A Colorful Example

By Steve Younis

Date: April 12, 2006

What is color? Color is, by definition, the appearance of objects described in terms of a person's perception of their hue and lightness (or brightness) and saturation.

Let me highlight the operative words in that sentence...

The appearance of objects described in terms of a person's perception of their hue and lightness (or brightness) and saturation.

The way a color appears is dependent on a person's perception.

Color is also described as a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect.

This definition is vitally important when cosidering photos.

So why the dictionary lesson? Well, I just felt the need to highlight the frivolity in people trying to judge the "Superman Returns" costume from photos released so far.

Yeah, I know... Can't we move on from this subject?! Are we really still discussing the suit so many months down the track?!? Sadly, the answer is yes. The Superman Homepage Message Boards is proof of that. A minority of fans are not only unhappy with the darker red colors, but some even dislike the blue in the costume. To me, this is the best blue we've ever seen for a live-action Superman costume.

But to show you how subjective this whole discussion is, I draw your attention to the blue and red swatches below. Go ahead, click on the blue and red you think best represents the Superman costume (I've tried my best to order them from lightest to darkest). Actually, even better, click on them all.

Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch Blue Color Swatch

Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch Red Color Swatch

Ah! See? I bet when you first saw all these swatches you never dreamed they were all taken from different photos of Brandon Routh in the "Superman Returns" costume, did you? And you have my word that, where possible, I grabbed these swatches from the same position on the costume for each photo.

So what? What does it prove? Nothing really. Just that you can't judge the costume's colors from photos, because each photo represents the colors in a different way.