The Dress

27 Feb

I am mad as hell that I got drawn into this. So now I shall vent and lay it out on the table and hopefully we will never ever EVER come back to this again. Someone posted a picture of a dress, a debate ensued over the colour of the dress.


Clearly the dress is white and gold. It appears to have a blue tint because it is in the shadows, the picture taker did not have the correct settings on the camera and thus did not compensate for the different colour temperature. Nor did they then fix the colour temperature up in Photoshop, using a warming filter. Duh.
I spent four years at OCAD being told these types of things, and it was never even this pronounced. It was much more subtle. I was tearing my hair out as people were saying the dress was blue. I even made Brent take a colour blindness test. Blue, that I can understand. But black?! WHERE THE F*CK WHERE THEY GETTING BLACK FROM? IT IS GOLD.

Until some more digging and we found a picture of the dress in an online catalogue. OK, so maybe the dress comes in two colours? But they are all black trimmed. Back to the image that broke the world.


Looking at the background you can see that is blown out and overexposed. Especially in the top right. Thus we can surmise that there was a light source coming in from the top right. The picture taker used a front flash to compensate and avoid a silhouette. But why did black and blue turn gold and white??? There is a white jacket placed over the dress. Looking at the catalogue image, we see that the top is black yes, but lacy and very thin. Thus the flash went right through and bounced off the white jacket background overexposing the image and leaching out the black colour. As for why gold appeared: my guess is that the designer used a gold thread as well to give the dress some shine, and the strong flash (image taken from up close) bounced off the gold, reflecting back. The reflected light also helped overexpose the image, lightening the blue. The camera still recorded the light source from the top right, thus further overexposing the whole image… lightening the blue even more. Those of us with a trained eye, we just brushed off the blue as shadows and a need for colour balancing.

I think it now makes sense. Let us never EVER speak of it again.

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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