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Old 01-21-2016, 02:54 PM
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Default Alternate perception of black color

This past weekend, the topic on the public radio show This American Life was: "Something Only I Can See". The whole thing was fascinating, but the intro caught my attention. They interviewed a guy named Jeffrey who had laser corrective surgery.
But not long after [the laser surgery], on a cold, bright winter day, he came into his house from the cold and saw this color.
" And it was almost like an after image, like when you look at a bright light. And it was a blind spot right where they had put the lasers. And instead of seeing blackness, it was this greenish not-green. It was like a green that could never exist, and it was fluorescent, and it was kind of pulsating and static-y... You know, actually maybe a better way of describing, it was like if the color black was fluorescent and green."
He said that if you've ever had a migraine headache, it can come with a kind of colorful, sparkly static. It was like that-- fireworks. But really, he said, he's never done a good job describing this. How do you describe a color that only you have seen?
It led me to wonder about if fish could likewise perceive and process what we call black differently. They do seem quite attracted to black patterns, which I've been told was due to the sharper silhouette in low light. But what if it actually does something like what happened Jeffrey. What if for trout, "Black is the new Chartreuse"?
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

The perception of color is often on my mind. I know that with my color-blindness, I see colors different than other people do. But how differently? Do I see blue as red and red as blue? How would I know if what I recognize as yellow is the same as the yellow others see?

I may see everything differently than most other people. It is easy for me to imagine that what we think a fish sees is far, far different than reality. We can only guess really.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:39 PM
 
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes View Post
This past weekend, the topic on the public radio show This American Life was: "Something Only I Can See". The whole thing was fascinating, but the intro caught my attention. They interviewed a guy named Jeffrey who had laser corrective surgery.
But not long after [the laser surgery], on a cold, bright winter day, he came into his house from the cold and saw this color.
" And it was almost like an after image, like when you look at a bright light. And it was a blind spot right where they had put the lasers. And instead of seeing blackness, it was this greenish not-green. It was like a green that could never exist, and it was fluorescent, and it was kind of pulsating and static-y... You know, actually maybe a better way of describing, it was like if the color black was fluorescent and green."
He said that if you've ever had a migraine headache, it can come with a kind of colorful, sparkly static. It was like that-- fireworks. But really, he said, he's never done a good job describing this. How do you describe a color that only you have seen?
It led me to wonder about if fish could likewise perceive and process what we call black differently. They do seem quite attracted to black patterns, which I've been told was due to the sharper silhouette in low light. But what if it actually does something like what happened Jeffrey. What if for trout, "Black is the new Chartreuse"?
Black is the absence of light. This mean there are NO PHOTONS to activate the light receptors so black can only be black since receptors (rods or cones) cannot be activated by something that is not present.

What the person has experienced is not "black". If he opened his eyes in a totally dark room, he would not see "this greenish not-green". What he "saw" was due to the cones in his retina firing off, and it was not caused by the dark but by the fact that he had been in bright light just before. The lack of light cannot cause cones to fire off.

Similarly, "black" to a fish would be the absence of light just as it is to us.

The way to look at this is that we can only "see" a black object because it is surrounded and outlined by light that we can see. So only in the presence of light can we observe an area that has an absence of light. Black is the absence of light just as silence is the absence of noise, vacuum is the absence of matter, etc.

Just to add a bit of humor - think of the funny Turbotax commercial about "nothing". Substitute "black" for zero in the commercial.

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Last edited by silver creek; 01-21-2016 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

Quote:
Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
The perception of color is often on my mind. I know that with my color-blindness, I see colors different than other people do. But how differently? Do I see blue as red and red as blue? How would I know if what I recognize as yellow is the same as the yellow others see?

I may see everything differently than most other people. It is easy for me to imagine that what we think a fish sees is far, far different than reality. We can only guess really.
Sixty years wonder back, He and I tied flies. Wife's name was "Yes Mam, No Mam." Chokie chip cookies on Saturday morning for all of us kids. Cookies done, we had 'high tea' with proper china cups. Stiff starched white shirts, after Church.

Mr. Coles across the street. Old fellow could really chuck a fly line. A Scot, 'I Laddie, I met this one wee Lassie ....' I think they were married for well over 60 years. She made us a good pot of tea, we baked cookies, sit and talk as he tied my flies. She just rolled her eyes. Look of love as she stroked his hair. Life was better then?

