Friday, September 23, 2011

Are the colors real?

Whenever I see a photo from the canyons of Arizona and Utah, I always have to ask myself if the colors are real. How much of what we see is Photoshop and how much is reality? I can say one thing with certainty. The camera can never capture the full spectrum of the experience of seeing these places in person. I have noticed that my own eyes, right to left, see color differently. If I look out of one eye at a time and then switch eyes, not only do I get a change in perspective, I also get a marked change in color. So what is the real color of the scene? If you were standing in Antelope Canyon and taking this picture, would you see what is represented above? No. The camera does not record the same light/shadow/color combination that you would see in your eyes. Part of being a photographer is to recognize the potential of the scene and begin to see what can result from taking the picture, not what is there before your eyes.


  1. What I can say is that I am very impressed with the beauty of this photo and I wish to see it with my own eyes! Thank you, James!

  2. It should be interesting to see if future camera technology is able to come closer to the colors our eyes see. But it's fun to experiment with black and white photography too, because then you're capturing patterns of light, textures, etc. One of the reasons I like digital cameras is that I can see the results of my photography experiments immediately (plus no expensive development costs).