Ever wondered how can we see those deep blacks on that white wall during movies even when there is nothing called ‘black light’? If yes, here’s the answer. Let’s find out.
The answer is pretty clear. The projectors does not project black color as the black color is really not a color, it is absence of light which we can’t see.
When a projector projects light on to a screen to create an image, the regions which seems black are actually are of a very dim white which we sometimes call gray. The projector projects light to all regions even where we perceive the color black. That dimmed white light is projected to the regions which are black, but the light is pretty dimmed enough in these areas that they look black to our eyes when surrounded by brighter areas therefore creating a contrast. Thus contrast plays an important role in this.
Let’s take an example of a chess board.
The left part illustrates a black and white chess board image would look like when projected on a wall if the projector could literally projects black. Since black is absence of light which cannot be literally projected, the right region shoes what we actually see. The ares of the image which are supposed to be black are actually white dim gray light color, which the human brain of ours interpret as black if the contrast is high enough to notice. Note that the black squares oh the chess board on the right is brighter than the color of the wall on the side wall.
This is the reason why the theater halls are so dark, just to increase the contrast ratio so we can see deeper blacks.
Our eyes and brain are designed to interpret the colours relative to the surrounding object’s colour.
Because of this automaticity of our eyes to create contrast, things looker darker or lighter depending upon what surrounds them.
Now let us take a simple example.
Here in the above image, there are tiles labelled A and B and the funny part is they are of the same color (YES YOU CAN TEST IT WITH AN EYEDROPPER FORM THE PAINT PACKAGE). Our mind and visuals lie to us and tell us they are different due to the context. The same is happened during the projection of films.
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