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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday February 28 2015, @07:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the Do-mine-eyes-deceive-me? dept.

Color scientists already have a word for it: Dressgate. Now the Washington Post reports that a puzzling thing happened on Thursday night consuming millions — perhaps tens of millions — across the planet and trending on Twitter ahead of even Jihadi John’s identification. The problem was this: Roughly three-fourths of people swore that this dress was white and gold, according to BuzzFeed polling but everyone else said it's dress was blue. Others said the dress could actually change colors. So what's going on? According to the NYT our eyes are able to assign fixed colors to objects under widely different lighting conditions. This ability is called color constancy. But the photograph doesn’t give many clues about the ambient light in the room. Is the background bright and the dress in shadow? Or is the whole room bright and all the colors are washed out? If you think the dress is in shadow, your brain may remove the blue cast and perceive the dress as being white and gold. If you think the dress is being washed out by bright light, your brain may perceive the dress as a darker blue and black.

According to Beau Lotto, the brain is doing something remarkable and that's why people are so fascinated by this dress. “It’s entertaining two realities that are mutually exclusive. It’s seeing one reality, but knowing there’s another reality. So you’re becoming an observer of yourself. You’re having tremendous insight into what it is to be human. And that’s the basis of imagination.” As usual xkcd has the final word.

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 28 2015, @08:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 28 2015, @08:25PM (#151189)

    This is a very bad photo - the white balance is off, the exposure is badly overexposed, the focus is off, it's frames poorly, and is taking in portrait orientation to top it off.

    Don't get hung up on semantics. All that is implicitly part of the question. It is the visual context in which the optical illusion lies. Stating it more explicitly: "Is the dress, as presented in this specific photo, white and gold or blue and black?"

    For the literalists among us, the actual dress, in a standard photo, can be seen here on amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/really-loud-fartknockers/dp/B00SJEUCWU [amazon.co.uk]

  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Grishnakh on Saturday February 28 2015, @10:57PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday February 28 2015, @10:57PM (#151265)

    For all of LaminatorX's talk about how crappy the photography is in the debated photo, the dress in the Amazon photo (obviously a professional photo, and also obviously the same dress as seen in the details) looks exactly like the one in the crappy photo to me. Are people really this fucking blind? The original photo is crappy, yes, but it's not so crappy that I can't see the dress, see that it's the same as the Amazon dress, and it even looks like the exact same colors!!! (The colors are slightly off in the crappy photo, granted, but not remotely to the point where they look white and gold.)

    This whole thing is just making me wonder how horrible some peoples' perception of reality is. No wonder so many people claim to see ghosts or whatever, if they can't even see that a stupid dress is blue and black in a crappy cellphone photo.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:28PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:28PM (#151277) Journal

      talk about how crappy the photography is in the debated photo, the dress in the Amazon photo (obviously a professional photo, and also obviously the same dress as seen in the details) looks exactly like the one in the crappy photo to me. Are people really this fucking blind? The original photo is crappy, yes, but it's not so crappy that I can't see the dress, see that it's the same as the Amazon dress, and it even looks like the exact same colors!!!

      I'm sure you must be running a modern browser.
      So open two browser windows, one on Amazon, one on the dress in question.
      Adjust your browser windows so that they are side by side.

      If you STILL think the dresses are the same color,

      1) surf the web till you find some color blindness test pages and take all of those tests.
      2) Visit your eye doctor.

      Why: Because the two dresses, the Original [washingtonpost.com]and the Amazon One [images-amazon.com] are NOT the same color.

      So unless you are trolling for fun and arguments, don't be badmouthing other people's observational abilities, untill you download both photos show them side by side, and ask 10 people if they are the same. According to the story 3/4 will disagree with you.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Grishnakh on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:44AM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:44AM (#151352)

        I've looked at them both side-by-side. You're color-blind. The crappy photo is obviously washed-out, but the colors are still obviously blue and black.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by frojack on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:56AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:56AM (#151358) Journal

          You don't get to say what thy might have been before they were washed out.

          All you get to say is that the photos viewed side by side look the same to you.
          That is the claim YOU MADE.

          Now you tell me the the photo is washed out. Yet they look the same to you (or so you say).
          If that were the case, you would not be able to say one was washed out. So clearly the DON'T
          look the same to you, which means you've been lying all along.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Grishnakh on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:25AM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:25AM (#151371)

            I think you have psychological problems and should see a counselor.

            I never said they look exactly the same, just that they look the same: they're the same dress and the same color. One photo is merely overexposed.

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:40AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:40AM (#151381)

              He has psychological problems? Who are you to make that judgment? Aren't you the one who I've seen supporting systemd around here and at Slashdot?