Perhaps?

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Old 01-21-2016, 05:28 PM
 
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

Quote:
Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
The perception of color is often on my mind. I know that with my color-blindness, I see colors different than other people do. But how differently? Do I see blue as red and red as blue? How would I know if what I recognize as yellow is the same as the yellow others see?

I may see everything differently than most other people. It is easy for me to imagine that what we think a fish sees is far, far different than reality. We can only guess really.
Color is a way of observing the different wavelengths of light that are reflected OR emitted from an object. So if we can match the wavelength(s) reflected from the object, it does not matter what the fish sees. It will see the same wavelengths and it will see the color that matches the food item we are imitating.

For example, you are color blind so you do not see what we see. But if we show you a normal photograph of ham and eggs, it will look exactly to you as the colors you see in ham and eggs. So the fact that you observe colors differently from us does not matter. All that matters is that the photograph reflect the same colors as real ham and eggs across the color spectrum that human can see.

There are color charts for sighted people that show how color blind people see primary colors. It will not help you but it allows the rest of us to "see" a color chart as you would "see" the colors in a color chart. The chart below shows what color blind people see.

We see the same thing as you do when you look at the chart with your color blindness.

Click the image to open in full size.

The question then becomes do the fish see in the same color spectrum that we see. That is where discussion of UV vision hinges and how that effects the colors that fish see. Other than UV, trout do see about the same color spectrum that we humans do.
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Last edited by silver creek; 01-21-2016 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

I'm going to disagree with SilverCreek in that what "I" believe he has presented is how "color for most people is translated in their minds." Most of us have been taught this is that color, that is another, and have in round about ways been taught what to cue in on and what to see. We are taught these things via media, toys, clothing etc.. Yet remember, we're taught to look for them by those who were taught those lessons before us....So in a sense it is perpetuated from one generation to the next.

That said, the very best example I have seen in trying to demonstrate the importance of "restricting movement" or at worst ceasing movement regarding camouflage came in the form of simply some jagged black stripes (and I have looked and looked yet cannot find the animation). However, when motion was applied to those stripes suddenly it became very obvious that it was a running zebra. When the motion stopped, it once again seemed to vanish.

Now this is a VERY poor example yet the most fair I could quickly find. To you does the black or the white define the shape best?

Click the image to open in full size.

Trying to save my fingers and your eyes......It has to do with "contrast." We often determine the shape of things, motion and so on not by what we see but the point or edge where we no longer see it......Apply a color to a white background, "to me" it tends to blend in. Now apply it to a black background and "for me" it really lights up.

More importantly "for me" the opposite (black against a colored background) also holds true. The color shows up better yet more importantly the defined edge........For years I tried many bright colors with arrow fletching to help me track it in flight. Triple black fletching is what I ultimately went with in that how my vision works it stands out, or perhaps simply everything else stands out so that absence becomes noticeable.

Black unlike any color or all colors (being white) defines that edge that gives something a shape and contrasts so stands out when in motion against various other colors.

Fish I do not believe are cueing in upon color as much as shape and motion (same with deer and countless other creatures). What color may grant, or even take away from (making something blend in) is that very contrast which defines shape.

Finally be sure of one thing.....Just because you cannot see color in say dwindling light, that doesn't mean it is still not there. Therefor, the object which is a similar color to the background blending in during full light still blends in during reduced light....Contrast again playing a key role in seeing even though color itself is out of the picture.

B.E.F.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

As an artist, I've fallen into the trap of thinking that maybe other people see colors differently than I do, and as an angler, the trap is that fish see colors differently than I do. But it IS a trap, and it really doesn't matter what your brain, or a fish's brain, does to the colors hitting their optic nerves. A better way of looking at it is to not think "color", as in red, green, blue, etc., but to think in wavelengths. The wavelengths don't change. The particular wavelength that we think of as "green" is always the same wavelength, no matter who is perceiving it. My woolybugger has an olive green wavelength. It doesn't matter whether or not, if I was in the fish's brain, I'd see it as red. It's still the wavelength I perceive as olive green. The only modification is in what the water does to filter out some of that wavelength at depth.

