Our eyes can deceive us

May 30, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Our Eyes can Deceive Us

Our eyes and brain have a wonderful tendency to fill in the blanks and allow us to make choices and decisions. For the most part, this is a good thing giving the world that we living in today. However, just like the spoken word can lead us to make wrong choices, sometimes when composing an image we may make mistakes.

Looking at the images above, most see a pink dress which superficially is true. When breaking down the palate of just the dress itself we can see from the far left hand block that there are very significant differences in the value and saturation of the pink. The hue is much lighter in the highlights as opposed to the shadows. The sited example above is pretty extreme, but the same may be true for almost any image. This can be important when we are trying to balance colors with the editing process straight out the camera, but can be even more important for those who may choose to edit composites. 

There are multiple tools in most editing programs including Photoshop can can help which include:

  • Highlights & shadows sliders or adjustment layers
  • Black point
  • White point
  • Hue/Saturation adjustment layers
  • Color balance adjustment layers
  • Selective color adjustment layers
  • Channel mixer adjustment layers

It is beyond the scope of this post to cover each tool, however I have mentioned most of these tools in prior blog posts. Much in the same manner as photographs, if we combine text with images as part of a larger project the resulting project may not work for our audience


The first font, its size, and color against the green background would be difficult to read whether it be in print or on a website. The contrast ratio is simply not sufficient for this layout to be effective.  In some cases a larger font can help, but consider also about 1 in 12 men in the United States has a form of color blindness (1 in 200 females), so it can certainly worth your time to take an extra few minutes to look at your project.  There are college level courses based on the science of typography but there are tools that can help in a pinch. Consider a trial version of Adobe's InDesign program, or a free alternative such as Scribus

Adobe can also give some quick and useful help by using the following Adobe color wheel.  This online utility not only gives you an interactive tool to view various hues and variations but will also allow you to upload your image directly to the site and will analyze the palate of a part or the entire image if you wish. The Accessibility tool will allow you to upload a text and background project and then grade it in terms of contrast ratio. This feature is also interactive and will allow you to use the color wheel to assess your readability. 








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