Color Vision and Father’s Day
Color Vision. In the past 15 months or so I have spent a lot of time, both in thought and in working with color, on this topic Considering that I have lived with severely red deficient vision people all my life, 15 months – so far – devoted to the topic isn’t very long. But, it did take a lifetime of learning to even be able to frame the question, “what do ‘colorblind’ people see?”
The question began as, “what does my son see? How does he see the world?” In working with him to answer that question, I learned a lot about my father, who also saw the world the same way. The results of that initial work with severe red deficient vision are available at Amazon in “Seeing Color Colorblind,” in both Kindle and paperback formats.
Ten percent of the US population is thought to have color deficient vision of some type and degree. Only about 1 in 200 women is colorblind. That is a lot of people who see the world differently from those of us with “normal” color vision, or fully functioning L cones (roughly red), M cones (roughly green), and S cones (roughly blue). The three major (although not the only) types of color deficient vision are Red Deficiency, Green Deficiency, and Blue Deficiency. People sometimes refer to Red-Green Colorblindness, but, in reality, someone with a red deficiency sees the world quite differently from someone with a green deficiency. I am now addressing the three major types in my current work.
The work is intriguing. Just as in the red deficiency work, I am bothered by the appearance of people. The red deficiency, in which skin tones are a cyan, bother me the most. I think this is because I am a physician, and a cyanotic appearance in a patient is never good news for anyone. But, the skin tones with the other deficiencies also bother me a little. The yellow skin tones through blue deficiency make me think “liver disease.” I cannot help that initial response. So, I limit the amount of time in a day that I will work on skin tones.
When I start to work on an image now, I have a pretty good idea how it will look to people with different color vision. But, every now and then, I am surprised how beautiful something seems to me, regardless of color. This image from the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour is one that really surprised me. I find it beautiful in all of the versions.
I think my father would feel more honored on this Father’s Day by images that show people with normal color vision how the world might appear to people with different types of color vision deficiencies than by the posting of an image of him. I thought this image was so pretty in all of its colors that I decided to use it for a Father’s Day greeting.
Happy Fathers Day to all!