Exquisite Colors In Nature And Vision


Laurie says:


I’m exploring color for the first time as a photographer in my Memory Landscape project. This made the BBC article quoted below particularly interesting. It’s called Color And Vision:Through The Eyes of Nature.

A new exhibition exploring the relationship between colour and vision in the natural world is opening at the Natural History Museum in London

Intense and vibrant natural colours will be displayed in specimens and photographs of insects, animals and plants. The message we hope people will take away from the exhibition is that colour and vision are inextricably interwoven in evolution


The vibrant hues found on the wings and feathers of some birds and insects can be explained by two different types of colour…structural and colour and pigment.

Structural colour is produced by light interacting with microscopic structures on surfaces.

This sort of colour is on some bird feathers and [the] metallic surface of beetles…

Different pigments absorb different wavelengths of light and reflect other wavelengths – this affects what colour we are seeing… Sometimes colour is created by the combination of pigment and structural colour.

Vibrant colours might stand out in the wild, but they can also be a warning to potential predators…Bright colours can mean the animal is saying, ‘Don’t eat me’.


The close up below of a starling’s wing illustrates the underlying scientific principles. And it is simply an exquisite abstract photograph in itself.


This video from the Natural History Museum shows the world through the eyes of dragonflies, dogs, snakes and horses.

The article has a great deal more about color, construction and how the eyes of varied creatures work. All of this gave me a lot to think about color and how humans perceive it.  I expect it will show up in my work.