Saturday 28 February 2015

Field Marks - White Balance Test

In The Bold And The Bland I explored the distinction between two classes of field marks.  Bold field marks are characterised by rich, saturated colours and/or uniform, contrasting and clearly defined markings.  Bland field marks have the opposite characteristics including desaturated and or very bright or dark colours, and/or diffuse, low contrast and ill-defined markings.  A field exposure test confirmed these characteristics (as repeated below).

I have taken these images and applied a cold white balance error to each.  

Thus far with our Exposure Test and Focus Test we have seen a consistent pattern.  Bold field marks are impacted far less by image quality errors than bland field marks.  It can take very little to degrade bland field marks, making them difficult or impossible to judge without some form of forensic analysis.  Here, having applied a significant white balance error we appear to be seeing much the same pattern emerge.  The bold colours, such as the yellow in the Euphonia and in the crown of the Firecrest remain clearly visible but the subtle tones on the breast and back of the Pipit and Wheatear are less clear.  It should be borne in mind however that white balance errors will affect all colours so if we need to sample and record colours as accurately as possible we do need to try and correct any white balance error that might exist.  The purpose of this exercise was merely to illustrate that bold colours are more resilient to colour balance errors than bland colours.

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