Colour is a complex topic with many variables, it is also an important topic for Cosmetic Tattooists and this series of articles will attempt to demystify the subject and will focus on content that will assist technicians to achieve better outcomes.▼ Continue Reading ▼
Colour is a complex topic with many variables, it is a subject that is important to Cosmetic Tattooists and yet at the same time even among experienced tattooists many struggle to come to terms with the fundamentals of colour.
Conditions which may cause opaqueness of the lens of the eye (e.g. cataracts) and conditions that may cause degeneration of the Macula (e.g. diabetes or hypertension) can cause significant loss of colour perception as well as general deterioration in the sight.
The sensory input from our eyes is transmitted to the visual cortex located in the occipital lobe of the brain at the back of the head. Apart from the external factors that affect colour, the way in which we experience colour is also affected by both our sensory perception and our neural interpretation of the sensory input.
In 1965 ‘additive colour’ experimental research revealed that three different types of colour sensitive cones within the eye provided us with sensory perception of different wavelengths of light that broadly correspond with Blue, Green and Red, often referred to as the Tristimulus Values. The diagram below illustrates the average peaks in sensitivity to different light wavelengths for the human eye in normal lighting and in lower lighting.
The grey curve on the right of the graph shows the eye's sensitivity in normal ambient lighting conditions which that is called the 'Photopic Response'. With good ambient lighting the eyes cone colour receptors are at peak sensitivity at about 555 nanometres, which means that under normal lighting conditions, the eye is most sensitive to a yellowish-green colour.
When ambient light levels are very low the response of the eye changes significantly as shown by black curve on the left of the graph, which is called the 'Scotopic Response'. In low levels of light, the cones in the eyes become less receptive and therefore there is less perception of colour and the sensitivity peak shifts towards the blue/green part of the spectrum.
Date of most recent revision:
16/02/2013 (mutatis mutandis)
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