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William Leffert on the perception of colors & the world

The language of color is complicated. Sure, we can discuss the literal formations of it; red, green, blue, and everything in between. When we discuss the creation of objects in color, though, we have more possible variables than many would care to think about. Definitions become muddled for the masses, while those who have experience in the creation of visual objects can discuss the necessary details at length.

One common statement many will agree on, however, is that black isn't a color.

I disagree.

Color, at it's core, can be simplified as this: The color you see is based on the projected light, or the reflection of light.

With that in mind, we can then truly define black as a color. How? Simply because black is one of two states: Something that absorbs all light, rather than reflects it, or the complete absence of light makes the state of everything black.

There are degrees of black, though, just like there are degrees of red. A red that is slightly lighter, but nearly imperceptible to the human eye, is still red, right?

This is true for black, as well, when it comes to describing it to the non-color-obsessed. 99% key in CMYK, to most eyes, is still black.

That little black dress? It is a mixture of countless variations of black hues, reflecting & absorbing light at different levels.

Our perception, as well, "colors" what we see. Some people can see more colors than others, and discern more differences.

Others have color deficiencies, called color blindness, that make it even harder to observe the world in a "standard" way.

The next time you try to define a color, just remember that it is all subjective, based on the reflection and absorbtion of light and our own ability to perceive those reflections.. Much like how we perceive the world and our interactions with it.

Cast out your own light, but be aware of others. Try to understand how they observe you, so you can better understand them. After all, our perceptions of each other are just based on our ability to perceive in general. Some are more aware. Some try to brighten others. Love, hate, and every spectrum of emotion and interaction are all like light..

And the blackness can be there in all of us if those observing can't see the light reflected.