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In most of the photos and film I have of this suit, the belt usualy looked a little different color than the suit, more purple also on the photos from February 1972. But in the same photos from February 72 the suit is also looking more purple than blue. I think this is mainly the stage lights on Hilton as most if not all the photos from later 72 the suit looks blue, stil the belt is a little purple in most photos. I think the January 1972 try out photo the suit is blue because it is more light than on the Hilton stage. I think the suit was blue from the start, I don`t know if the cleaning storry is true, but when I was at Graceland the suit was purple but not exactly the same purple as the belt. But Jumpsuit man you have a point because I have two photos from Graceland taken only seconds apart with two different cameraes and the color on these photos are different, I uploaded them abow.
Jumpsuit Junkie, this suit is not under florescent lights at Graceland. They are under very dim spotlights, but read on...
I really think what we are disagreeing about is mostly semantics. I would say it is NOT the "purple" that comes to mind when you hear the word "purple", nor is it the "lapis blue" it appears to be in most photos and you see impersonators wear. I think it is dead in between the two. Think of a dark grape. If a color is half way between blue and purple, what would you call it? Blue or purple? You would probably get disagreement like we have here. In bright lights it looks more blue because the red hues are washed away, but in dim lights (Graceland), the reds remain in view, showing the "purply" look. I personally think it's a GREAT color. And the color of the belt rides along, blending with the suit whatever the light.
But what the disagreement comes down to is the question of has the color changed? Most seem to say yes, I say no. I honestly believe if you pulled the suit off the mannequin and put it on stage with stage lighting and took pictures, it would look just like it does in all the photos we have. Unfortunately, this is something that will never be proven.
I submit into evidence the universal color wheel.
Notice the "BLUE" that everyone thinks the suit is is at the far left of the color red. That color can only be when the red influence is removed. The suit as it appears now is without question to the right of blue, toward red, somewhere in the violet/blue or violet range which means that absolutely 100% that there is red in the color of the fabric. We should all be able to agree on that as a scientific fact. Like I said before, the only way to get purple out of blue is if the color red is present. Read my second paragraph again and it makes perfect sense.
The suit really acts like a chameleon, changing it's appearance under different lighting. The last time this suit was under enough bright light to wash away the red hues (which bright lights are known to do) was when it was being worn by Elvis, so the "fade theory" really doesn't hold much water. In fact, the color red fades away more quickly than blue does in nature. The suit has always appeared to be on the purple side at Graceland because the dim lights allow the red hues to be seen.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-13-2011 at 07:48 PM.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-13-2011 at 07:41 PM.
i am a freelance cameraman (film) and colour spectrum is something i have to understand with a great deal of detail and precision as one poor prop or costuming decision could cause me no end of troubles and everything the jumpsuit man said about this colour spectrum/ science is correct it is clear when more of the red is visible in the material otherwise you simply wouldnt get such variation on the colour
"I Just Want Them To Get The Best I Had" Elvis Presley
Hmmm, but noone said they used different camera's, so are we saying different camera's let in different light, because from my perspective the lighting In Graceland should remain the same shouldn't it? So in effect we could be talking different camera's give different colours!
It could have been that they were different cameras, or the difference could have been exactly where he was standing in relation to the light when he took the pictures. I have have even taken consecutive pictures with the same camera and gotten two different looking colors at times, haven't you? But it's not just the volume of light, it's how much of the red spectrum reaches the lens. If you want to try an experiment, take your digital camera and focus on something purple, then move the camera around in relation to the light source. You will see the color in the LCD screen shift to different shades.
One thing I noticed is that you can see more reflection of the plexiglass case in the picture on the right. That could have had something to do with how much red came through. But the point is not that two cameras took two different looking pictures, but that he amount of red that is translated is a variable.
And you see this much variation in very poor light! Imagine amplifying that principle by a HUGE factor. Add bright lights and to the camera, you have washed away almost all the red undertones getting the color you see in pictures. The remaining blue tones overpower the weaker reds. But in low light, the suit shows more purple or eggplant or grape, or whatever you want to call it. The red tones do exist, that should be clear, and unless they dyed the suit red after it was blue, they were always there.
