Through Color Blind Eyes Kayla Tyree | Fall 2016

Color blindness is a medical condition that involves the cones and rods in the eyes to not work properly. Depending on what type of color blindness the individual has correlates back to which cones and rods work in the eyes. Individuals who have color blindness are normally born with it and most individuals who have color blindness are male. This is due to the X-chromosome carries the gene for color blindness and men only have one X-chromosome, women have two and a functional X-chromosome will compensate for the lack of having an non-functional one. Color blindness also isn't necessarily present at birth, as it can begin in childhood years or even later on in adulthood. There are eight different kinds of color blindness, categorized into three different types. Each is detailed below with more information on what it is.

Red - Green Color Blindness

Most Common Types of Color Blindness


Protanomaly occurs when the red cone photopigment in the eye is abnormal. This causes reds, oranges, and yellows to appear greener and all colors to appear duller. It affects 1% of males.

As you can see, the red and yellow within the photograph appear greener, while overall the colors aren't as saturated.
Here, the image appears to have been desaturated and given a more yellow overall appearance.


Deuteranomaly occurs when the green photopigment is abnormal. Yellow and green appear more red and telling the difference between violets and blues is difficult. This is the most common form of color blindness and affects 5% of males.

The background is the most apparent change in the photograph, going from a dark green to a mild red. Her red dress also appears more orange.
The image above looks muddy. There is no contrast in her scarf and overall appears to look very dull.


If a person suffers from Protanopia, it means there are no working red cone cells int he eye. Red is non-existent and orange, yellow, and green all appear yellow. This type of red-green color blindness affects 1% of males.

Here, her hair and skin all appear less red, her shirt lost it's bright blue color, and her lips are completely gray.
This image appears to be almost black and white. His shirt lost all color and his skin look more green.


Deuteranopia is when there are no working green cone cells. Reds become brownish yellow in tone and greens appear mostly beige. It is a rare form of color blindness affecting only 1% of males.

Her skin has an overall beige tone to it in the secondary photo, the yellow in her hair is duller, and the white of her hat turned pink.
The most apparent change in this image is the sweater. The green was completely removed from her teal sweater which caused it to be a dull blue.

Blue - Yellow Color Blindness

Rarer than Red-Green Color Blindness


Tritanomaly is when the blue cone cells have limited to no function. Blues appear greener and red and yellow are hard to tell from pink. It is extremely rare to have Tritanomaly, but it affects males and females equally.

Although blue is still seen in the photo, it is less saturated and appears more green. Her skin is also pink and the pink of her shirt went away and became more red.
As seen above, the yellow of her skin has been replaced by a pink hue and her hair has turned almost baby pink.


People with Tritanopia lack blue cone cells in the eye. Blue appears as a form of green and yellow appears violet or light gray. It is extremely rare, and affects males and females equally.

Her shirt became more blue than green and her skin is completely red. The background appears grayer as the blue was removed from it.
Cookie Monster appears green, the gold in her hair and shirt turned brown and her skin became pink. The off-white background also turned more pink.

Complete Color Blindness

Rarest type of Color Blindness


People with Monochromacy have only one of the three cone cell photopigments working. There are three types of Monochromacy - red, green, and blue cone. Viewers have trouble distinguishing colors from one another because not having multiple cones work doesn't allow for the eye to compare signals from the other cones.

The overall image appear to have lost most of the color. The vibrancy of the background and her shirt are gone and the warmth in her hair and skin are gone as well.
Almost black and white, this image lost all saturation, but colors are still able to distinguish as different. The warmth of the photo is gone and it appears to look very cool in tone.


Being the rarest form of color blindness, Achromatopsia is the most severe type of color blindness and is present at birth. None of the cone cells work and people with Achromatopsia view the world in black, gray, and white. They also tend to be photophobic, which means they are uncomfortable in bright environments.

Lacking all color, this image goes to black and white and is what would be seen by someone with Achromatopsia.

Throughout the entire image making process, Mark Fogiel's words had major impact. For example, "we start with a multitude of ready images," made me think of what was happening in the world around me and also my experiences and what images I could make from those things. Bill Jay also said, "in order to photograph with any degree of continuous passion, you must have a fascination for the subject, otherwise you cannot sustain an interest in the act of creation for a long enough period of time in which to make any insightful or original statement about it." From this quote, I began to think of the elements important to photographs and came up with color. Color has great impact on an image, and from color I realized that not everyone can see color, which led to my fascination with color blindness. A previous professor of mine is color blind, yet make incredible images, and also manipulates images as if he didn't have it. My goal was and continues to be to help color seeing people understand what color blind people see. As Hugh McCabe described, the element of detail is critical to a photograph, something Bill Jay documented and described. I see color as a part of detail, and thus plays a role in "The Thing Itself." The believe that color should be a part of "The Thing Itself," and why I chose it as my subject.

Dedicated to Adam Caselman


Jay, Bill. “The Fundamental Principle of Photography.” The Thing Itself (n.d.): 1-7. PDF. Web. 5 Dec. 2016. <>

Fogiel, Marek. “The Thing Itself.” Il Mondo in Bianco E Nero. Siedemtrzy Studio, 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <>

McCabe, Hugh. “Introduction To The Photographers Eye – John Szarkowski (1966).”Traces Of The Real., 21 Feb. 2010. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <>


Kayla Tyree

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