United Movement of Pixels
Fine Art Photography Gallery by Iacopo Iacopini

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My eye, a digital image sensor for colour!

Photographer: Iacopo I.
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The eye's color perception

The eye's color perception

The human eye and the system used by digital cameras use very similar method to capture the colour of an image. In both cases, specialized receptors in the eye or in the sensor can capture one of the three components of the light spectrum Red, Green and Blue and send it to a computer (the brain or processor) to reconstruct the image.

In the back of the eye, on the retina, take place a number of photoreceptor cells called cones that can be stimulated by the receipt of a particular component of the light. Depending on the type of cone Red, Green and Blue the cells generate a electric signal to the brain when stimulated by a component of the light of a long (peak at 564nm), medium (peak at 533nm) or short (peak at 437nm) wavelength. The three spectrum are overlapped with each other and experimentally has been found that there is greater sensitivity to longer wavelengths.

Similar to the eye the camera sensor uses photodiodes specialized in one of three colour components. The sensor is composed by a grid of points sensitive to one of three components Red, Green and Blue. Ideally the photodiodes could be represented as a turned-off switch that lets pass an electric signal at the reception of a bit of light. The signal transmitted by the switch flows to the processor of the camera to indicate that in that point was taken a bit of light. The size of the sensor is usually given in megapixels and represent the number of points on the sensor and its resolution. The minimum amount of useful light to activate the switch represents the sensitivity therefore the better or worse ability of the camera to perceive the image in low light situations. The disposal of individual receptors is also not always the same and each manufacturer can implement different construction methods to enhance the colour experience.


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