So, what’s this colour?

I’ve known I was colourblind since I was about 5.  I’ve always liked being colourblind, and if I was given the option to become ‘normal’ I’d refuse it (although it would be nice to at least see how 90%+ see the world).

You see colour based on three cones in your eyes – Red, Green and Blue.  These three cones let you see the spectrum of colours available to most of us.  Colour is actually our perception of a small frequency – that includes elements we can’t see – such as ultraviolet, microwaves and gamma rays.

Here’s a quick summary of how colourblind people see the world – none of these exactly match how I see things.  Both the deuteranope and protanope versions are very close to the base image for me. If shown all three (normal, deuteranope and protanope) I would not be able to say which was the ‘right’ image.

I picked this base image after doing a search on Google for ‘colourful image’ – and it does look colourful to me.

Many people say to me; who says I don’t see things correctly and everyone else sees it incorrectly.  I used to dismiss this out of hand, as ‘correctly’ is based upon what the majority experience.  However, in researching this a little more, it does seem like everyone probabaly perceives colour slighly differently.

That said, I have two faulty cones in my eyes, which over 90% of the population have working – so I think against any measure of ‘normal’, I see colours incorrectly.

Above you can see the three types of colourblindness most often quoted.  There are lots of good resources to get more detailed information, including:

There is also an interesting new Android App that allows you to assess your own colour perception.  Check it out.

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