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Author Topic: What color is the dress?  (Read 7027 times)

pwhodges

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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #50 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:27 »

Look, it's really simple:



On the right is a dress (catalogue image); on the left is a photo taken with a camera whose white balance got screwed up.  Whether the pale colour is seen as white or pale blue is just an accident of the surrounding conditions.  There's no magic properties to the left-hand image - it's simply a really bad photo of the dress.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #51 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:28 »

So why do the surrounding conditions make me see it as white and my mom and sis see it as blue, when they are the same surrounding conditions? Of course it's not magic, it's just an extreme case of optical illusion, it's just really fascinating that different brains register it so differently. It's completely impossible for my brain to register the bad photo as blue, just like it's completely impossible for other people to register it as white. I know it's simple, but it's also super interesting to me.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #52 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:45 »

I would imagine the disparity in opinion is based around individual rod and cone density combined with comparative neurological function.Intresting and relative fact; a degree of blueness can make objects seem whiter. Blueing agents have been added to laundry detergents for a long time hence the claim of whiter than white being used and also accurate hence never banned in adverts.

From my own perspective, the dress was originally perceived as pale blue and beige. I've got pretty shoddy eyes though.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #53 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:53 »

I corrected the white balance, taking account of the fact that the camera's error caused differing saturation in the colour channels.  This was about a minute's work on the original faulty photo:



Note that the white background, though dirty, is not distinctly coloured either (I could probably improve that with another minute of fiddling)..
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #54 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:58 »

Wait, so am I supposed to see it as blue and black now? Because it still looks white to me, only in a dark room.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #55 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:58 »



So why do the surrounding conditions make me see it as white and my mom and sis see it as blue, when they are the same surrounding conditions?

Probably for the same reason some people think a tennis ball is green and some think it is yellow.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #56 on: 01 Mar 2015, 03:59 »

And that's also interesting! Fuck, maybe I should have been an optometrist.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #57 on: 01 Mar 2015, 04:25 »

Wait, so am I supposed to see it as blue and black now? Because it still looks white to me, only in a dark room.

Now what does it look like?

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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #58 on: 01 Mar 2015, 04:34 »

Blue and black, finally! I wish I could see it as blue and black without cutting off the rest of the room though, like how everyone else seems to be seeing it.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #59 on: 01 Mar 2015, 06:12 »

In the double image I see, it's white with a blue-ish tint. In the rebalanced photo (with the background) it's been to blue and black. Maybe this is why I'm so annoyed? Because I already see the difference bad white balances can cause?

Edit: well except that I just scrolled up to the top of the page and now both look blue and black. That's the first time the white one has ever looked blue.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #60 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:30 »

Wait, so am I supposed to see it as blue and black now? Because it still looks white to me, only in a dark room.

Now what does it look like?


Still totally white and gold to me.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #61 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:38 »

 :-P
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #62 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:43 »

But that's my point, it's not just the fact that it's a bad photo, if the photo just made it look white and gold, that's how people would see it. So it's gotta be more than that.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #63 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:52 »

Why?  It's not that clear cut, because the brain can do some colour-temperature processing and correction of its own.  In the case of this bad photo, the cues for doing that are ambiguous, so some people's processing enables them to reach the blue and black of the dress, while other people's leaves them with the white (with a hint of blue) and gold that are actually the colours in the photo.

The only mystery in my mind is why Metope continued to see the corrected photo wrong.  It seems to me that the background picture on the wall, for instance, although a touch muddy, has essentially natural colours, so there's no reason for the brain's colour processing to go into overdrive to force the wrong colours out of the perception of the dress.  But clearly her brain disagreed, as when I removed the background, that processing stopped.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #64 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:54 »

But not for me! Like I said, even with the background gone, it's still white and gold without even a hint of blue.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #65 on: 01 Mar 2015, 11:57 »

And nobody has yet been capable of altering that picture to make me see white and gold. This might just be proof that there is no objective reality here.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #66 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:04 »

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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #67 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:06 »

Is that really from the dress itself? Because that's blue, but I scroll up and the dress is still white and gold. Argh.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #68 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:09 »

Why?  It's not that clear cut, because the brain can do some colour-temperature processing and correction of its own.  In the case of this bad photo, the cues for doing that are ambiguous, so some people's processing enables them to reach the blue and black of the dress, while other people's leaves them with the white (with a hint of blue) and gold that are actually the colours in the photo.

