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Is the dress Gold and White or Black and Blue? February 27, 2015

Posted by bigmaconcampus in Uncategorized.
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As everyone is debating the colors of this overnight question, and probably getting into a debate/argument/divorce/feud over the answer with someone else, I decided to break this one down.

Yes, my wife and I differed in our answers like most people. So I downloaded the image and decided to take it to the Oracle of all image questions, Adobe Photoshop®.

Luckily, I tried to manually build the color blue I was seeing within a separate file by comparing it to the dress image on screen in a separate window. She didn’t believe me that it wasn’t the white she was seeing. So then I zoomed into the dress image and magically, it seemed to change colors for her when I zoomed in enough to only show one of the colors at a time (either the blue or the gold).

Next I used the magic wand tool to remove the gold parts of the dress and it would instantly change to the white to blue. The gold also appeared to change shades when I removed the blue parts. To me, I never saw even a slight difference in the colors while obsessively pressing the undo keystrokes. To her it seemed almost like a strobe effect of the coloring flipping back and forth.

Then I tried to make my own image of alternating bars of gold and blue. Took a few tries until I got the right shade of blue that would appear white to her. Then did the same of removing one color or the other and she stated it kept changing.

Best I can guess, it either has to do with a physiological difference in each person’s rods and cones on how they perceive the color or it is a deeper way on how the brain is able to decipher that information that is received. Either way, it’s definitely not the same for everyone.

But to answer the question, the computer doesn’t lie when you start taking color samples and remove the brain from the equation. Blue and Black wins, although personally, I do see the hint of gold in the black. ;)

Here’s the images broken down. I pinky promise not a single one of these images has had the color manipulated in any way. As with all science, run the experiment for yourself. I can always use the peer-reviews.

Dress with Gold parts

The original dress as downloaded. Dress with just the blue removed. Dress with just the gold removed.

Blue and Gold barsGold barsBlue bars
Blue and gold bars together, Just the gold bars. Just the blue bars.
Blue and Gold single bars
Still don’t believe me? Place your hand over the screen and cover one of the colors to see if it changes for you (does for my wife).

Ok, the one of you with the defective rods/cones or perception must grant the other one a wish of their choosing. Choose wisely!