Colour Blind

We wrote before about how photographers use colour to help connote feelings, emotions and themes. However is it really that simple to influence the viewer? What about photographers who don’t see colour the way they should? do their images become unsuccessful because they aren’t able to manipulate our reading through colour?

Claude Monet

The most famous Artist who had colour sight problems was Claude Monet, who suffered from cataracts and colour distortion from an early ages

Soon after 1905 (age 65) he began to experience changes in his perception of color. He no longer perceived colors with the same intensity. Indeed his paintings showed a change in the whites and greens and blues, with a shift towards “muddier” yellow and purple tones. After 1915, his paintings became much more abstract, with an even more pronounced color shift from blue-green to red-yellow. He complained of perceiving reds as muddy, dull pinks, and other objects as yellow. These changes are consistent with the visual effects of cataracts. Nuclear cataracts absorb light, desaturate colors, and make the world appear more yellow.

Monet was both troubled and intrigued by the effects of his declining vision, as he reacted to the the foggy, impressionistic personal world that he was famous for painting.

-Taken from

Isaac Joel Torres

I’m not even a real photographer some say. I’m just a colorblind painter with a camera…

Whats surprising about Isaac’s work is that he isn’t afraid of colour, most photographers who see colour effectively wouldn’t approach the use of colour in such a head on way. Maybe this is a reaction of not being able to see colour, almost overcompensating? or maybe it’s his preferred technique

There is no doubt that each individual sees colour differently, in photography colour is such an influential element, but who’s to say what you and I see are the same? The use of colour will forever entrance and engage us as a viewer, and occupy our minds as a photographer and as much as we might worry about it a photographer can only make a beautiful successful image for themselves in the hope that the way the viewer reads it is the same. No photographer can follow specific guidelines to create an image, because photography is subjective, and like everything else in this world can be interpreted not only from our mental state but also our physical abilities.


About phonarphotosense

PHOTOSENSE is a exploration of narrative and the response of the different senses.

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