Colorful Paths of Sight


Nicole Long, Staff Writer; Section Editor

Sight is a powerful thing; all five senses are significant. Although all five are equally important, sight is the most dominant. Thirty to forty percent of our cerebral cortex — the layer of tissue on the cerebrum of the brain — is dedicated to the visual sense. We can see colors due to the cells in the retina called rods and cones. However, when those cells get damaged, our eyes develop a disability called Color Blindness.

Some think the color blind cannot see any range of colors, but that is certainly not the case. There are actually three main, or most common, types of Color Blindness: Deutan (green), Protan (red), and Tritan (blue). Each one of these types limit the eye from seeing most color combinations made with that color; however, they are differentiated by either defective or mutated. According to an article on We are Colorblind, “A mutated cone causes a slight shift, and a defective cone causes a bigger shift in the color perception.” These two shift-types separate Deutan, Protan, and Tritan into six other categories.

Each of the three types have two of their own categories: Deutan has Deuteranomaly and Deuteranopia; Protan has Protanopia and Protanomaly; and Tritan has Tritanomaly and Tritanopia. These categories all share a few common properties. Deuteranomaly, Protanomaly, and Tritanomaly each have a defective cone from their separate colors. Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia each have a missing cone. When a cone is defective, that means there is a malfunction in the cone where the original color looks confusing to the viewer’s eye. A missing cone means that a cone in that color regiment is gone altogether, removing a part of the spectrum from the viewer’s vision.

Colt Roundup has taken the time to interview Ken, a 70 year old photographer who had developed partial color blindness. Ken found an interest in photography when he was 10 years old, and always had a heart for the relaxed beauty of nature, ever since. Nature has always been full of colors, but in Ken’s mid 50s, he noticed a change in his vision. He explained that his color spectrum slowly started fading the older he got. Now, Ken is limited by only seeing certain darker, solid colors; lighter colors are a bit more challenging to spot. When Colt Roundup asked Ken to give an example, he responded with, “It is hard for me, because I am unable to see eye color, as well as different shades of hair color.” The color deficiency Ken faces has affected his knowledge of the quality in his photography. Color Blindness may or may not seem like a small entity in this world, but it does affect the limitations promised in the path of sight.