Happy spring break, everyone! Hope everyone is out having a blast & living it up in the sun while poor old Dr. Ben is stuck in the office. Just writing blogs and working on his taxes … sigh. Kidding. I love coming to work! I am a bit envious of all of my fantastic employees who are off having fun this week. You all travel safe and enjoy because GOODNESS KNOWS you’ve earned it! Also please don’t stay on whatever island you are visiting because I have no organizational skills and need you back!!
Anyhow … let’s continue talking about colors. I would like to address filters today and how they pertain to the fashionable sunglasses we all love. Our optical has received a ton of new sunglasses this week. Spy, Raen, Rayban & Toms glasses and sunglasses have been arriving at our eye clinic all week. Many great looks with UV protection and high quality optical lenses to prepare you for fun on the lake or golf course this summer. We all know that sunglasses relieve our eyes from the blinding light of midday … but how does this work?
Many of you have seen this beautiful photograph if you follow @bmeyecare on social media.
Photo credit to Mr. Rick Ulrich. Does this look better than the iPhone camera clicks you send to your friends when you are bored? Yes. Absolutely. Furthermore … does it look better than the moon looks through any telescope you have viewed the moon through? For me (and probably you) the answer is a resounding yes. Aside from pristine atmospheric/lighting conditions and a great magnification lens, what was done to enable this stunning portrait of our moon?
Light filters. Remember my potentially headache-inducing article about wavelength properties of light? Certain substances absorb and reflect various components of the visual spectrum and the result is human perception of color. In light filters, certain substances absorb, reflect or allow certain wavelengths of light to pass through the filter. Filters are typically made of gel, plastic or glass (or a combination thereof). Filters are seen commonly on high end cameras and in sunglasses. Ever wonder how your buddy put that chill sepia tone pic of the White River on Instagram?? He most likely snapped it filter free with his iPhone and then artificially applied a filter through the Instgram app after the fact.
Know that we know what filters do … how about that moon picture? Why is it so crisp and clean? Let’s think about what color the sky is. As we have mentioned in previous posts, the sky is blue due to the scattering of light above our heads. So if we wanted to view something celestial, such as the moon, we would need to look past a lot of blue light to see it clearly. Filters used on telescopes to view celestial bodies filter blue light and allow more red light to pass. This means that when you are looking at the moon, the image is not diluted with the blue light present in our atmosphere. The result is the clean, clear image of the moon as seen in the above photo.
This can be applied to sunglasses as well. Besides completing a killer outdoor outfit, sunglasses do many things to benefit those who wear them. One such thing is filtering light. This can provide increased contrast for fishing, hiking, driving etc. The concept is the same- if you want to see fish in the river waters around Northwest Arkansas then a filter that does not allow as much blue light to pass through the lens makes sense. I wrote a fairly extensive blog about this last month and you can revisit the article here.
One more article on colors to go! We will finally talk about what your dog sees. Look for that next week. In the meantime … enjoy the spring weather and time off. Make sure your eyes are protected from sun and you are getting your most out of your vision in the outdoors this season!