I’ve never been able to master a magic trick, but that’s about to change. And only because I’m totalyl going to take credit for this trick shown in upcoming BBC documentary ‘Colour: The Spectrum of Science‘.
We can’t all have big victories, okay. Just allow me this one?
In this trick a black and white photo suddenly becomes full of colour again.
How does it work, you ask? Magic!!!!
Well, maybe not. It’s more to do with our cone cells, one of the two types of photoreceptors within our eye’s retina, which are responsible for color vision. We have three types of cones, which are sensitive to blue, green or red wavelengths of light. When we’re exposed to a lot of one color, that particular type of cone gets overstimulated and becomes “tired” and unresponsive.
This leaves you temporarily with the use of only your other two types of cone, which show the opposing “complementary” color (i.e red versus green and blue versus yellow). After a few seconds, the cones “recharge” and you’re able to perceive that color again.
Yeah, so basically it’s just the wonders of my magical powers. Told you so.