Posts tagged with "Melanin"

Captivating iris photography captures the unique galaxies within each of our eyes

June 18, 2024

We see the world through our eyes, but it turns out there’s a whole world to see within our eyes. Photographers like Mitchell Zeer—founder of Iris Photo—are lacing the spotlight on our mesmerizing orbs. Through macro photography, high-resolution images of our irises (the colored circle around our pupils) are transformed into otherworldly deserts and galaxies, reports My Modern Met.German e beginning to be used for identification and security purposes.

However, it is this distinctiveness that makes iris photography so intriguing. And unlike fingerprints, they are much more aesthetically engaging. In fact, each of our two irises is unique from the other as well.

We typically distinguish between eyes by color: brown, blue, hazel, grey or green. Yet the base of all irises is blue. The amount and type of melanin added to it determines which color the irises appear. A lot of eumelanin equals dark brown eyes, whereas just a slight hint of pheomelanin adds a yellow tint, causing green eyes.

These macro photos enhance the eye to such a degree that the colors seem to separate so you can see the blue and the melanin layered above it as two different colors. Zeer’s photographs also demonstrate that eyes of the same shade can look drastically different. The muscles and fibers of the iris create unique geographies that are then made more distinctive via the roughly 16 genes that determine melanin levels.

Despite seeming like a complicated task, photographing the eye and printing art prints takes only ten minutes at Iris Photo—a process that has been perfected since its inception.

Iris photography first became popular in Europe starting in 2012 when German photographer Felix Mayrl originated the process.

Zeer—who had studied photography and psychology—opened his business in 2019. “We believe that every pair of eyes tells a story, a narrative of depth and individuality waiting to be captured,” Iris Photo states. “Our passion lies in the artistry of preserving these tales, transforming them into stunning pieces of high-gloss artwork.”

Now, the Aussie company is opening franchises around the world with its first American outpost in Miami.

To keep up to date with new eye-catching additions, you can follow Iris Photo on Instagram.

Research contact: @mymodernmet

Eye opener: Only 2% of people possess this trait

March 3, 20

What does Britain’s Princess Kate have in common with Channing Tatum, Adele, Bruce Willis, and Fergie? They count themselves among the 2% of the world’s population with green eyes, according to the World Atlas.

Lots of traits are statistically rare—among them, left-handedness (just 10% of the population), curly hair (11%), and blond hair (4%), to name a few. But of the more than seven billion people on the planet, only 2% can claim to have this one special trait. (To put that in perspective, that’s 140 million people).

Human eye color is determined by two factors—the pigmentation of the iris and the way in which the iris scatters the light passing through it. Genes dictate how much of the biological pigment, melanin, will be present in the eye. The more melanin, the darker the eye.

The most common eye color worldwide, the World Atlas says, is brown—which 79% of us possess, in a variety of shades. After brown, 8%-10% of the world’s population has blue eyes. Five percent of us have amber or hazel eyes-and some sport shades that are even more unusual than green. (Think gray and red/violet—the latter of which is common to those with albinism.)

Research conducted by the University of Copenhagen in 2008 revealed that a genetic mutation that occurred about 10,000 years ago led to the blue eye and that a gene that prevents the production of melanin in the eye could be passed on genetically. Europe accounts for the largest percentage of people with blue eyes-and Finland (known for its blue-eye blonds) tops the list.

Finally, there is an extremely rare condition known as heterochromia (1% of the population), which describes a person with two different eye colors. Complete heterochromia  occurs when the two irises are colors. In partial heterochromia, or sectoral heterochromia, the iris of one eye exhibits two different colors.

Research contact: @worldatlast