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Bird Scarlet Macaw spreads wings CLOSER ID 1230580Bird Scarlet Macaw spreads wings CLOSER ID 1230580Bird Scarlet Macaw spreads wings CLOSER ID 1230580

The importance of colors

As colorful as life itself

Время чтения: 4 протокол

We only understand the value of something when we lose it. 

We suddenly realize the importance of color in our lives when we watch an old Hollywood movie or an image accidentally comes out of the printer in black and white. Color enriches our existence, both in the real and the proverbial sense. We prefer the vibrant hustle and bustle to the gray of everyday life and appreciate it when someone tells a vivid story instead of painting it in black and white.

There are many different ways of explaining color: physicists, chemists, biologists, and mineralogists all explore the science behind it. Physicians, psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, and archaeologists analyze its functions and interpret its effects. For visual artists, colors are the foundation of their work, and they have been a favorite topic of philosophical research for over 2,500 years. Doctors have tried to use colors to learn more about the relationship between the physical and psychological. At SWAROVSKI OPTIK, we are also fascinated by color and invite you to join us on a stroll through a fascinating world of many different shades.

“Few people will be insensitive to the charms of color, which proliferate across the whole of visible nature.”Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Contributions to Optics” (1791)

See Color

First of all, color is a sensory impression conveyed to us by the eye and brain. This doesn’t mean that the objects themselves are colored, but that we only see them as such thanks to incident light, the nature of the eyes, the sensitivity of the receptors, and our perception mechanism. The basic prerequisite for seeing color is light that falls on an object and is reflected by it. Absorption also plays a role, i.e. the part of the wave spectrum that is “swallowed up.” Humans are trichromatic, which means they have three types of cones and can therefore see the colors blue, green, and red. What is commonly referred to as “color” usually means colorants, so pigments or substances that give things their color.

The play of colors in the Grand Prismatic Spring is created by special microbes that are particularly at home in hot water. The chlorophyll with which they absorb sunlight turns the water green.
Grand Prismatic Geyser, Yellowstone National Park CLOSER ID 1230576

Feathers and Fur

Zoology provides us with two logical explanations: if the animal’s external appearance changes color and shape to adapt to its habitat, then it is primarily for the purposes of camouflage. But if an animal has colorful characteristics, these usually have a reproductive or communicative purpose.

Research into color in the animal kingdom has produced many technical findings. A study by Harvard University ("Structural absorption by barbule microstructures of super black bird of paradise feathers") looked at what is probably the deepest black in the animal kingdom, the plumage of the bird-of-paradise. Researchers suspect that the main purpose of this deep black plumage is to make the rest of the bird’s brightly colored plumage glow even more brightly.

When we’re talking about color, then of course the chameleon is a fascinating creature. Its distinctive color-changing ability inspired Chinese scientists to develop a hydrogel with a butterfly-shaped microstructure, which changes color as it expands. The scientists are hoping to use it to test cardiac drugs, for example a reaction could be reflected by a change in color.

Bird American Gold Finch on primrose plant ID 1249370Butterfly Adonis Blue on Eryngo ID 1249310
A world without color is inconceivable. Many studies have been carried out on why our world is so multihued, but we still remain very much in the dark. We can look forward to making more colorful discoveries in the future.
CL Companion 2017 woman with binoculars at lake ID 1037143
Red Fox
COLORS AND OPTICS

Colors also play an important role in long-range optics. Top-quality binoculars, and spotting scopes are able to provide bright images with excellent color fidelity. This is vital when you are trying to identify the color of fur or feathers. A good example of this is the red fox, whose coat includes several different shades. Its back, outer legs and most of its brush are pale red to rust, while the tip of its tail, belly, neck and inner legs range from white to light gray. Its paws and the back of its ears are black. Besides this “classic” fox coloring, there are many other color variations in the red fox family, such as lighter pelts and white throats, darker pelts and throats, and foxes with black stripes along the spine and shoulders. Such nuances can only be identified with excellent quality optical instruments.

At SWAROVSKI OPTIK, we understand these nuances and their importance. This is what motivates us to constantly improve what is good, in the spirit of our founder Wilhelm Swarovski. With this in mind, we develop products that push the boundaries of what the eye can see – for images that are sharper, clearer, AND more colorful.