RGB (2016) – Background

Have a look at this: (255, 0 0), (0, 255, 0), (0, 0, 255). Do you like it? Too bright? Too saturated?

Humans are astonishingly good at interpreting data in certain forms, say a photograph, but achingly bad at data in other forms, say a list of numbers.

For this project I took photographs and converted each pixel into its numeric equivalent. That’s the (255, 0 0), (0, 255, 0), (0, 0, 255). A pure red pixel, a pure green pixel, and a pure blue pixel. RGB. I taught myself to program in Python and then wrote the code myself. And then I printed out all these triplets, printing each in the color that it represents. So a black would be (0,0,0) printed in black. A pink might be (255, 200, 200), printed in just that shade of pink (a sort of salmon color, actually). The exact same data as the image, nothing is lost. And you can go backwards, too. Just take those numbers and draw a pixel of that color for each one. Voilà, the image reappears, pixel for pixel perfect.

You might consider this a way to hide photographs, preserve images. Or display images in plain sight that you’d never want anyone to see. Humans suck at numbers, even if the numbers are a photograph.

Back to RGB (Images)