Thursday 20 March 2014

Project Scope

Let's take a step back

Now that I have a few postings under my belt I thought it might be a good idea to clarify the scope of this blog.  Obviously it is about birding, identification of birds and photography.  To narrow it down for you here is an illustration showing the typical pathways involved in identifying a bird.  I have highlighted in blue those elements which are of particular interest to me and which I will be exploring with this blog.  Specifically it includes the ID of birds from photos and related aspects of the analysis process.

If you have read a couple of my postings hopefully you will have by now grasped what I am trying to do here and how I am going about the process.  The Image Quality Tool is certainly a key focus and reason for setting up the blog but I am also interested in delving into a range of other aspects of bird ID from photographs.  The approach I have been taking is to bite off small pieces of the puzzle (if you will excuse the mixed metaphor).   I then further deconstruct each piece hoping to distill some practical and useful lessons which I will form part of an overall manual for logically and systematically approaching this broad subject. 

The image quality tool is a good example of how I am approaching this project.  The identification of a bird from a photograph is dependent on a range of variables, one of them being the quality of the image.  I have deconstructed quality into a number of parameters.  I have discounted those which I felt were too technical or impractical for most birders and rarities committees to find useful.  But, being anxious at the same time to include those parameters which have the greatest impact on our ability to successfully identify a bird from a photograph.  So I ended up with 5 broad parameters, namely image resolution, focus, exposure, colour and artefacts. 

At the moment I am not working to any grand plan here.  I am simply researching areas that interest me, taking and deconstructing pieces of the puzzle and putting up my findings on the blog. 
You will note that I have set up a number of pages to gather together the postings in some sort of order.  As the blog develops I will put a bit more time and effort into these pages and these will hopefully start to take some shape and begin to look like a manual in due course.  As stated in my introduction page, I hope that all this effort will yield a single document at the end of the day, a Standard Approach to Identifying Birds from Photographs perhaps.   

If at any point you wish to make contact, correct any errors or recommend some direction or other for my research please do not hesitate to drop me a line.  Thanks again to those who have taken the time to visit the blog and get involved. 

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