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Color Fatigue

Color Fatigue
Some colors have actually been proven to have a negative effect on the human psyche. Although yellow is the most visible of all colors and the first color the eye notices (yellow road signs with black text), bright yellow is the most fatiguing color of all. More light is reflected by bright colors, causing the eye to work harder, thus, actually becoming an eye irritant. Research has shown that babies cry more in yellow rooms and couples fight more in yellow kitchens.

Bright red, while great for highlighting words and getting attention can also be irritating. Of the 250,000 cones in your eye that decode colors, 83,000 are needed to decode the color red. Looking at red too long or in any great volume causes your eyes to work to hard. Use red sparingly to command attention and avoid using red text too much in documents.

Regardless of the bright colors you use, use them sparingly. Bright colors are known for causing eye fatigue that can translate into headaches, general fatigue and overall discomfort. Try using more pale variations of the same colors. If contrasted properly, they may help you achieve your desired effect. You donít want to be wearing a gray, brown or green sunglass when target shooting.

Shooting Colors
The reason Iíve brought this to your attention is so you become more aware of what you should use and buy in shooting glasses. Many shooters have complained of their eyes feeling tense or tired after a day of shooting. It didnít happen after shooting, it happened during shooting. And it also probably affected their scores. Two colors to stay away from in general shooting on bright days are yellow and red, sometimes called vermilion. And I must also state that no two yellow, orange, red, purple or tan shooting glasses are alike. Each manufacturer uses different dyes, and coatings to achieve their desired affect. So, even thought you can look through two different pair of purple shooting glasses, the end affect can be different. It is more likely to happen if you buy some colored glasses that are made by someone who doesnít cater to the shooting industry. Most shooting industry lens manufacturers use special dyes and coatings to achieve their desired affect. But even in the shooting industry there is quite a bit of difference from one manufacturers purple or other shooting color shooting lens to anotherís or one orange shooting lens to another manufacturers. The most important thing to do is to try looking through the colored lenses your interested in buying before you do purchase them. Make sure they really do what youíre looking for in a shooting glass. Iíve seen some orange colored lenses make the orange colored targets bright orange and another manufacturers orange lens make it white. Not all same color lenses are alike. Make sure you know what a particular lens color does for you before buying it. Itís highly recommended you buy your shooting lens from a shooting industry supplier. Your regular optician can make great regular lenses for driving and reading, but they donít have the special dyes and coatings to achieve what youíre really looking for.

Recently, I had a student who was wearing dark brown sunglasses and when I suggested he get different glasses that would help him see targets better, he wanted to look through mine. He was amazed at what my Opti-Glow shooting glasses did to targets and backgrounds. He wanted to have his local optician make some lenses for him. I suggested he use a shooting sports lens supplier, but he wanted to have his optician do it. I gave him an old scratched lens for his optician to match. Well, his optician matched the color al right, but it didnít have the desired affect on targets and backgrounds.

Color Applications And Uses
Never wear yellow lenses on bright sunny days. Itís like standing on a snowfield on a sunny day; youíll be putting to much sunlight into your eyes. Youíll end up feeling like you have sand in your eyes because youíll be creating a condition very similar to snow blindness. The other color to avoid on bright sunny days is red. Some firms call it vermilion, but be very careful if you decide to use such a lens color. It can cause your eyes to tire very easily and cause eye tension. That creates lost targets. It really irks me to see so many shooting equipment ads showing someone shooting wearing yellow glasses in bright sunshine. The yellow lenses should only be worn on dim or dark days with a heavy overcast where the light is flat. They are also great when shooting indoors or driving at night.

The Colors
The following should only be used as a guide for determining that proper color for the shooting conditions you encounter the most. Be sure the colors do the job you want them to, especially if youíre ordering from a company that does not cater to the shooting industry. The best insurance is to view the target and background colors through the colored lenses before you buy them or have a prescription made.

Purple Makes the background colors blue sky and green vegetation darker while making the orange target colors go neon, or very bright. The best bright sunlight color for target shooting since it enhances the contrast of the scene. It also gives you more definition and color separation in the browns and grays, which enables you to see game birds easier and quicker when hunting.

Rose First developed by Uvex for ski glasses and also called Psycho, this color is similar to purple but gives you the maximum contrast, more so than any other shooting color.

Orange Is best used on dark or cloudy days as it enhances contrast

Opti-Glow, Desert Glow Different Manufacturers, different names; it tends to be a hot pink, or Fuchsia color. It performs very much like a purple lens yet it has the light gathering power of a yellow or gold lens. Itís an ideal lens to wear when shooting in heavy timber where you have bright sunlight and heavy shadow conditions intermingled. It also works well in bright sunlight and doesnít have a negative affect like the yellow lens.

Yellow & Gold Allows more light to enter the eye and is best used on dark and cloudy or flat light days. Itís also ideal when shooting rifle or pistol indoors.

Tints You can get any of the colors in different density of color. The lighter the color, the more light that is allowed to enter the eye and the less contrast that the lens gives.

Author:
Jerry Sinkovec
photojournalistjerry@juno.com