Color Me………Gray?


Did you ever notice that when you read the newspaper – especially the Sunday paper – you inevitably run across an article that begins with the words: “New Study Proves…….”?  You can fill in the blanks as to what exactly has been “proven” by this latest scientific endeavor.  I’ve always liked the ones that attempt to quantify the painfully obvious, like studies demonstrating that our country’s youth are getting too fat or can’t do simple arithmetic or can’t spell worth a damn (texting doesn’t count).  If all of these studies are true, then we’re probably doomed.  I mean, how can a country survive for very long with obese, illiterate, numerically challenged citizens?  Hmmm, maybe we are doomed.

Anyway, the “study” that I saw in the paper yesterday had to do with the effects of color on mental stimulation.  Run by a research group at the University of British Columbia, the study found evidence that different colors (like red and blue) induced very different reactions in the brain.  One of their conclusions was that the color blue was more likely to spark creativity than were other colors and that red “boosted” attention to detail.

Now, I don’t know the details of this study.  But let’s assume that they’re on to something (they may very well be, since advertisers have been using color to sell us stuff for quite some time).  If blue truly is a stimulus for creativity, then it might explain why most photographers here in the northeast essentially go dormant in the winter time.  Blue isn’t a color we see very often.  We see dark gray, middle gray, and light gray a lot, but very little blue.

It might also explain why so many photographers live in the southwest.  There, the sky is blue most of the time.  Well, except for right now.  They seem to be getting a lot of rain and wind, while we have sunshine.  So it could be that photographers in Las Vegas or Tucson or Phoenix are not feeling very creative today.  Maybe all of the images being made out there right now really suck.  And maybe photographic creativity will “spike” today here in the northeast.  Hey, stranger things have happened.


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