Quiz 5 colours

To: <>
Subject: Quiz 5 colours
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 15:39:44 +1000

I have replied separately and at some length to Julian on this, explaining why I think my colours were reasonably accurate for light and body-part. He has a professional interest in colouration.


With everyone snapping away with their digitals, I think the colour of birds is something we are going to hear a LOT more about.


By the time I look at an image on my monitor, it has already been ‘read’ three times:  once by the camera, once by my computer program, once by my monitor settings.  When it appears on your monitor it has been interpreted a couple of times more.  In editing, just changing the intensity of the light or contrast can markedly change the appearance of a colour.  Many digital images I have seen show signs also of manipulation also of the hue and saturation.  Whether this was with the object of producing the colour that my monitor reveals or a different colour I will never know.


These seem to be the main reasons for manipulating a colour:


a)       Inadvertent (well OK, I agree that’s not a reason);


b)      to produce the colour that your eye saw;


c)       to produce the colour your eye would have seen if it was a better and brighter day;


d)      to produce the colour that your field guide shows;


e)       to produce a colour that should be there (Hey, look, it’s an Orange-bellied Parrot, so let’s have some orange!);


f)        to produce a more attractive picture even if it is lurid (lurid can be a very attractive quality) well beyond the point of what is natural.



For myself, I see nothing wrong with any of these, except maybe (a), depending on your purpose.





From: Julian Robinson [
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Quiz 5 answers


Geoffrey thanks for these quizzes, I enjoyed my only entry.  They obviously require a fair effort both to prepare and to 'mark', but (especially this last and somewhat easier one) are greatly appreciated by at least this participant. I remain mystified by numbers 5 & 6 and need a reality check to prepare for my next attempt at the Spring quizzes.  On my computer these both are distinctly orange/pink.  Do some kookaburras actually have some pink plumage, or is this just my monitor or a photographic artifact?  Likewise, the Spotless Crake which I wouldn't recognise anyway, from my book has no pink/orange at all, just a very brown kind of brown, so ... same question.

Thanks again



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