Shooting Challenge: Green

Next week is St. Patrick's Day, which means the celebrations will be in full swing by the weekend. For this week's Shooting Challenge, let's embrace the most iconic part of the holiday: the green. » 3/11/15 12:20pm 3/11/15 12:20pm

Scientists Have Worked Out How Chameleons Change Color

The changing color of a chameleon's body is an impressive sight—but how it happens has long been a significant scientific question without a compelling answer. Now, researchers have identified a thin layer of deformable nanocyrstals in their skin which gives rise to the phenomenon. » 3/11/15 8:47am 3/11/15 8:47am

At Least We Got a New Optical Illusion Out of That Goddamn Dress

Never has the color of a dress prompted so much excitement on the Internet. But now, along with some fascinating insights into the science of vision and lessons in overexposure, we have an enduring reminder of the meme, in the shape of an optical illusion truly for the modern age.[XKCD] » 2/27/15 3:30am 2/27/15 3:30am

What Makes an Image Go Viral? Could Be as Simple as Color 

Never before in human history has it been so easy to share, like, pin, reblog, images. That's, like, totally awesome for teenage girls showing off their prom dresses but also a pretty huge boon for scientists studying what makes images shareable. And it could be something as simple as color. » 2/25/15 9:20am 2/25/15 9:20am

How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature's Most Dazzling Colors

What do a butterfly's shimmering wings, a fish's opalescent scales, and a peacock's brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand. » 2/19/15 2:00pm 2/19/15 2:00pm

Why Snow Is White Even Though Snowflakes Are Clear

When you look at pictures of individual snowflakes, the snowflakes are clear. So why is snow white and not clear? » 1/22/15 7:56am 1/22/15 7:56am

See how much color correction can change the feel of a movie

Here's a short video showing the before and after footage of a movie being color corrected by a colorist. It's dramatic to see the difference between the initial footage and the final official scenes. It's also fascinating to see the process and how certain things change slowly. » 1/06/15 9:52pm 1/06/15 9:52pm

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year Is Warm, Comforting Booze

Like a childhood mood ring you really wanted to believe in but always knew was hogwash, every year Pantone predicts our national mood by highlighting a single shade from its library. This year's choice—the company's 15th annual color of the year—all about "sophisticated, natural earthiness." Or maybe just wine, which… » 12/04/14 12:03pm 12/04/14 12:03pm

The first true color image of comet 67P taken by the Rosetta spacecraft

How a Simple Lick of Paint Can Transform Our Urban Environment

When artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn visited the favelas of Rio De Janeiro, they wondered how they could help the wider community. Turns out, the answer was a simple lick of paint. » 11/10/14 3:45am 11/10/14 3:45am

Watching Crayons Get Made Is Even More Fun Than Using Them

We're all kind of old. It's okay! Happens to everyone. And while our collective childlike wonder at the world has been gradually erased by the realities of Life, there are still a few simple things that wield the power to make us go "Ooooh." Crayons are kind of like that. » 9/04/14 2:31pm 9/04/14 2:31pm

Remembering the Designer Who Made Our Cities More Colorful

The graphic designer Deborah Sussman died at the age of 83 this week, leaving behind a technicolor legacy. She was perhaps most famous for designing the graphics and signage for the 1984 Summer Olympics, which transformed Los Angeles into a dazzling playground of magenta and teal. But Sussman also left her mark on… » 8/22/14 9:57am 8/22/14 9:57am

This Beetle Has a Thin Coating Whiter Than Anything Humans Can Make

This beetle looks like it's been given a lick with a paintbrush—but in fact, it's covered in paper-thin scales that are brilliant white, and reflect more light than anything of a similar thickness that can be made by humans. » 8/18/14 6:50am 8/18/14 6:50am

How Many Different Colors Can We See?

We all know that some people see the world in a limited palette of hues due to color blindness. But what's the largest number of colors that we can possibly see? » 8/13/14 6:30am 8/13/14 6:30am

Change Your Hair Color By Etching Nano-Patterns Into Each Strand

In a weirdly serious bit of hair research, engineers have figured out how to change hair color without an ounce of hair dye. The only catch? You need a focused ion beam. » 8/01/14 4:57pm 8/01/14 4:57pm

How Painters Used To Make Pigments With Poisons, Mummies, and Gems

When you walk into a museum you're likely not thinking about chemistry. Yet you probably ought to be. Before the industrial revolution brought us manufactured pigment, painters had to be great chemists—tinkering with rare, expensive, and sometimes downright poisonous chemicals to make colors. » 7/14/14 3:01pm 7/14/14 3:01pm

Stunning photos of windows transform New York City into a starship

Photographer Donna Dotan was shooting downwards out of a Manhattan apartment window when she noticed the beautiful symmetrical reflection. It inspired her to create this amazing series in which New York looks like an entirely different place—sometimes a starship, others the endless canyons of an alien megalopolis. » 7/03/14 4:30pm 7/03/14 4:30pm

These color pencils are actually a color drawing

This is not a photo of a box of color pencils. It's a digital drawing made from scratch in Photoshop. I wish the artist actually used color pencils to make it—because I love when things come full circle—but I'm equally impressed with his digital brush skills. Here are some screenshots of the process. » 4/09/14 6:59pm 4/09/14 6:59pm

Scientists Discover the Key to Making Paint That Never Fades

It seems like scientists are all about immortality these days. It's not just plants and people that are getting the treatment, though. A team of Harvard engineers are developing a way of producing color that could produce paint that never fades, and displays that never go dark. » 3/18/14 3:20pm 3/18/14 3:20pm

These Rainbow Clouds Made From Pigment in Water Are Stunning

The interaction of unexpected materials can really mess with your senses, whether through color or texture—or both. That's definitely the case with photographer Kim Keever's colorific photos of billowing pigment plumes. » 3/06/14 5:34pm 3/06/14 5:34pm