            • (Score: 4, Touché) by frojack on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:51AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:51AM (#151386) Journal

              Here's the post where you said they were the exact same color:
              https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=6328&cid=151265 [soylentnews.org]

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:08PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:08PM (#151853)

              Fading would not turn blue and black into gold and white. Only inverting would. Not only do you seem to be colour blind. You are also ignorant of basic color theory.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:06PM (#151851)

          Erm... have you tried picking the colors with a color picker? Even completely out of context, they are clearly gold and white. You sir are either brainwashed or you are being paid to say what you are saying.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:50AM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday March 01 2015, @01:50AM (#151357)

        According to the story 3/4 will disagree with you.

        Lots of people also claim to see ghosts and Bigfoot. Do you?

        Maybe this photo can be used as a test to tell if someone is prone to "seeing things". If we polled 1000 people on this picture, and also on whether they've observed supernatural phenomena, I wonder if we'd see a correlation.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @01:11PM (#151854)

          If that is what this test is devised to detect, then you have just failed it. Maybe the absence of "ghosts" and many other things, which many others see, is the actual hallucination. Maybe if you stopped taking your meds it would be a gold and white dress like my color spectrometer tells me it is. There really is no need to be subjective about this.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:43PM (#151282)

      > This whole thing is just making me wonder how horrible some peoples' perception of reality is.

      Don't let that superiority complex go to your head.
      Your ability to see it a certain way is nothing more than physiological luck.
      Here are 12 other illusions, I'm sure you are susceptible to most, if not all, of them.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/27/12-fascinating-optical-illusions-show-how-color-can-trick-the-eye/ [washingtonpost.com]

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:45PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 28 2015, @11:45PM (#151285) Journal

      Here you go Grish....

      http://s22.postimg.org/w621krqdd/You_are_blind.png [postimg.org]

      Go ahead, tell me they are the same image.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Grishnakh on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:07AM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:07AM (#151362)

        They're not "the same image", they're obviously two different images of the same exact dress. The one on the right is washed out because of overexposure. It's also obviously (washed-out) blue and (washed-out) black.

        Tell me, have you ever seen supernatural phenomena?

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:48AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 01 2015, @02:48AM (#151385) Journal

          No, its not obviously washed out blue. Its Gold. And White.
          Your monitor is defective.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by K_benzoate on Sunday March 01 2015, @10:51AM

      by K_benzoate (5036) on Sunday March 01 2015, @10:51AM (#151483)

      The disputed photo appears to me white and gold, the Amazon photo of the real dress is blue and black. I have perfect colour vision (and perfect vision as measured by my doctor this year) and a professionally calibrated monitor. If you see blue/black in the original image, your brain is doing a lot of additional post-processing which most humans are not experiencing. You're in a roughly 25% minority.

      This whole event proves that most vision is in the brain, and is subjective.

      --
      Climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by vux984 on Sunday March 01 2015, @10:21PM

      by vux984 (5045) on Sunday March 01 2015, @10:21PM (#151654)

      Are people really this fucking blind? The original photo is crappy, yes, but it's not so crappy that I can't see the dress, see that it's the same as the Amazon dress, and it even looks like the exact same colors!!!

      Sorry buddy, I saw white and gold. I had both photos open in a browser side by side, and I *still* saw white and gold. I am not color blind. I have a color corrected wide gamut S-IPS display... I saw white and gold. I couldn't even imagine how any one could see blue and black. The white... sure maybe because of the shadows etc could make the white look like a very pale blue... but the gold was still gold and didn't look black at all.

      Then today, I was reading your post, and felt I had to respond; so I pulled up the photos again. Today I was stunned... I saw blue and black. I thought maybe I was looking at a slightly different photo. I actually dug in my history to pull up exactly what I was looking at yesterday. And it was slightly different. The photo I was looking at yesterday; was just a link to the photo (so firefox displayed it on a black background). When I pulled them up today, I'd pulled it up on a white background embedded within an article. I dug further, the photos themselves were identical. But now even the one in the black background...I can see the blue and black; and I have no idea how i simply couldn't see it yesterday.

      Its not blindness. or perception issues.

      Its a gestalt switch...

      This is my favorite example:

      http://www.moillusions.com/spinning-sihouette-optical-illusion [moillusions.com]

      Which way is she spinning? For some it clockwise for others it counter clockwise. For most of us if we try long enough, we can "flip" and see either. A few of us can do it at will; I can on many such gestalt illusions, but this spinning one... just spontaneously reverses on me from time to time. I can't make it happen by will.

      And for what its worth, my wife just walked into the room, I showed her the photo and she said "white and gold" without a seconds hesitation...