Today’s mini-project revolved around the notion of how we remember surface colours and how our eyes respond to light.
Batchelor writes about the way in which we see colours as the property of the object. Even in different lighting conditions; our colour memory tells us what colour we think an object is. We make assumptions about the colour of an object based on what we have previously experienced, even when we see the same object under different lighting e.g. in a darkened room.
Colour constancy: “The facility that enables us to piece together wildly divergent perceptual experience of colours – a coloured object in sunlight, at dusk, in shade, at a distance, in varieties of artificial light, against other colours and so on” Batchelor suggests.
“Seeing the same objects under… different illuminations, we learn to get a correct idea of the object colours in spite of different illumination. We learn to judge how such an object would look in white light, and since our interest lies entirely in the object colour, we become unconscious of the sensations on which the judgement rests.” – Hermann von Helmholtz (physicist and theorist of visual perception)
I wanted to test this theory.
I gathered a few objects from the Cylinders Estate, all of which depicted colouration of the chemical variety; colour only available within industrial manufacture (plastic, paint, etc). The hue in these objects is unchanging, until decay and weathering takes hold. They are entirely monochrome.
I photographed them under different lighting conditions: outdoor natural light; against a natural background, under artificial light; fluorescent and halogen. Below are the resulting images.
Although my experiment was fairly crude, it points out exactly what the text is talking about.
I am trying to think about exactly which colour I remember these objects to be; out of the possible three differences I saw. I ‘think’ of it to be the most vivid. To someone else, however, this could be different.