Is there a term for seeing colours in a brighter/ more saturated manner than most people do?

I’ve been wondering this for a few years, but I can’t seem to find anything online. After I started editing photos frequently, I began to get a lot of comments from friends and family about my propensity to saturate the image. Initially I was quite confused, I thought I was merely adjusting the contrast and saturation to accurately reflect my memory/perception of the image. I do the same thing in situ, comparing against my eye view of the actual subject as well. A few simple tests with friends and family revealed that I’m perceiving colours more vividly, and with a greater range of gradation than most people agree on perceiving. Is there a term for this? Is it something I ought to be concerned about in general? Medically speaking, my eyes are fine other than a minor astigmatism and general hypersensitvity to bright lights.

Wouldn’t your propensity to see colors as more saturated extend to your assessment of the final image, in which case the effect should cancel itself out?

You would think so, but images on screens never look correct to me. Maybe it’s something to do with the brightness of the ambient light vs that of the screen? I’ve no idea. It’s a pretty direct process really.

Me: “Snap” Hmm that doesn’t look right, maybe I got my exposure wrong…( fiddle fiddle) “snap” huh, still dull. (fiddle with the saturation) Ah! Now that look right!"
Friend: Dude, what is with you? you make everything technicolor.
Me: Huh? That’s just how it looks to me.

Excellent username / thread title combination. I think “tripping” is the term you are looking for.

Are these people looking at the images on your monitor, or on a print out or another screen?

All three, and we’ve tried this in person as well playing “match the color” with a painter’s wheel. While I have no problem picking the correct color, and tonal range, I routinely select a level of saturation two or three shades more rich then what everyone else agrees upon as the “accurate” tone.

retsin2000 : :smiley:

For the reason ticker gave, I do not think the conclusion that you see colors more vividly than other people is supported by the evidence. It seems more likely that for some reason you are seeing the colors in the photos less vividly.

How are you viewing these photos? Are we talking about viewing them on a computer monitor while you adjust them in Photoshop? Perhaps it is to do with the settings on your monitor, or perhaps it has something to do with how you are looking at your monitor. Perhaps, if you are staring a long time at a bright on-screen image, your eyes are adjusting to the brightness and making it seem less vivid and contrasty, so you turn that up, but when someone else then has a quick glance, their eyes have not adapted to the screen viewing conditions and it seems over-contrasty to them.

People with lighter eyes (gray, blue, red in the case of albinism) are more light-sensitive than people with brown or black eyes, because more light comes through the iris of light-colored eyes. However, I’ve never heard of it affecting color perception.

The only other thing I can think of (aside from color-blindness) that might be affecting your color perception is tetrachromacy, but 1) it’s an as-yet unconfirmed condition in humans, 2) it’s likely female-only, and 3) I don’t really see how it would affect one’s perception of saturation anyway.

I would agree with you if it was only on-screen, or only on my screen. However we’ve noticed this effect in other non-electronic media. I’m wondering if it might be some sort of glitch in my ability to compare a physical object that has mass, luminosity, etc, with a two- dimensional representation ( a swatch or electronic image) of color.


What you describe sounds like exactly the opposite of seeing colors more saturated than everybody else does. If you are cranking up the saturation in pictures to make things look normal to you and it looks “technicolor” to everybody else, then you are seeing the world less saturated than everybody else.
Actually, all I think this really comes down to is that you just have a preference, perhaps unconscious, for saturated colors in images. Nothing more.

Sounds to me like you’ve been bitten by the HDR bug. Nearly everyone who uses that always oversaturates, and doesn’t understand why everyone else says their images look fake.

Also, this thread really needs pics. If you’ve don’t want to share one you’ve already done, why not go online and find an image that looks normal to everyone else and punch it up to your standards?

I bet it will look like an HDR image.

I had to look that up, but you are correct in my adjustments, the image does resemble the examples of HDR provided. However, I want to stress that this effect does not exclusively in photography for me. It occurs in other situations as well. Photos are just the easiest example as I can actually show somebody the difference.

Let’s try this…

HERE is an image I took and edited to reflect my physical perception of the colours at the site.

HERE is an image taken by my friend, with the same camera, same settings, but unaltered in the same spot just a minute or so later. Now, while they aren’t the exact same photo, (photo two is just down the beach a hundred yards or so) there are noticeable differences.

In the first photo of **Nashiitashii ** sitting on the log, the grass looks “correct” to me. The trees demonstrate the correct depth of vibrant green that I saw, and the log and gravel demonstrate and adequate amount of tonal range and warmth. In the second image, everything looks weird and washed out. The forest is a uniform dull blueish green with none of the brilliant emeralds and yellow-greens that I saw on site. The sea grass also seems monotone, nothing like the deep color range I observed. The logs and gravel look a boring blah range of gray, with little of the blues, reds, browns and yellows that were present. In short, it Doesn’t look right to me. Nashiitashii and my other friends who were there argue the opposite case, that my images look like something absurd and slightly uncanny while the second image looks pretty much exactly correct.

Yeah. We aren’t all on Facebook, dude.


Incidentally, if anything I am the opposite to you. A lot of color photographs (presumably not ones you have got at) look oversaturated to me, as compared to reality, although perhaps this is not as pronounced now as it was back in the days of Kodachrome and Technicolor. I don’t think I am alone in this.

Sounds (and looks) like you might have a slight red/green deficiency of your color vision and are compensating by oversaturating these hues in that monitors, inks and dyes don’t have nearly the same range in color gamut that nature itself does, so it looks far less vivid to you when reproduced.

Have you had your color vision thoroughly evaluated by a professional?

I am on FB, and those links seem to be broken.

Yes, twice. Once by a private doctor, the other by a military physician. Neither found anything physically wrong other than the astigmatism. I have been diagnosed with a slight astigmatism, and hypersensitivity to bright light. The latter seems to be neurological rather than a problem with my eyes, ( I have amber colored irises that respond correctly and normally) and is compensated for by wearing a hat or normally tinted glasses to shade my eyes.

Give me some time to go through the other computer and I’ll post some raw and corrected images to flicr later.

Okay let’s try this. I put these on Flicr so it should work for anyone.

Here is picture of some anemones I took in Washington state. This is the camera’s image.

Here is the “corrected” image that accurately reflects my perception of the scene as I saw it.

HERE is an image i took of some mushrooms that were glowing oddly in the sun after a thunderstorm. The mushrooms weird glow is more or less correct but everything else looks wrong to me. Far too gray and boring, life doesn’t look like that at all to me.

HERE is a corrected image. This one gave me a little trouble, and I know it’s a bit overdone, but it does reflect the greens correctly. They were certainly bright and vibrant! not all dull and gray-green. The browns are too bright, but at least it shows all the reds and yellows that were missing before.

Test your color acuity here:

I got a perfect score (possibly with a little luck), though compared to my wife I’m color-blind. (She also has a word for each of a thousand shades, where I get by with about eight!)

In any case, it’s not your eyes per se, because you’re using your same eyes to look at both images (real and onscreen).

I think you’re right that it’s a psychosensory issue: your mind perceives real-world colors as being brighter than those same colors on a screen. Our brains do a LOT of manipulation of color and brightness based on 3D perception of the world, as shown by the shaded box optical allusions, like this one.

Evidently, you have mental rose-colored glasses, that you don’t “wear” when looking at the screen. Good for you!

Regarding your sea anemone images, I’d want the image to be about midway between the original and your amped-up version.

Regarding the mushrooms, you did more than color correct: the objects aren’t in exactly the same place, as though you corrected for lens distortion or something. Again, though, I’d pick something between the two.