So stop worrying about whether the fish are seeing things differently than we are. We and the fish are still seeing the same wavelength, only modified by what we KNOW that water does in filtering wavelengths, and only completely different if fish can see wavelengths that we cannot.

It's kinda like the (in my opinion) totally stupid philosophical question, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it really make a sound?" Of course it does. Physics doesn't disappear just because we humans aren't around to perceive it. And physics doesn't change just because a different critter is perceiving it.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

This is what I don't understand, I see some shades of brown and green (mostly dark ones) as being exactly the same. I can't tell them apart. They have different wavelengths but I perceive them the same. Also, the same for many grays, purples and blues (mostly light shades). The color I perceive often changes with the light present.

The walls in my house are described by my wife as being a taupe-y gray. To me, in direct sunlight they look gray, in low light purple and on some occasions light blue.

This has nothing to do with fish. Just my personal observations of a problem I have had with color my whole life.

It was really interesting looking at the charts and trying to imagine what they look like to normal people (if there are any of those around here).

Thanks. I've never had a doctor take any time to explain the condition to me at all. I did get fired from a paint store once many years ago...lol.

---------- Post added at 07:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:26 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_a View Post
As an artist, I've fallen into the trap of thinking that maybe other people see colors differently than I do, and as an angler, the trap is that fish see colors differently than I do. But it IS a trap, and it really doesn't matter what your brain, or a fish's brain, does to the colors hitting their optic nerves. A better way of looking at it is to not think "color", as in red, green, blue, etc., but to think in wavelengths. The wavelengths don't change. The particular wavelength that we think of as "green" is always the same wavelength, no matter who is perceiving it. My woolybugger has an olive green wavelength. It doesn't matter whether or not, if I was in the fish's brain, I'd see it as red. It's still the wavelength I perceive as olive green. The only modification is in what the water does to filter out some of that wavelength at depth.

So stop worrying about whether the fish are seeing things differently than we are. We and the fish are still seeing the same wavelength, only modified by what we KNOW that water does in filtering wavelengths, and only completely different if fish can see wavelengths that we cannot.

It's kinda like the (in my opinion) totally stupid philosophical question, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it really make a sound?" Of course it does. Physics doesn't disappear just because we humans aren't around to perceive it. And physics doesn't change just because a different critter is perceiving it.
But as an artist, if you see color differently, you compose them so that the overall effect is unique and strikes others in a different way than you expect? For example, there are some colors that are apparently shades of green that I love and really make me feel comfortable that seem to resemble baby poop to other people.

Perception does matter. How the fish perceives olive doesn't matter really because we have learned that no matter how they see it, they seem to love to attack it.

It is a good point about movement. I've never really applied some of my old hunting stealth techniques to fishing. Probably would have caught more fish if I had. Often, in the woods, all I saw was the flick of a tail out of the corner of my eye or a foot moving that gave away a deer and made him a target.
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Old 01-22-2016, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

Quote:
Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
I know that with my color-blindness, I see colors different than other people do. But how differently? Do I see blue as red and red as blue? How would I know if what I recognize as yellow is the same as the yellow others see?

I may see everything differently than most other people. It is easy for me to imagine that what we think a fish sees is far, far different than reality. We can only guess really.
I am somewhat colorblind in the red-green spectrum. I can tell the difference between red and green traffic lights (fortunately for everyone), but distinguishing among muddy oranges and muddy olives is especially difficult for me. It makes trying to match caddis and sulfur hatches basically a crapshoot. However, it never occurred to me until now that the fish may see differently too, and that everyone else might be just as inept as I am in picking the thing that looks right to the fish.
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Alternate perception of black color

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Originally Posted by moucheur2003 View Post
I am somewhat colorblind in the red-green spectrum. I can tell the difference between red and green traffic lights (fortunately for everyone), but distinguishing among muddy oranges and muddy olives is especially difficult for me. It makes trying to match caddis and sulfur hatches basically a crapshoot. However, it never occurred to me until now that the fish may see differently too, and that everyone else might be just as inept as I am in picking the thing that looks right to the fish.
I can tell red and green but finding a spot of a deer's blood on green grass is extremely difficult for me. My son can see it from ten feet away. I have color-blindness in two different categories.
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