Yesterday I asked about the strange Internet phenomenon of the dress which people very strongly perceive as either white and gold or blue and black. Here is the original:
There are many theories about why people's perception is so divided, but none of the explanations are really satisfying to me — I understand about white balance, but usually most people seeing a daylit photo incorrectly set to tungsten respond with "what's that weird blue tint everywhere? some kinda instagram filter". Here, though, to some people, the perception is so strong that even the idea of a blue tint is sometimes discounted.
This is fascinating to me as a photographer, and it seems like it should be fascinating to a lot of us, especially because we obsess so much about color calibration and getting colors to be accurate — yet here, the same image, seen by people from the same culture in the same conditions on the screen, clearly is perceived differently.
Rather than speculate on more theories, though, what I want to know is: How can I make a photograph of a different subject which exhibits this very strong binary response? Not something where everyone looks and thinks, I don't know, either way depending on the lighting, nor something where just about everyone is fooled by a consistent optical illusion (like the Rubik's cube color illusion), but a photograph where people will instantly be very passionate about two different perceptions.
None of the various explanations I've seen — even those which include diagrams — are meaningfully generalizable to a real solution. The proof is in the pudding — if an explanation is correct, it will be easy to use it to create a different photograph with the same effect. But I haven't seen one yet.
I don't care how complicated a setup is required... with an originally blue/black object or white/gold, or with gelled lights, or whatever — just, reproduce the effect in another scene. It'd be most interesting to see the effect in a high quality image taken with fancy gear, but if a low-quality cellphone is intrinsically required and you can do it with that, that'd be interesting to see too. And I don't want just examples... I want to know how I can reliably recreate the same effect.
By doing that, we should be able to identify what elements are really essential to the effect — and maybe make use of it in other aspects of photography!