It’s Follow-Up Friday: That Dress edition

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today I’d like to return to the subject of optical illusions.

Yes, by popular demand, I’m talking about The Dress.

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[The original photo is in the middle. To the left, the photo has been color-corrected toward white and gold. To the right, the photo has been color-corrected toward black and blue.]

For those who haven’t heard — and wow, I’m sincerely amazed you haven’t by now — the above picture of a dress was uploaded to Tumblr not too long ago, and the Internet collectively lost its mind debating whether the dress was white and gold or black and blue.

Some people think that color blindness has something to do with the different opinions on the dress, but the answer is simpler than that.

I’ve written about optical illusions in the past, and this photo is another prime example. As for why people are seeing two different sets of colors, it’s all about visual context and how we interpret contrasting colors.

The photo is saturated with sunlight, which skews the color of the dress. But for some people, when their eye color-corrects to determine what they’re looking at, they discount the blue in the photo, and end up seeing white and gold. Other people discount the gold in the photo, and see blue and black.

(This was also one of those cases where actually tilting your laptop screen could significantly change how the colors looked, since changing the angle of your screen altered how the image interacts with whatever light sources are nearby.)

I’ll give you another example. Check out this image from Gizmodo:

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These green and blue spirals, contrasted against the pink and orange, appear to be different colors, but they are actually the exact same color. Our eyes are fooled into seeing them as different shades by the alternating stripes around them. (The “green” have orange contrast while the “blue” have pink.)

The differing interpretations of The Dress operate under the same principle.

Oh, and for the record, here’s the dress without the sunlight skewing the color scheme, as seen on Ellen DeGeneres’s show:

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So which camp were you in, fellow puzzlers? White and gold or black and blue?

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It’s Follow-Up Friday: ABCs and Butterflies edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

For those new to PuzzleNation Blog, Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and update the PuzzleNation audience on how these projects are doing and what these people have been up to in the meantime.

And today I’d like to talk about patterns.

One of the key puzzly skills a solver should have is an ability to spot patterns. Whether it’s determining a pattern in a series of numbers or spotting irregularities in a pattern that are significant, this level of observation serves puzzlers well in all kinds of solving experiences, from word searches to Match-Up-style art puzzles.

The innate human ability to find patterns in nature has led to numerous scientific discoveries over the years, but it has also led to some wonderful artistic and visual discoveries as well. From shells that adhere to a Fibonacci sequence to patterns in flower petals, patterns (and our ability to uncover them) are everywhere.

Artist and photographer Kjell Bloch Sandved has applied his puzzly attention to detail to photographing moths and butterflies, and he’s developed his own patterns: alphabets hidden in wings.

These patterns come from dozens of different photos, and Sandved has not only created several butterfly alphabets, but he sells custom prints spelling out names and messages in butterfly letters.

Once again, puzzly skills reveal not just brilliance, but beauty in the world as well.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out our library of PuzzleNation apps and games!