Light vs. Dark: How We Interpret What We See

Much of what we see is the result of complex processes happening in our brains. I had a discussion online yesterday with someone who thought that projectors might be used to darken a screen down by projecting black at it. The reality is that projectors are instruments of light. They can make things brighter, but not darker. For many people, this raises the question: How, then, do projectors show things that are black on a white screen?

The video that follows is an exploration of that question.

This is a short video that examines how our brains examine light and dark in compositions.

The full transcript of the subtitles is available at
This image is included in the video as a part of the discussion of what is white or black when dealing with projections.
This checkerboard shadow illusion is a part of the discussion in the video above.
  • Author Spotlight

    Matt Kizer

    Matt Kizer lives with his wife and son in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He is the resident scenic and lighting designer for Plymouth State University, where he has been the head of the design and technology program since 1996. He designs for theate and dance companies, tours, and colleges in many parts of the Unites States. He serves as a regular designer for Auburn University in Alabama. He served as faculty lighting designer for Operafestival Di Roma in Italy, where he designed lighting for L’elisir di amore and The Magic Flute, both produced with the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’ International Chamber Ensemble at Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza in central Rome. He has designed for dance and movement in Potsdam, Germany at T-Werk in Schiffbauergasse with A-Fortiorni.He holds a BA in Theatre from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Design from The Ohio State University. He serves on the International Activities Committee for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. His work has been included in the The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space as a part of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's representation of work from the United States. Read Full