AKA Abraham Bacoln

damn your eyes, too late, etc.
January 3, 2007, 1:15 am
Filed under: photography, tidbit

Okay, so here’s the new weirdness from me. Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve noticed this before during the many long and fortunate years I’ve been on this earth, but I’d never really considered it in any serious way until recently. See, we’re used to our eyes being different in terms of visual acuity, right? How many of you with glasses or contacts have the same prescription in both lenses? Probably not many. Yes, yes, I’m talking about my eyeballs again. Anyway, yes, sure, we’re used to one eye being slightly different than the other or at least we’re used to it in terms of clarity and focus and so forth.

But …

see, my eyes see two different sets of color. I swear it’s true. I also know it sounds very strange, and I also have noticed that sometimes it is more pronounced, sometimes less so. I took a very few short moments to whip up the following graphic to illustrate my point. I apologize in advance, Henry, for the terrible graphic design. I wish I had more time but I must inform the world about my gross deformity IMMEDIATELY, don’t you know.

What you see below is the image as it was taken from my camera (using a custom white balance to try and obtain maximum ‘reality’) and then two images, one portraying what I seem to see from each eye. Click on it to make it bigger.

My left eye at its worst has a slight magenta tint to it. For those of you with Photoshop skillz it’s as if someone chose to adjust color balance, selected ‘highlights’, and moved the slider ever so slightly to the left.

No, I swear I’m not making this up.

The right eye sees more blue. Again, adjust color balance, select ‘highlights’, move slider to the right. Convenient how you have to move the sliders in the direction of the appropriate eye, no? No? Oh.

Anyway, the image above is an exaggeration, of course. My color disparity is not that pronounced. Sometimes it’s almost impossible for me to tell. Other days I’ll have closed one eye for some reason and when I reopen it I’m reminded that the whole color balance of the scene has perceptibly shifted.

Now, of course, you know what’s coming. Your involvement, that’s what. A five-second Google search returned no results for “seeing different color in each eye”. Of course I put it in quotes so that I wouldn’t really get any results, making me seem important and unique. But am I? Does this happen to you?


In other news, I just wanted to share that I am constantly consumed by low-grade anxiety about photography. I spend most of my waking hours (outside of work, of course, because work is boring and I don’t want to take photographs there) looking at things and thinking that I want to capture them. Immediately follows the whole, “But … I don’t … I don’t know how to capture that correctly. I know it can be done. I’ve seen pictures like that. But … I … I don’t know … I don’t know how to capture that correctly. But I know it can be done. But I don’t know how.”

Did you ever want to know how I spend my time? There y’go.

6 Comments so far
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Do you only notice this when one eye is closed? Do both eyes together seem to produce a “real” image or is the combined image off as well? I went to a movie once where I had to wear corrective red and blue tented glasses so I could see the picture correctly.

Comment by Steven

When I was in elementary school, I had some visual problem that involved me wearing little paper frames with cellophane lenses, but instead of the traditional 3-D blue and red, they were red and green (one color on each eye). I don’t recall what this means or what problem it supposedly solved. So I guess this is of no help to you or anyone else.
hmm… I always defer to Dr. Mike Huddleston (office on Dixie Ave.) for eye questions such as the one you present here.

Comment by Rebecca

Don’t forget that when you close one eye you’re adjusting the pressure, so when you open it again the difference in color/focus/clarity WILL be perceptibly altered… but I see white differently in each eye, never really took the time to figure out what specifically is different, one is just grayer than the other.

Comment by Jonathan

Before I knew that I needed glasses, I would have sworn the same thing – colors looked different from eye to eye. It turns out that even a slight lack of focus or fuzziness can make colors appear ‘off’ when you change from eye to eye.

Comment by mango

This is a much more difficult one to tell than the which-eye-is-dominant test. I *think* mine are about the same…

Comment by Jim

Yeah, I remember commmenting to my sister, Sarah, that I had noticed a sort of warm/cool color difference between my eyes. Subtle, but certainly there. She looked at me like I was retarded. I haven’t noticed it recently, however.

Comment by DoubleT

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