Masabu Photo

What is the true color of the image? Photographer, especially the one who does outdoor photography, knows there is a large difference between what we call “memory color” - a color in our memory, and the color that one experienced in the particular moment.

Moreover, it is quite possible that some people are seeing different colors, as they lack sensitivities to certain colors (ex. color-blindness). Some animals, such as dogs, apparently cannot see red, green nor orange.

However, there are some beings that can see a lot more colors than we could ever recognize.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America recently reported:

The human color vision is tri-chromatic, with three opsins expressed in cone photoreceptors that are sensitive in the red, green, and blue region of the spectrum. As theories predict, such tri- or tetra-chromacy with three or four opsin genes is common among mammals, birds, and other animals, including insects. However, we discovered that dragonflies possess as many as 15–33 opsin genes that have evolved through dynamic gene multiplications and losses within the lineage of dragonflies.

from PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424670112

Today, most digital camera have monochrome color sensor overplayed by three color filters: red, green and blue (ex. Bayer sensor). And although some weirdo sensor has three layers of color sensors in a single cell (ex. Foveon sensor), the majority modern digital camera is tri-chromatic.

On the other hand, the dragonfly has apparently 15–33 color sensors, and I can’t even imagine the beautiful world that dragonfly can see.

Knowing that, I do not feel bad about not trying to replicate exact-perfect-colors I saw the other day of the shoot. Yes, I do have the tools for color calibration, but as I am not doing product shoot, I present to the world the colors I feel appropriate.

Time: March 2015
Model: Sierra McKenzie
Camera : Canon 6D, 50mm and 85mm
Location : Seattle, WA
Cargo Collective 2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles