Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard about The Dress drama that has taken the Internet by storm. A Tumblr post that went viral is causing a great opinion divide on the actual color of a dress that was photographed. Some who viewed the picture are adamant the dress is white with gold lace, and others clearly see a blue dress with black lace.
So, here’s the thing: When I first saw the photo, the dress was obviously white and gold. No way was that dress black and blue. But I was shocked to find that, no, the dress is blue and black—it doesn’t even come in white and gold.
I found a photo of the dress on a model on the manufacturer's website, Roman Originals. It depicts a model wearing the deep-blue and black dress. The photo is high quality and was shot with perfect exposure and beautiful lighting. I compared it with the Tumblr photo to see if my brain would switch sides, and sure enough, it did.
As a photographer, my brain immediately went into camera mode to determine why the photo is causing such a stir.
The answer? The cell phone shot posted on Tumblr was overexposed.
Exposure is the amount of light that reaches an image in a photograph. When a photo is underexposed, it results in a loss of detail. But when a photo is overexposed, its highlights of an image are washed out.
The main reason the black lace appears gold to some people is because the image is incredibly overexposed, making it appear matted and not at all the deep, black color that it actually is. The reason the blue looks white is also due to overexposure, causing it to look powder-blue at best.
Take another look at the photo. Try not to envision a deep-blue and dark black dress. Instead, try to understand that this is a washed-out photo. So, while in person it is in fact dark-blue and black, the exposure takes away all of the darkness and shadow and makes it look a lot lighter and less saturated.
What do you see?