Wednesday 16 May 2012

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

Blue is most people's favourite colour. Thanks to a recent discussion with my hubby I have a theory on that.

Here is my photo(s) for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:

Uber blue flowers

Hit the jump for my theory on why we like blue... (and for more blue pix)

Ok, so if you think back to basic junior high biology, you'll remember the eye sees light with rods and cones at the back of the eyeball. Rods are good with black and white as well as low light vision. Cones fill in the colour.

Blue is the last colour you lose as you dive deeper

We have way more red-receptive cones than blue-receptive. However, our rods are able to pick up on blue in low light but are not stimulated by red. This means that in low light, red is less 'distracting' because it uses the cones whereas other dark viewing areas will be using rods. That is why vehicle dashboards are often back lit with red; it won't kill your night vision while driving in the dark.

More little blue flowers

However, in brightly lit environments, red will tire out our eyes because it's using more cones. Blue uses less cones and some scientists speculate that our brain boosts blue hues. My theory* is that humans feel that they like the colour blue because it is physically easy on the eyes, plus is stimulates the brain. How cool is that!?!

The skylights at the new airport terminal in Winnipeg

Even if that's not the reason we like blue, it is fascinating that our body is physically stimulated differently depending on the wavelength of light entering our eyeballs and hitting our retinas. We know this from research into colour therapy and marketing.

Here is an article from Georgia State University that explains rods and cones in greater detail.

*Disclaimer: I am not a scientist nor medical professional nor any other profession that allows me to have any authority in this field whatsoever. I'm just musing on bits of science I've put together...

Just a hint of blue
What is your favourite colour?


  1. Love the lights picture particularly.

    Ironically, my favourite colour's green :-)

    1. Thank you!

      Not everyone has to like blue best... Just statistically that seems to be the norm. A lot of people also love red for probably the opposite reasons. But yeah, lot of people like lots of other colours! I tend to go through phases. :)

  2. Great photos - especially like the first two!

  3. Possibly we dig blue because daylight is blue light and we're, generally, up and active during daylight hours? (I think I've read this in regard to tricks for dealing with insomnia - one tip is to avoid tech lighting at bedtime - like from TVs and computer monitors, as they emit a blue light reminiscent of daylight, which messes with our circadian rhythm and whatnot.) (Or something like that.)

    Meanwhile, I dig red. :-)

    Some Dark Romantic

    1. Yeah, because the different wavelengths act differntly they come to have different meaning for us and our body physically reacts to them. I find that so interesting.

      There are some interesting theories on red meaning in reference to our blood being red when it leaves our body...

  4. wow. beautiful blues :)
    and is that right? that's an interesting fact that blue is the last colour we lose as we dive deep. thanks for he share :)

    1. The theory about like blue is made up by me, but the thing about losing colour as you dive is absolutely true. And blue lasts the longest. Red stops almost right away.

  5. My favourite colours are blue (!), especially clear sky blue and green... but the spring young fresh kind of green :)

    Roadtrip: On my way from A all the way to Z!
    English Speaking Zone

    1. Those colours sound very spring like!

      Thanks for stopping by!