Filtering the Light

Our Sun: A Continuous Spectrum Source

Our sun radiates “white” light, which is a continuous spectrum of all the visible wavelengths that are produced by the elements burning on the sun’s surface. As these wavelengths are separated out by absorption and reflection, we see them as color. The shortest visible wavelengths appear as violet, the longest as red, and all other colors fall somewhere in between these boundaries. In total, the human eye detects only a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the slice known as the visual spectrum. Just beyond the blue-violet end of the visual spectrum lie the ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths that are too short to be seen by the human eye. In the other direction, just past the visible ...

Get Exploring Color Photography Fifth Edition, 5th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.