Gauge Your Personal Color Fidelity

I have a deep, dark photographer secret: I’m color blind. What it means is not that I can’t see color, or that I see the world in black & white, but rather that my eyes (or maybe it’s my brain) don’t do a good job of discerning certain colors–like reds and greens, especially. This color blindness only became a problem when, as a photo major in college I took a class about the Color Darkroom. The nature of color printing–really, even to this day–is to determine whether a photograph is deficient in a certain color, or contains too much of a color. Get the perfect color balance and you’ll have a "neutral" photograph without any strange tints. This is, needless to say, very difficult for us color blind photographers. I’ve never been able to quantify just how color blind I am, however, until I stumbled across this online utility from X-rite. It’s a little bit of fun to figure out where your color vision deficiencies lay by arranging various colored hues on a continuum. I scored just about in the middle, a 46. Which is better than I thought it would be, in fact, because I couldn’t name a single one of the colors I was looking at. (And it was even better than my non-color-blind wife! Victory!) It’s finally a bit of proof that I really can see colors, I just can’t name them. It’s a weird thing to be a color blind photographer. Even if you’re not, though, you may get a kick out of this utility anyway. It’s good to gauge your visual acuity.

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