The bold part is what makes it interesting though. I want to know why some people's brains process it one way and other people's brains process it another. What's different in our brains?
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #69 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:11 »

Most of what the brain does in processing what we see is learnt in infancy!
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #70 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:12 »

Is that really from the dress itself? Because that's blue, but I scroll up and the dress is still white and gold. Argh.

Yup, I just enlarged a square of it.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #71 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:14 »

That is so weird.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #72 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:15 »

So my brain has been preparing me to see the dress wrong my whole life?
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #73 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:16 »

What else am I seeing wrong! AAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #74 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:17 »

Why?  It's not that clear cut, because the brain can do some colour-temperature processing and correction of its own.  In the case of this bad photo, the cues for doing that are ambiguous, so some people's processing enables them to reach the blue and black of the dress, while other people's leaves them with the white (with a hint of blue) and gold that are actually the colours in the photo.

The bold part is what makes it interesting though. I want to know why some people's brains process it one way and other people's brains process it another. What's different in our brains?

I can't imagine it's caused by anything but pure randomness. I suspect that the initial environment that you saw the picture in makes your brain decide one way or the other 'oh, this looks like it is illuminated by blue light, so I should colour-correct accordingly' and sticks with that decision whenever you see that picture again. Only when there's strong evidence to the contrary does your brain accept the alternative interpretation of 'this is illuminated by white light, so the colours are accurate'. Different people may require different weights of evidence, so even the colour-corrected picture still holds the association of 'this is illuminated in blue light' which is why some people's brains refuse to accept that it is in fact blue in white light, and not white in blue light.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #75 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:18 »

That's the thing, I know it's a blue and black dress, I just can't see it like that.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #76 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:31 »

Also, vision systems are affected by a few different factors:

Sex affecting color accuracy and even causing a color shift: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/09/120907-men-women-see-differently-science-health-vision-sex/
Pregnancy (and other hormones) reducing color vision ability: http://digitool.library.colostate.edu///exlibris/dtl/d3_1/apache_media/L2V4bGlicmlzL2R0bC9kM18xL2FwYWNoZV9tZWRpYS8xNzE2MDg=.pdf

And, I could've sworn someone did a study on transgender women before and after hormonal therapy, and found an improvement in color vision after hormones, but I can't find it.

As far as the image, it depends on the surrounding colors, but I see it as blue and gold or white and gold depending on context. Cis male here, no color blindness issues, and a 16 on the X-Rite color acuity test on a MacBook Pro Retina 15" Mid-2012 with Samsung panel hand-calibrated.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #77 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:51 »

I got a 0 on that test, am frequently told I'm brilliant with colours, have seen the photo on several different screens with several types of background lighting... yet my family members (of the same gender as me) see it differently under the same conditions. Maybe that's why I'm so hung up on this, I can't deal with seeing the wrong thing for once.  :-P
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #78 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:55 »

Metope, care to do this test for us? http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge (Everyone else is obviously invited as well)
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #79 on: 01 Mar 2015, 12:59 »

I've taken it twice before and got 0 (perfect colour vision) both times.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #80 on: 01 Mar 2015, 13:06 »

Utterly fascinating. (I got 12 and I just cannot see white and gold in any of the variants of the picture).
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #81 on: 01 Mar 2015, 13:32 »

I scored a 3 on that test.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #82 on: 01 Mar 2015, 13:39 »

When I first saw the dress, it was blue and black. as the day went on I saw other pictures where it was clearly white and gold. Then I would see others where it is blue and black.

