|Originally posted by R Harkness
ADJUSTING COLOR LEVEL:
As I understand it, our eyes see more detail in black and white images. Perhaps this is part of the explanation why desaturating the color tends to make it look a little sharper. Try it and see if it has this effect for you.
(Note: You will want to read the actual page! Tons of great info on how our eyes perceive color.)
The retina contains two types of photoreceptors, rods and cones. The rods are more numerous, some 120 million, and are more sensitive than the cones. However, they are not sensitive to color. The 6 to 7 million cones provide the eye's color sensitivity and they are much more concentrated in the central yellow spot known as the macula. In the center of that region is the " fovea centralis ", a 0.3 mm diameter rod-free area with very thin, densely packed cones.
The experimental evidence suggests that among the cones there are three different types of color reception. Response curves for the three types of cones have been determined. Since the perception of color depends on the firing of these three types of nerve cells, it follows that visible color can be mapped in terms of three numbers called tristimulus values. Color perception has been successfully modeled in terms of tristimulus values and mapped on the CIE chromaticity diagram.