What color is this paper? - WNEM TV 5

What color is this paper?

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First the dress. Then the flip flops. Now........the paper.

The dispute between white and gold or blue and black has caused just about more disagreements among people than anything to ever go viral. Now I give to you a new contender. The paper. 

The Paper

Now, I am not here to convince you to see this image as one set of colors over another, but more to explain to you my take on how these images come to be. 

To start, you need a camera capable of manually controlling some of the more advanced settings. This includes things such as white balance, ISO, and shutter speed. With a few tweaks to these settings, you can break the internet. 

The photo of the paper above was not taken with the optimal settings for our office, which is awash in cool florescent light. (Around 4400 K according to the auto-white balance setting on my camera.) The photo above was taken with a manually adjusted white balance setting of 7400 K.

While this gives you a more yellow looking image, the colors of the paper where not too affected. This is where the next adjustments came into place.

I adjusted the ISO settings above what the automatic setting picked, and increased my shutter speed to allow for additional light to flood the image. Those changes produced the image above. 

That is what brings me to how I feel images like the dress and the flip flops cause never ending arguments. The colors are being distorted by bad camera settings. As a result some people see it one way and others the opposite. Still more see it as a distorted color, but can internally come to a conclusion about what color it should be in real life. 

There are key aspects in the backgrounds of both the dress picture and the flip flops picture that lead me to believe changes to the camera settings have created these overly frustrating images. (See the clearly overexposed and off color background of the flip flops image below as an example.)

As for the paper, here is the image as seen through the automatic settings on my camera. 

(Trust me, it is black and blue, I printed it out myself.)

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