Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Black & White: A color comparison

If you google the question "is black a color" you will find a lot of websites that report no, it is an absorption of all colors or you will find the opposite that white is actually a color. It's definitely a bit confusing to say the least! Color perception depends heavily upon the medium being used, and the receiver (our eyes are the receiver). Everyone has slightly different abilities of color differentiation and perception.

For many, black is the absence of color. From a dyers perspective, black is what you get when you combine all colors/solvents/solutions together into one. You have to have the perfect balance though because you can end up with "true black", "blue black", "brown black", etc. The same way that whites can be "snow white", "ivory white", "grey white". Even black and white colors harbor undertones.When dying fibers, true white is only obtained with complete absence of any dye or any color. White is the fresh, clean slate. Black is the accumulation of many colors into one.

White is a common color. The color of milk, bone, light, chalk, and many materials seen in every day life. It is symbolic of life, purity, innocence, Black harbors opposing symbolic ideas. It is symbolic of evil, death, mourning, loss, emptiness. What is most interesting though, is that different cultures view white and black in different ways. Some cultures use white for mourning. The yin and yang of the color debate, these colors often take on values from their opposite.

I'll close with some black words on this white page and an interesting quote or two:

"It's not easy taking your own advise, accepting what you don't like hearing, and seeing the grey amongst the black & white."  -April Mae Monterry

"When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in Black and White you photograph their souls."  -Ted Grant


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