What is Black?

I was listening to the radio the other afternoon, and they were playing “Big Dummy”.  It is a radio competition where you try to get one answer right.  You are the big dummy if you score the most incorrect answers.  One of the questions was, “What colorful body of water does the Danube River drain into?”.  The answer was, “The Black Sea”.

So, Is the Black Sea colorful?  I have never been there or remember seeing photos so I can’r say.  Then came the wave of e-mails and text messages to the station.  People were saying that black is the absence of color.  I let things go for the time being, but I still seem to be pondering this question.  I began to wonder about a different side of the question.  I only wondered about this because of all the shooting I have been doing in the dark or with low light.

The question that came to my mind was, “Is black the absence of color, light or both?”.  If black is the absence of color, when light is added it is still black.  If black is the absence of light, when light is added the color is revealed.  That means black can be both logically.  I have shot colorful flowers at night only to get a black silhouette and I know the flowers have color.

I guess to really understand this you have to be keen on lighting, color, effects and physics.  If you have any thought on this, feel free to comment.

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