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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 50, Iss. 28 — Oct. 1, 2011
  • pp: F112–F120

Color changes in objects in natural scenes as a function of observation distance and weather conditions

Javier Romero, Raúl Luzón-González, Juan L. Nieves, and Javier Hernández-Andrés  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 28, pp. F112-F120 (2011)

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We have analyzed the changes in the color of objects in natural scenes due to atmospheric scattering according to changes in the distance of observation. Hook-shaped curves were found in the chromaticity diagram when the object moved from zero distance to long distances, where the object chromaticity coordinates approached the color coordinates of the horizon. This trend is the result of the combined effect of attenuation in the direct light arriving to the observer from the object and the airlight added during its trajectory. Atmospheric scattering leads to a fall in the object’s visibility, which is measurable as a difference in color between the object and the background (taken here to be the horizon). Focusing on color difference instead of luminance difference could produce different visibility values depending on the color tolerance used. We assessed the cone-excitation ratio constancy for several objects at different distances. Affine relationships were obtained when an object’s cone excitations were represented both at zero distance and increasing distances. These results could help to explain color constancy in natural scenes for objects at different distances, a phenomenon that has been pointed out by different authors.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.7295) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Visibility and imaging
(010.1690) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Color

Original Manuscript: May 18, 2011
Revised Manuscript: September 14, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: September 14, 2011
Published: September 26, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Javier Romero, Raúl Luzón-González, Juan L. Nieves, and Javier Hernández-Andrés, "Color changes in objects in natural scenes as a function of observation distance and weather conditions," Appl. Opt. 50, F112-F120 (2011)

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