From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Color (or colour) photography is photography that uses media capable of reproducing colors. By contrast, black-and-white (monochrome) photography records only a single channel of luminance (brightness) and uses media capable only of showing shades of gray.
In color photography, electronic sensors or light-sensitive chemicals record color information at the time of exposure. This is usually done by analyzing the spectrum of colors into three channels of information, one dominated by red, another by green and the third by blue, in imitation of the way the normal human eye senses color. The recorded information is then used to reproduce the original colors by mixing various proportions of red, green and blue light (RGB color, used by video displays, digital projectors and some historical photographic processes), or by using dyes or pigments to remove various proportions of the red, green and blue which are present in white light (CMY color, used for prints on paper and transparencies on film).
Monochrome images which have been “colorized” by tinting selected areas by hand or mechanically or with the aid of a computer are “colored photographs,” not “color photographs.” Their colors are not dependent on the actual colors of the objects photographed and may be very inaccurate or completely arbitrary.
The foundation of virtually all practical color processes, the three-color method was first suggested in a 1855 paper by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, with the first color photograph produced by Thomas Sutton for a Maxwell lecture in 1861. Color photography has been the dominant form of photography since the 1970s, with monochrome photography mostly relegated to niche markets such as art photography.