The true color of this suit teeters at such a point on the color spectrum that it doesn't take much variation one way or another to change the way the color looks, especially on camera. There are plenty of pictures of Elvis on stage where the suit looks much darker and more purply than others. Watch the performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water on the movie "Elvis on Tour" and you see the suit looks much much darker, with even a fleeting hint of purple now and then, especially starting about half way through the performance. BUT at the last beat when they bring up the lights, look at how dramatically and instantly the color changes from deep dark blue to bright lapis blue.
And during "American Trilogy" you can definitely at times see the red tones in the suit, possibly because the gels compensated for the red washout. Just look at Elvis' skin tones with bright lights vs. low lights. Do you think he really looked pale white like under the bright spots? Or more natural like under the low lights?
Even during "Funny How Time Slips Away" when they bring the halogen house lights up you can see the suit is much much darker than the lapis blue people think it is. But the white spot still washes out most of the red.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-14-2011 at 07:29 AM.
Check out the pictures of the "white/silver phoenix", it looks like it's the same "phenomenon" with that suit.
I have been intrested in Elvis concerts and stage wear since 1985, and the last five-six years I have learnd so much more thanks to people like you (and others) writing their knowledge here and in other forums. I also know now that there is always more to learn about Elvis we will never know everything no mather how many books we read. Thank you all of you
Have a look at this pic from the website www.elvisnow.com... You said you wanted to know why it never looks blue at Graceland... Well here you go. It looks in this photo just like it did in the songs I mentioned in "Elvis on Tour".
But I am about to take my proof yet one step further...
In color theory, there are three concepts or variables that can affect the way a color appears, "colorfulness", "Chroma" and "Saturation". I am focusing on "Saturation", which is described as "a combination of light intensity and how much it is distributed across the spectrum of different wavelengths". Saturation is also described as "the truest version of that color." But first, let me remind you that we are stricltly analyzing the appearance of the color of this suit as photographed. I say this to emphasize that the color indeed looks bright lapis blue, but only in photos and on film under the conditions I have mentioned.
My argument from the beginning has been that the Owl suit appears bright lapis blue on film because of the washout of the red part of the color spectrum due to stage light intensity, or the inability for a camera to capture the proper balance of red hues under certain lighting conditions. (already a well-known fact in photography when shooting subjects between blue and red in the light spectrum by the way)
I have adjusted the color saturation of this picture to emphasize the true nature of the color as it appears in the photograph...
The computer's command in adjusting saturation was to extrapolate a more intense variation of the color targeted.
In the next picture, I have added brightness to simulate the effect of intense white lighting and on the subject... Starting to look familiar?
I super-saturated the last picture to show clear proof that nobody has changed the actual color value across the board because the belt still appears to be "purple", just a more intense purple. All of this shows how a suit that we all know is eggplant in color can be photographed as bright blue under intense lighting conditions.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-16-2011 at 08:48 AM.
Theory looks interesting and it may well indeed explain a part of the different colors.
But look what does saturation it to the creme white boots? We do know they were not orange like.
Also the belt still remains a purple color. There is a color difference between suit and belt. But on stage photos it is still a lot less then on the saturated photos.
Therefore the theory does explain some part of the different colors but still isn't the whole story.
In the main picture that simulates stage lights the boots show as off white, which they really are... Compare to the photo in the All access booklet and they are comparable.
Only in the extreme saturation pic do they show as yellow or orange. But I was only using that picture to show that the overall color was not changed before I copied the picture. The proof is the fact that the belt is still purple! The point I was trying to make was that if this photo was ever changed to make the suit look blue on purpose, both the suit and the belt would be blue... Therefore the fact that the belt still looks purple makes my point!
You missed the point of that picture. If I or the one who originally posted this picture on elvisnow.com wanted to change it to make it look blue, it would look something like this...
