LED from a TV screen.

Well that doesn’t seem so special

I will readily admit that this shot didn’t take much in the way of prowess. The criteria was basically “Have a macro lens and a TV”. Because of that, I want to hit you with a bit of information to wash this picture down, because we all use screens, and the way they work is pretty crazy.

Basically, each trio of red, green, and blue you see in that image is one pixel on your screen. Each colour has 256 levels of intensity, where 0 would mean it is off, and 255 would mean it is as bright as possible. Anyone who has dabbled in graphic or web design is probably familiar with RGB colour values, or Hex colour values. They are groupings of numbers that dictate the exact amount of intensity that should be outputted by each of the three channels in order to make that one pixel appear as the desired colour to the human eye. It fascinated me that every colour we see on our screens, every picture that Chuck and I have posted, boils down to being millions of different little blocks of the same three colours. No matter how vibrant or dull, it’s just varying intensities of red, green, and blue.

The “dull” aspect of that comment is one of the most interesting parts of all this, especially in relation to the image I posted. At that level of detail, I would say the image has a lot of vibrance to it in certain areas. Yet, when the red, blue, and green channels are all identical in their intensity, they actually end up outputting no colour at all! When every colour has no intensity, the result is black.  When you crank them to their full 255 intensity, the result is pure white. While some Twilight fanfiction authors would have you believe there are only 50 out there, every equal intensity level from 1 to 254 is a different shade of grey. This is why I love this concept so much. What looks colourful in my image actually ends up looking white and grey to the human eye! I got a colourful pattern from the bottom of the L in the Halo logo.


Oh so that's what's happening

Oh so that’s what’s happening

To show another example of the effect, I took a picture of the pixels making up the arm and car of my GTA V character (I tried doing it outside, but he got hit by a car. After getting excessive justice, I took him into his garage for the photoshoot.)


Another example, with my sweet ride.

Notice how the red and greens in the pixels have more intensity than the blue? Red at high intensity and Green at medium-high intensity combine to make orange.  A few dabbles of blue intensity here and there will help create a few different tones and shades to the orange.

Here is a better example to showcase the orange, I suggest clicking the top image to zoom in at it full size, as it really helps disorient and remove any semblance of colour or texture, aside from a series of colour pattern. The pixels are a bit smaller and also rectangular as this is my computer monitor, not my TV.

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Finally, I have an example from my Retina macbook. Note how the pixels are even smaller still.  This, the first computer monitor image, and the TV image were at the closest possible zoom I could get on my lens, however each one has increasingly smaller pixels, which allows for higher resolution on the display. A display I really need to clean.

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I noticed another interesting pixel style on my phone, in which the colour of the pixels are very green dominant, as instead of being blocks of red green and blue, they went green, red, green, blue, green, red, etc. That’s a similar pattern to how camera sensors capture imagery, and also the direction fancy new OLED screens tend to be going, as the human eye is generally more sensitive to green than any other colour. These are areas that I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge on off the top of my head, though, so I’ll probably have to research that a lot more and discuss it another time.

I got today’s shot with my 90mm Macro lens, shooting at a cool 1/125 of a second with an aperture of f5.6 and ISO 320.


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