One Word Photo Challenge: Eigengrau

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Eigengrau, (read: I’-Gen-growl, both g’s hard) is the color your brain sees in the absence of light.

Jenny has chosen a very esoteric color to end her color challenges.  Her final ‘color’ is the absence of color in the absence of light.  Those who understand these things explain that eigengrau is more of a dark grey than a true black, by the way.


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Also explained as ‘brain grey’ or  ‘dark light,’  this color describes what you might see upon opening your eyes in a dark room.

This is a new color term for me, and a fitting way for Jenny to close out this challenge.


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Don’t worry, Jennifer begins a new ‘One Word Photo Challenge’ next week using weather themes.  She starts us off with an easy one:  rain.


Colonial Williamsburg in late afternoon

Colonial Williamsburg in late afternoon


I am choosing to interpret eigengrau as the dark grey one sees when an object is seen in silhouette against a background of light, and the deep shadows where light cannot reach.  Although the Germans, who coined this color term, elaborated an entire cult to celebrate the very esoteric ‘Black Sun;’ I celebrate the life giving sun of visible light. 


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The photos I’ve chosen celebrate the light, which nourishes all life, while also showing us the shadows.

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Eigengrau


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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “One Word Photo Challenge: Eigengrau

  1. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Rain | Jennifer Nichole Wells

  2. I understand the physiology and experience it frequently (every time I close my eyes), but I didn’t know it had a name. Very interesting.

  3. I love your interpretation and needless to say had never hear of the term.

    • Thank you so much for that. It is interesting to learn new words, though. I have worried about meeting this color challenge since looking ahead a few weeks ago. Thank you for the kind words on my attempt 😉 Best wishes to you, WG

  4. Such wonderful illustration and explanation of the term. Your first image looks like a painting of a hidden space – a quiet refuge perhaps. Thank you for sharing.

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