Notice how both the suit and belt now look blue! Now if the suit really looked like this, everybody could sleep at night. This is what I was proving that I did NOT do... which is remove red from the picture through a photo program and make it look blue. The blue was already there!
The whole point is to demonstrate that the eggplant colored Owl suit was photographed at Graceland and actually did show up as blue in a picture even under terrible lighting conditions. The picture was blue before I touched it. All I did was try to simulate some of the conditions under which it was photographed when on stage and in brightly lit rooms to prove that you can achieve the shade of blue everybody seems to think it was.
As for the "whole story", it will never be proven to the naysayers because this suit will never again be photographed under even close to the same lighting conditions as it was in the past. This simulation is as good as it gets and it proves that this suit does indeed at times photograph as BLUE in pictures.
There is a saying, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Some people are so used to believing that this suit was bright blue that they are not comfortable with the fact that it was this eggplant color all along, even though I have proven it beyond REASONABLE doubt. There is nothing that will ever convince such people.
The suit is eggplant deep blue/purple and always was.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-16-2011 at 06:20 PM.
Yes, I am unrelenting!
I have actually found material at the store identical to the color of the Owl suit as it appears at Graceland. It is a deep eggplant purple. I was going through my camera settings and found a white balance setting that simulates tungsten lighting. Tungsten filaments would have been used in the spots on stage when Elvis was wearing the suit! Tungsten is also used in halogen lighting used in industrial settings like the backstage footage of Elvis in the owl suit. Tungsten is also the same filaments used in old-style house light bulbs. This explains it all...
The first picture was taken using the daylight setting and it shows the purple color, though a little different than it is in real life. The second shows the same exact piece of cloth taken using the tungsten light setting. There you have it.... Royal blue!
To get the results they got back then you have to go back to the conditions under which the pictures were taken and there you have it! Anybody still doubt?
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-16-2011 at 11:13 PM.
Can I have a piece of that fabric to experiment myself too?
Even though I sometimes have a stubborn opinion I am always open for good reasoning and experiments.
Absolutely. Email me your address and I will send that and a piece of the wool we were discussing.
Think about the conditions... All of the pictures and filming was done indoors at night with 100% high powered tungsten lighting... Absolutely no daylight, moonlight, florescent light or candle light...
But remember, to accurately reproduce the conditions, you will either have to make sure there are no automatic white balance compensations on a digital camera that counteract the effects the tungsten lights have on the pictures. I did this by setting the white balance to the "tungsten" setting... Or you would need to use an old style film camera with 100% tungsten light source in absolute darkness.
Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 07-17-2011 at 08:04 AM.
Here is a question that was posed to me just today. See if anybody can help for once and put this issue to beddyby. There was a cape with the original jumpsuit, Pictures of Elvis were taken in his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton cir. 1971/2. In fact he wore the cape in the movie Elvis On Tour in the Greensboro, NC concert. Since 1985 when I first went to Graceland, I have never seen the cape displayed, where is it now? I am sure that if you were to look at it, it perhaps would be the true color, as I can't see anyone dry cleaning the cape, the jumpsuit - yes, the cape - no. If Graceland doesn't have the cape, did Elvis throw it to the crowd in Sacramento, California the last time he wore the suit on stage? Please advise on this.
The cape is long gone. Otherwise, it would be on display just like all the other similar suits.
Hey the forum works again.
I have found another suggestion that the suit was more blue in the past.
Look at the Graceland guidebook 2002 (red cover) version on page 73.
I have scanned the photo and left the other suits around it for color reference.
If you look closely at the end of the sleeve, you can see an obvious BLUE lining inside the sleeve.
This suggests that the color was more blue in the past.
But it also shows that the jumpsuitman has a sure point in the way that the amount of light affects the color. The color of the suit changes slightly over the suit. And this could very well be an effect of the amount of light.
Last edited by merry77; 07-31-2011 at 06:49 AM.
Did I already respond to this? It seems like a lot of posts are missing...??? Anyway, the sleeve liner is a completely different kind of material. In trying to match up the eggplant, blue is all I could find even remotely close in a stretch satin. I suspect the same thing happened back then.