It is an awesome optical illusion, I do'nt think it has to do with people "convincing" themselves that the dress it a certain color, I think it really is a picture that is exactly on that threshold of color perception.

and yeah, I'm really sick of people and the media dismissing this really interesting phenomena as "people argue over what color a stupid dress is! Don't they know the difference between blue/white and black/gold? How stupid they are, they could be feeding starving african children, but they are looking at this dress!"
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #83 on: 01 Mar 2015, 13:43 »

You know, I wonder if it was a viral ad for the dress itself.

Then, it wouldn't be a coincidence of bad white balance and exposure, it'd be photoshopped to have bad white balance and exposure.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #84 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:03 »

What else am I seeing wrong! AAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I find this especially fascinating since you're a painter.

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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #85 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:13 »

Is there a special trick to see the dress as white and gold or is it the kind of thing that if you don't see it, you're out of luck?? I'm strangely fascinated by this dumb thing too lol
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #86 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:16 »

Don't you see the possibility in the double picture at the top of the page, where the faulty image is next to a correct one?



Method, what colours do you see in this picture of a totally different dress?



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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #87 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:22 »

Blue and black...also, I must have missed the one at the top of the page. The dress on the left is white and gold, the dress on the right is...white and black? I mean, I could believe the white is blue, but not really.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #88 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:23 »

Oh goddammit, I just received this picture. NSFW (as in, adult novelty toys and language)

(click to show/hide)

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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #89 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:24 »

My first thought was 'sea slugs?'

Is there a special trick to see the dress as white and gold or is it the kind of thing that if you don't see it, you're out of luck?? I'm strangely fascinated by this dumb thing too lol
If you don't see it in white and gold, well, your eyes are working correctly.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #90 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:24 »

Of a sort.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #91 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:42 »

I meant that I couldn't see the dress as anything but blue. The dress that is supposed to look white in the XKCD "explanation" cartoon looks blue to me. Sure, it looks less intensely blue with the dark blue background, but it doesn't look white to me. I even went to the length of filling in the burned-out highlight areas in the photo with the dark blue Randall Munroe uses, and the dress still looks blue! This debate makes me think I'm going potty.

Being invulnerable to illusion seems like it ought to be a good thing from a Buddhist's point of view.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #92 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:52 »

Akima, if it makes you feel better, I cannot really see it either.

Probably related effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker_shadow_illusion
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #93 on: 01 Mar 2015, 15:59 »

On the contrary, you can see what's actually there. I wish I could.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #94 on: 01 Mar 2015, 16:16 »

Blue and black...also, I must have missed the one at the top of the page. The dress on the left is white and gold, the dress on the right is...white and black? I mean, I could believe the white is blue, but not really.

The one on the right is black and royal blue. There isn't any white. I can understand how people are messing up the one on the left, but the one on the right is the actual color. I guess your brain is trying to fill in the gaps using the incorrect colors?
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #95 on: 01 Mar 2015, 16:26 »

...no, no it isn't. Not to me, at least. I've seen a picture of the actual dress, and that is nothing like it. It's a darker shade of white, but still white to me. The gold is now black, in that one, but still.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #96 on: 01 Mar 2015, 16:28 »

I can't grasp white at all. I see periwinkle, cornflower, whatever you want to call it. No white at all...


Sorcery!! :-P
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #97 on: 01 Mar 2015, 16:34 »

I had to google those, apparently they're shades of blue. I know it's wrong, and I wish I saw blue there. But I don't.
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #98 on: 01 Mar 2015, 17:39 »

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The coffee doesn't REALLY taste any different, but the chemicals in your head are LYING TO YOU! You can't count on your own brain to present an objective version of reality!
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Re: What color is the dress?
« Reply #99 on: 01 Mar 2015, 17:45 »

There is no objective version of reality!
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