Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Primer on Comparing Photos of New Girl of Washington Square Park/Dominatrix of Tompkins Square

Photo by Pon Dove
Pon Dove a daily watcher at Washington Square Park identifies the bird above as Bobby's New Girl.

My apologies to Pon Dove for taking the liberty of cropping this photograph in hope of giving viewers a better look at the eyes of this hawk. Check out how light colored they and the hawk appear in this photograph.

Then compare this hawk with the photo next down also identified as Bobby's New Girl.

Photo courtesy of Roger_Paw

Roger Paw a daily watcher at Washington Square Park identifies this hawk as Bobby's New Girl.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that one of these watchers is wrong in their identification and completely full of Shinola. Not at all. They report they are main watchers at Washington Square Park and as such their identification of this particular hawk is assumed by me to be credible until or if other main watchers at Washington Square Park dispute it.

What I am attempting to illustrate with these photographs is how different another day, another photographer, another perch and a different camera, not to mention the camera settings including if the anti-vibration function is engaged, (notorious for what it does to feathers as it "sees" them as vibrations) can change the image recorded of a particular hawk into something one is likely not to recognize as the same bird as the bird in another photograph by someone else.

This is particularly true if the observer of the image is depending on certain camera processed criteria such as the bird's color-which is dependent on the camera's reception and processing of tint, saturation, and white balance setting or the bird's light/dark ratio which depends on the day, the photographer and the camera and settings used for the processing of the photo's exposure. Exposure affects contrast, detail, and the lightness or darkness of the bird to name but a few variables.

Also my apologies for not remembering to discuss all this initially as some who might like to participant in the discussion haven't yet experienced how radically different photos of the same bird may appear.

So dear readers, please give this conundrum some thought before we discuss the pros and cons of the hawk(s) and a possible identify.

If you have data or photographs which may fuel the discussion, or bolster your own opinion, by all means send 'em in!

The least contribution might be very beneficial in our group investigation, to the discussion we share as to whether Dominatrix of Tompkins Square Park and Bobby's New Girl at Washington Square are the same bird.

By the way, if you think you know whether I think that this is or is not the same bird, you are mistaken. I don't know where I stand on this question myself. And I shouldn't, as I haven't heard or seen what everything has to offer on the topic yet.

Trust me. If it were easy or obvious how to prove or disprove the hypothesis currently on the table, I wouldn't be talking about it.

I mean, for goodness sake, what fun for us or benefit to the hawks, would easy be? :-)

Happy Hawking!

Donegal Browne
P.S. If you are looking for the early photos of the currently named Dominatrix of Tompkins Square Park on this blog. Look under the name Valkyrie. That is what I originally called her. Her main watchers at Tompkins eventually decided on Dominatrix as her name. That is as it should be. The name that sticks on the ground with chief watchers stays. Though it can make things a little confusing later on. :)


pondove said...

The picture I am comparing it to is Francois's exact same side view on his site where it says "We've got a rat". That's where you see the same exact angle as my picture:

The WSP hawk seems lighter in the face, has a dark chin but the Tompkins seems to have a darker face and missing that lightness around the eyes. However, the same camera would indeed be a help, like you said, when he returns!

m.pipik said...

pondove and especially roger_paw spend lots of time in WSP. RP really knows Bobby and is learning the new girl. In one response to a comment she pointed out that "Rosie" and the Dominatrix both have the same light striped "pantaloons." Check RP's blog for Jan 2 where the new girl is catching a rat. You can see her panties well in several of the photos.

Compare them to the Portmann photos of 11/21