Sunday, October 28, 2012

Have Hue Lost Your Mind?

Pop Quiz!

And no cheating...

True or False: Dogs are colorblind.

Most of us most likely heard this myth before. And I hope you chose false because that is the correct answer. Yep, according to Dr. Cynthia Carlson, in an article on MSNBC's website, dogs can, in fact, see in color. The difference between dogs and humans is that dogs cannot readily distinguish between colors. Dr. Carlson briefly notes that

"Dogs’ eyes have receptors for blue and green shades, but not for red shades. As a result, it appears that dogs cannot easily distinguish between yellow, green and red, but they can identify different shades of blue, purple and gray" okay, and chewing gum doesn't stay in your stomach for 7 years either, but what's the point?

Well, being able to distinguish between colors demonstrates how well you see hues, in other words, measures your color vision. Hue is just a fancy term to refer to a pure color name- like red or blue. In Photoshop and other image editing software, you have the ability to change the hues on your photos. It is usually given on a color scale or spectrum.

An example of a change in hues is like how you can tell the difference between an unripe mango and one that's ready to eat. Yumm...

Or if you're like me, you probably used the color picker in MS Paint or Word at some point or another and didn't pay much attention to it. Somewhere around that color spectrum displays a HSL or HSB (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity/Brightness) scale. Hue and saturation are commonly categorized together or one followed by the other, but it is not to be confused as interchangeable terms. Both are color balancing tools but change in saturation depends on the intensity of a single color from grey, while change in hues is across different colors.

Knowing your color vision and ability to see color variations across images will definitely come in handy when shooting in the same location but during different seasons. This would also be useful when shooting scenes with rich natural colors, like at beaches or gardens.

Of course, a little visual wouldn't hurt to have...

Original Photo

Hue change by 90

Hue change by -180
It's amazing how colors can affect our moods, appetites, and even how we think. All these, essentially, can also affect (or possibly distort) the outcome of our photos and the meaning we want to express through them.

Notice the hue scale on the right-hand side. 

Maybe I'm the only one, but these hue changes kind of remind me the colorful 70s era... but I could just be happy, hmm.

Oh, I'm sorry I forgot to mention I am using my Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 from now on. I don't want to confuse anyone since I didn't mention it previously and it completely slipped my mind. By the way, I'm loving it so far. There's sooo much more options than in Express Editor that I feel like I can actually experiment freely.


Ready to challenge yourself? Take this hue test. Let me know how you score.

Oh, oh thank you DIY Photography for introducing me to a new way to kill time.

And not to toot my own horn or anything but check out the screen shot below... =)

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...


  1. I really enjoyed reading about color hues in your post. I took the quiz and scored a 64. It said the lower the better, so I didn't so well :/ I felt like I was going cross-eyed toward the end.

    1. Thanks for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I felt the same way when I took the test. I had to blink and look away a few times before I finished lol.

  2. The test was kinda cool. I always thought I had an affinity for distinguishing different hues, and this test kept me entertained for a little while. I got a 35, so I guess I did okay, better than some others. But it made my head hurt. lol I liked how you put how distinguishing between the different hues could be useful. If I used Photoshop at all, your posts would be so helpful.

    1. Thanks! Good score. I understand about your head hurting, I think I felt dizzy a few times lol.

  3. I liked reading your post. I honestly had no idea about dogs being able to see color or even not being able to distinguish between different colors. That's really awesome information. I also enjoyed how you illustrated why its important to be able to distinguish between hues because it really can affect your mood and your appetite. The color blue makes me really sad.

    1. Thanks for reading. I'm glad I could help you learn something new. And you're right, it's actually really important how different hues affect us because affects nearly everything around us. Blue makes me sad too lol.

  4. I LOVE this post! I took the Hue Test, and I got a 73. Which makes me so sad I thought I saw colors really well! Thank you for posting this. I learned something new today.

  5. Nice post. I never paid much attention to hues. It was interesting to know how it effects the mood of a picture. I took the test and I don't think I did it well as I scored 60

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I bet now you'll probably notice how you feel when you look at certain images and notice what hues make you feel that way. It's helpful to put these concepts into practice and then take the test to see how you score again.

  6. I really did think dogs were colorblind, I guess you learn something everyday. That hue test was really interesting as well, had me distracted for some time, I even had to save it for later.