More on FAQ #402

On TCQ’s distinction between
“light”-related changes
(tones and colors)

non-“light”-related changes
(forms and shapes)

402. How aware are viewers of this distinction?

Answer: Very aware. (Click tabs to open them)

  • 1. Just about everyone who has ever taken a photograph knows that some “tones and colors” record at least a little differently from what the camera saw—

    . . . for example, in a typical vacationer’s sunset photo, the colors don’t match the real thing...

  • 2. — but “forms and shapes” record exactly what the camera saw.

    In that hypothetical sunset photo, the palm tree over on the right and the person on the left are depicted exactly where they were in the frame.

  • 3. And just about everyone knows that after a photograph is recorded, some “tones and colors” change each time the photo is reproduced in a new format—

    . . . that sunset doesn’t look as vivid in a print as it did on the computer screen...

  • 4. — but “forms and shapes” don’t change when the photo is reproduced in a new format unless someone or something intervenes to change them.

    Objects in that sunset photograph — like “the palm tree on the right” or “the person on the left” — don’t magically appear or disappear, or move or resize or reshape or blur themselves, when viewed in a print as compared to on a computer screen.

  • 5. A person need not even have made photographs to know the difference between “light”-related changes vs. non-“light”-related changes.

    Anyone who has ordered clothes online or from a catalog wouldn’t be surprised if that “teal” blouse or shirt that looked more “bluish” when they ordered it might look more “greenish” in person (tones and colors are “light”-related aspects).

    But the same customer would be quite surprised if the garment turned out to be short-sleeved when they expected it to be long-sleeved, or had a button collar when they expected a turtleneck (forms and shapes are non-“light”-related aspects).