

  8. fashionforgiantsAugust 17, 2011

    This is the best dress ever.  Ever, I tell you.

    And what a fascinating post about color theory.  I love color, but I don't know that I theorize about it much.  But, definitely more so now that I'm blogging and feel like I need to explain some of my color decisions.  I loved reading this!

  9. i remember learning in the color dark room too. i used to hate hate hate pink. but now i always grab the pink straw. blue was my number one favorite.
    i really enjoyed reading what you had to write here.

  10. Emily_RubySlippersAugust 18, 2011

    I like your digressions, and I very much like the 20s style silhouette (especially with the headscarf) of this outfit.
    I always used to say my favourite colour was green, but now I think it might be yellow.  My relationship with colour definitely changes (orange used to be a total no go, now it's almost on par with yellow).  I also find there's a big difference towards my feelings to colour in general, and colours of clothes in particular...

  11. my favorite colors have always been blue and green equally and I can't choose between them.  I used to hate yellow when I was a little girl. My mom used to put me in it often because she said I looked so nice in it, but I hated it. Funny how now that is my favorite color TO wear, but I don't own many things in that color, yet it is my biggest weakness.