Canadian landscape photographer David Wilder has a type of colorblindness that makes it difficult to tell certain colors apart. He recently got his hands on a pair of special glasses designed for colorblind people, and he shot this 7-minute video that captured his reaction to seeing in full color for the first time in his life.
It all began back in January 2019 when Wilder wrote an article over at Fstoppers about what it’s like to work as a colorblind photographer.
Of the three main types of colorblindness (Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and Tritanopia), Wilder’s Deuteranopia is a red-green colorblindness in which his eyes are insensitive to green and too sensitive to yellows, oranges, and reds. As a result, some colors (greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and browns) look the same while others (blues/purples and pinks/grays) are difficult to tell apart.
After his article was published, Wilder was contacted by EnChroma, a well-known company that produces color blind correction glasses. EnChroma sent Wilder two pairs of glasses (which cost around $270 to $430 each), and Wilder waited until going on a photography trip to Iceland before trying them for the first time.
When a fiery sunset filled the sky with vibrant colors, Wilder pulled out the glasses and put them on. The video above is what happened next.
“Instantly, I was at a loss for words, frozen in place at what I was seeing,” Wilder writes at Fstoppers. “Right away, I saw the orange hues explode across the sky, then I started to see the rich pink that I had never seen before. Finally, I turned around and saw the deep purple and soft pink in the opposite side of the sky.
“I couldn’t help but think that this wasn’t real. I felt like there was no way I had been missing this much color all my life.”
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We had been up all night shooting aurora when we saw the glow on the horizon start. @rachel_jones_ross and I watched as the sun began to set the clouds ablaze. Rachel turned to me and asked “is it time to try the glasses?” I was nervous to put them on, I didn’t know what would happen next. With one big breath I slipped them on and opened my eyes. The sunrise was alive with more vivid colour than I had ever imagined. I’ve spent the last 15 years chasing perfect light and never knew what perfect colour was until this moment. My life has been changed and I can not say thank you enough to @enchroma for allowing me to see colours I’ve never seen before. Take a look at my highlights on my feed to see the entire moment… make sure the Kleenex is close by. 😂😭… thank you Rachel for being there to encourage me and record the moment. You are amazing!
“Let’s just say the glasses became really foggy from extra moisture in the air, or maybe it was from my eyes,” Wilder writes. “I can’t remember.”