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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Color blindness and photography
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09/10/2007 01:56:45 AM · #1
who else is color blind? I'm just curious, its a pretty common 'disablility' if you want to call it that. But it seems like every time someone find out I am they act like I'm the first colorblind person they've ever met.

But I have to depend on auto white balance or a 2nd opinion all the time to determine if my pictures are even the right color.
09/10/2007 03:00:07 AM · #2
i know a regular* here on the site who's colour blind, and yet he creates really wonderful photos. So, please not let this hinder you from doing what you like.

*name hidden to protect the innocent cheese
09/10/2007 03:17:55 AM · #3
I am not sure whether I am color blind or not, or it is just a monitor calibration issue. Whatever I think is nice colored image, people always gives me comments like - too dark, too green etc etc.
(probably do not want to directly write - are you (color)blind or what)
09/10/2007 07:27:37 AM · #4
I'm colourblind, and it's definitely a challenge. Getting skin tones right is the hardest for me.

09/10/2007 07:39:17 AM · #5
Even if you are color blind ... I highly recommend AGAINST using auto white balance.

Shoot raw and fix it later if you have to. But at least stick the WB on something that comes close to the lighting scenario you are in (cloudy, tungsten, flourescent).

When you set your camera to auto white balance, you open yourself up to extreme changes in your images even when the light doesn't change. Take a nice picture of a group. Then zoom in for a close-up on the girl in the group wearing the pretty red dress or the guy wearing green shirt and suddenly they look *completely* different from the group - even though the light did not change!

All the camera can do, in AWB mode, is attempt to guess at what your lighting is based on the colors that are entering the lens. So you really take your chances with AWB. Every where you turn you get a different color.

At least if you put the camera into a fixed mode and get it wrong, you can apply the same "fix" in post to all of your images to get them right. Whereas fixing images taken in AWB mode means examining each one and applying a different fix for each.

Anyway, that's my two cents...

One more thing, if you have time to think about it, carry a gray card and shoot one frame with the gray card in it. That'll at least give you a target for white balancing the image.

09/10/2007 07:40:01 AM · #6
I'm colour blind, and I find it challenging to know when I've messed up the colour of shots, especially since I can't get anyone around here to help me out with it!

Sometimes I just edit and let the colours fall where they may, so long as I like the results.

My colour blindness is moderate to severe. I have difficulty with red/green, blue/violet, and all kinds of shades and tones all over the spectrum.

My daughter used to often ask me if I could "see" a particular colour. I would tell her that I see it, but not the way she sees it.

That kind of confused her for a while, but I think she's starting to get it.
09/10/2007 08:19:56 AM · #7
Originally posted by Fetor:

But it seems like every time someone find out I am they act like I'm the first colorblind person they've ever met.


I've never met a colourblind person before!
09/10/2007 08:44:11 AM · #8
Originally posted by dwterry:

Even if you are color blind ... I highly recommend AGAINST using auto white balance.

Shoot raw and fix it later if you have to. But at least stick the WB on something that comes close to the lighting scenario you are in (cloudy, tungsten, flourescent).

When you set your camera to auto white balance, you open yourself up to extreme changes in your images even when the light doesn't change. Take a nice picture of a group. Then zoom in for a close-up on the girl in the group wearing the pretty red dress or the guy wearing green shirt and suddenly they look *completely* different from the group - even though the light did not change!

All the camera can do, in AWB mode, is attempt to guess at what your lighting is based on the colors that are entering the lens. So you really take your chances with AWB. Every where you turn you get a different color.

At least if you put the camera into a fixed mode and get it wrong, you can apply the same "fix" in post to all of your images to get them right. Whereas fixing images taken in AWB mode means examining each one and applying a different fix for each.

Anyway, that's my two cents...

One more thing, if you have time to think about it, carry a gray card and shoot one frame with the gray card in it. That'll at least give you a target for white balancing the image.


Great advice David, I just recently started shooting RAW so I'm not stuck with a jpg thats unfixable due to the white balance I shot on.
09/10/2007 09:18:41 AM · #9
As previously mentioned, the calibration has a lot to do with it. I have some shots here that i did on my laptop and they looked great. I come to work to look at them and they're overexposed and the reds seem to go a bit green... could be my eyes but that would mean they get more senstive to light when i walk through those cursed doors... weird.
09/10/2007 09:31:39 AM · #10
Originally posted by KarenNfld:

Originally posted by Fetor:

But it seems like every time someone find out I am they act like I'm the first colorblind person they've ever met.


I've never met a colourblind person before!

I doubt that -- approximately 10% of males have some form of color-vision defect.

Mine's also of one of the red/green varieties -- the main problems are distinguishing greens from browns, blues from purples, etc. -- basically difficulty picking up the "red component" when it's mixed in with other colors.
09/10/2007 09:31:49 AM · #11
The guy who taught me to do color printing was color blind.
09/10/2007 09:54:09 AM · #12
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by KarenNfld:

Originally posted by Fetor:

But it seems like every time someone find out I am they act like I'm the first colorblind person they've ever met.


I've never met a colourblind person before!

I doubt that -- approximately 10% of males have some form of color-vision defect.

Mine's also of one of the red/green varieties -- the main problems are distinguishing greens from browns, blues from purples, etc. -- basically difficulty picking up the "red component" when it's mixed in with other colors.


yeah, same here, any pastel colors are very hard to differentiate between
09/10/2007 10:12:48 AM · #13
I am red deficient. The best explanation I can give is that if I have a red LED and a blue LED that are the same intensity, as determined by the mcd rating and my friends, then the red will appear about 1/10th as bright as the blue to me. Green and blue LEDs show as the same intensity to me.

The end result is that beige, olive, and light brown all look about the same. Also, I have a hard time determining the hues of dark colors. Black and navy blue are very similar.
09/10/2007 10:21:17 AM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by KarenNfld:

Originally posted by Fetor:

But it seems like every time someone find out I am they act like I'm the first colorblind person they've ever met.


I've never met a colourblind person before!

I doubt that -- approximately 10% of males have some form of color-vision defect.



Ok, I've never meat anyone who said they were colourblind!
09/10/2007 11:02:25 AM · #15
in art college, i had a printmaking professor who was colour blind. his inks were very carefully labelled, and he did usse a pretty limited palette, but the results were stunning. the son of a friend is a colour blind graphic designer.

so, you can have a career in the arts and be colour blind. you just have to label things very, very well!
09/10/2007 11:25:15 AM · #16
Originally posted by xianart:

so, you can have a career in the arts and be colour blind. you just have to label things very, very well!

And learn to use Photoshop's densitometer ("Info Window") effectively!
09/11/2007 02:45:35 PM · #17
Has anyone tried color blindness software?

I just found this on NOAA's page and my search here brought up this recent thread. I'm curious if/how much something like that helps.
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