DG Jones. Manarola, The Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.
01-Aug-2012. 03-Sep-2012. http://flic.kr/p/d1dCNN
It is showing up everywhere!
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, "Fifty Shades of Grey," along with its sequels, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed," reached the 20 million book sales mark this July in the United States, "making it one of the fastest selling book series in recent memory."
True Color = Higher Performance
'50 shades' seems to be enough appearance of variation to have caused a heat wave to undulate through women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond, as E.L. James weaves a tale of erotic romance between college student Anastasia and a businessman named Grey.
However, if performance was rated from the lessons learned in both photography and photo scanning those ‘50 shades’ are the mere minimal representation of what it takes to represent and depict reality! By any normal measure, acquiring an image at such a modest color depth would render at best a standard image quality that if enlarged much beyond its original dimensions would begin to show an unattractive appearance.
While our ‘mind’s eye’ may not need an extended depth to comprise a good story image, adept photographers and photo scanning practitioners understand the depth, or number of bits captured through proper technique determines how many discrete items can be represented. The result is higher performance and a more photorealistic image.
An Expert Explains Bit Depth
Sean McHugh is the author of the website Cambridge in Colour. Cambridge in Colour is an online learning environment where photographers can come to improve their skills. On any given day, over 20,000 different people are learning about photography and contributing in the forums community.
On his website, Sean explains bit depth this way; “Bit depth quantifies how many unique colors are available in an image's color palette in terms of the number of 0's and 1's, or "bits," which are used to specify each color. This does not mean that the image necessarily uses all of these colors, but that it can instead specify colors with that level of precision. For a grayscale image, the bit depth quantifies how many unique shades are available.”
Color "depth" is defined by the number of bits per pixel that can be displayed on a computer screen. Data is stored in bits. The more bits per pixel, the more colors that can be displayed.
Color pixels are created through a combination of three primary colors. These colors; red, green and blue each have a ‘color channel’ that can have a range of intensity specified by its bit depth.
RGB images are derived from the 3 primary colors of red, green and blue. In 24-bit RGB color, each red, green and blue component is 8 bits long and has 256 variations in intensity. These variations are represented in a scale of values ranging from 0 to 255 with 0 having the least intensity and 255 having the greatest. When the 3 components are combined there are 256 x 256 x 256 possible combinations or 16,777,216 possible colors.
Examples of color depth are shown in the following table:
1 bit color
4 bit color
8 bit color
24 bit color
|No. of Colors|
Visualizing Bit Depth
The human eye can discern up to about 10 million different colors. This is 200,000 times greater than the '50 shades' currently getting those tens of millions of readers aroused. Understanding and paying attention to bit depth is a sure fire way of getting true color and best images out of your scanned photographs or born digital pictures. And...who knows what story they may free from restraint to share with those who eagerly await!
Example of 1, 4, 8 & 16 bit grayscale
|John Paul Caponigro. Benefits of Editing in 16 Bit Mode. 11-Sep-2011. 03-Sep-2012. http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/6740/benefits-of-editing-images-in-16-bit-mode/|
Example of 24, 8 & 4 bit color
|Levis. Color depth. Unknown date. 03-Sep-2012.|