Monday, January 31, 2011

End of January Mindf*ck

A curious little optical illusion to end January with. Believe it or not, the two squares marked A and B are exactly the same colour. Don't believe me? Then print it and check for yourself by folding the paper so that A and B overlap. Or, if you're more technically minded, grab the image in an art program and cut and paste chunks from the two squares into each other. You'll see I'm right. This curious effect is caused by a mechanism in the brain called 'colour constancy'. It means that when we see a colour in shadow, our brains know that the colour is artificially darker and compensate by brightening it. It's all very clever and just a bit unnerving.

If you want to more about visual colour theory - especially all of you fellow artists out there - I can do no better than to direct you to this excellent blogpost here by Jason Cohen. It may make you rethink that old-fashioned colour wheel that you were shown in school ...

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