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Thursday, 07 November 2013


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Hey, BooBoo!

we all know you were right boo boo.

If I tell the same story to my friends, I will most definitely get a "LOL" as a response.

It was at my grandparent's home (perhaps ironically) that I saw my first color television. Somehow, while watching alone, I managed to find the TV's settings dials. I turned and twisted them until the screen appeared more naturally realistic, in black and white.

The article, along with a stream of associated links that I viewed, offer a pretty good argument that, in the broader scheme of things, B&W photography is possibly no more divergent from 'reality' than is color photography.

When I was 7 we moved house and got our first colour TV. I remember being shocked seeing Champion The Wonder Horse in black and white, as I had always watched it in colour...

You might also find this interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evQsOFQju08

Heh. Reminds me of the first time I watched The Wizard of Oz on a color TV. I was shocked when Dorothy walked out of the house in Munchkinland.

So Ansel was actually shooting in perceived color? Perish the thought!

Or you were using your Winky Dink screen to color in Yogi...


All of my TV arguments with my father centered around the fact that sitting so close to the TV would "put my eyes out."

All the world is black and white and shades of gray, even at six years old.

Our family were latecomers to color TV. When we finally got one in the mid-1980s, I was dismayed to discover that Grover wasn't red.

I grew up with b/w TV set and do not seem to encode the colours of objects that are presented in greyscale. In fact I enjoy their absence. Yogi Bear is definitely grey and I hope he stays so.

Being of asian descent and being born in Australia just after we relaxed our immigration laws, I was often the only ethnic person in my class growing up. I was convinced I had blue eyes (they are actually dark brown).

Does that count? *grin*


I grew up in the late 50s, and thought everyone saw colors when watching B&W tv. Then color sets started to show up, and they weren't necessarily better at the beginning.

I am going to add the phrase 'I am not uniquely crazy' to my phraseology.


But Mike...then what good would a dedicated black & white digital camera be to you???

You'd see the image in color anyway...




Seeing the colour in a black and white image is the easy part, Mike. The hard part is seeing the black and white image from colour! Perhaps, that was the real lesson in watching B&W TV shows?



I've certainly seen other people talk about this kind of experience. Fascinating that they're getting some understanding of it.

A friend of mine was first diagnosed as color-blind (the common red-green kind) when he was caught giving the color of a picture in a catalog that was mis-labeled, and maintaining the position when contradicted (he had apparently not been diagnosed before he learned to read, which seems like it probably wouldn't happen today).

Prompted by the memory of a UK Oxo (stock cube) tv commercial, in the late 50s, I found this:


So, maybe you did!

There were countless tie-ins that informed us of the colors even in the B+W broadcast era:

At least Yogi wasn't pushing cereal on us like so many others of the 60's era:

I think it was Bill Bryson, the travel and science author, who recalled that at age 6 he could tell the difference in sweetness between the different color M&Ms.

I thought I was the only person who did that. I remember as a kid, I was watching a mystery (recorded in black and white) on a black and white TV. One of my siblings came into the room and asked me for an update on the story and I referred to one of the actors as the guy in the yellow shirt. I can't tell you how I knew it was yellow, but I was quite sure.

I remember seeing an experiment on BBC a long time ago simulating colour on a monochrome set by rapid flickering of parts of the image.


Funny, the same thing happened to me in an art class when I was about 8 years old. I insisted that you could get colors by mixing black and white. I even referenced Yogi Bear on B&W TV, but was told that that was my imagination.

The next week I brought in a Benham's top ( I got all the cool toys ) that demonstrated Fechner colors, but the teacher said that wasn't the way paint acted.

The schools cheap "black" paint that turned out to be greenish when mixed with white didn't help the situation a whole lot.

back when I shot a lot of Black and White film, I trained myself (unconsciously) to see tonality. I had to pull myself back to actually see the colour. As I shot less, I lost that ability, but I can still get a very strong sense of how an image will turn out...

That's freaky, Mike. I had the same experience when I was a kid. My mother mentioned that someone in the neighborhood had just purchased a color TV. (Color sets were rare then.) I said, "What's a color TV?" She explained that it's a TV that displays color pictures instead of black and white. I protested that our TV displayed color, too. My mother shook her head and pointed to the picture on our screen, which at that moment happened to include a U.S. flag. She asked, "What color is that?" I replied, "Red, white, and blue." She said, "No, it's just shades of gray. Look again!" I did, and suddenly all the color was gone. It was black and white! What a disappointment.

I used to watch snooker (like your Pool, only better ;) - on a black and white telly. And yet at the time it seemed very much as if it was in colour - and I fancy I can still remember the rich green of the felt and even the smell of the chalk...

Hey Mike,

Look up synesthesia, this condition seems to be related to what you and some of the people leaving comments are talking about. Not exactly the same, but the brain probably works in a similar fashion in both situations.

Harold -- yummy tonalities!

I think a similar thing happened to me as a kid. I was a keen slot racer and was thrilled one day to switch the TV on see a short news item from the BBC showing the Lotus 56 being shaken down on an airfield ready to go to the Indy 500. Discussing this at the slot club that night I told everybody it was painted orange without questioning it, I knew it was orange. They thought our family was posh for having a colour TV, until somebody pointed out we only had a B&W TV. I couldn't even have subliminally heard any commentary as the sound took two or three minutes to come on after the picture. As a 12 year old their laughter bit hard, but it was orange.

Hanna Barbaric and Jay Ward crowded my childhood. A lot of what I watched on TV is burned into my limbic system. From pablum to parody, TV shows of yesteryear have somehow contributed to my worldview as an adult. Check out: http://topdogimaging.net/blog/dual-identity

Jay Ward's early '60s cartoons remind me of those good ol' Cold War days.

I wish I had a TV set loaded up with a pile of vacuum tubes. I miss the heat.

Thats what I love about black and white, to engage the viewer by using their imagination.

Never did I think that Huckleberry Hound was blue.

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