Sunday, October 25, 2009


Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole 'IZ' 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' Show/Hide

Driving home from work today, I saw a rainbow.

Actually, that's not true. I saw the place where a rainbow was. I couldn't see the rainbow itself.

I'm colorblind. Whereas a person with normal vision sees a spectrum like this:

I can basically see two colors: Blue and Not Blue

Or maybe I should say: Blue and I-Don't-Know.

(I'm guessing on that 2nd spectrum. I ran it through a filter, but since I can't really see the colors...)

When people find out that I'm colorblind, it inevitably leads to the game: What Color Does This Look Like To You? To save time, let me just say: Unless it's BLUE, I DON'T KNOW.

Another game is What Color Is _______? Look, I know Grass is Green. I'm colorblind, not ignorant.

I don't really get upset by these things anymore. It's human nature to be curious. People who can see colors want to know what it's like to be colorblind, just as I'm curious what it's like to see colors.

In my mind, I picture it to be like music. The different colors join together like notes in a song. Two notes come together and make a new sound; likewise two colors come together and make something new. Three notes can get you a chord, three colors combine to make up what a normal person can perceive*. Each spot you see, each patch of color is its own instrument in the orchestra of life. The world is a visual symphony.

*Some women have two distinct red/green receptors in their eyes, giving them FOUR-color perception. I literally CANNOT imagine what this is like.

Now, of course I know it isn't really like that. I'm overselling it because it is unknown to me. But I have to wonder if you appreciate it. Or do you take it for granted?

You live in a world that, to me, would be like a dream, but you don't even know it.

Driving home from work today, I didn't see a rainbow.

But I really wished I did.


  1. Now that you mentioned it, from a photographer's point of view, it IS very interesting. Because, let's face it, we see images VERY differently. As such, our views on whether an image is awesome or not are even more diverse than just a difference in preference.

  2. This post reminded me of how an old friend of mine was quizzing you about colors all day, and then when he rolled down the window of the car he asked, when I rolled down the window did you hear it squeak? as if hearing sounds and not seeing colors goes together

  3. Haha, I remember that! ^_^ He and I also had this exchange:

    Him: "What color is that car over there?" (points to two cars)
    Me: "Which one?"
    Him: "The blue one."

  4. I think most of the time it's something I take for granted, but when I see something extraordinary where the colors really make it stand out, then I appreciate what I'm seeing and that I'm able to see it.

  5. I forgot about that one. I still think getting ice cream was a bad idea that day, 31+ choices of colors, and that was just in the ice creams, we'll ignore the cakes and other sunday's in the display case.

  6. My fault for letting it slip in a Baskin-Robbins. ^_^ If I had just waited until we got outside...

    You have to admit, it WAS funny that he kept asking, even when the answer was usually "I don't know?".

  7. It was very funny, and just thinking about it is making me crack up all over again.

    I still remember you starting to say everything was blue, just to mess with him when he was asking colors of ice cream.. mmm blue chocolate..