“May I ask why you felt little Tiffany deserved to die?”
I’m pretty sure this is why Tumblr gave us photosets.
To this day, I still have absolutely no idea if he actually did the right thing by shooting little Tiffany. His story was very convincing…
I totally bought that he was right.
I always though this was about not demonizing people based on how they look, instead focussing on what they do.
THAT’S RIGHT AGENT J
Mars. In true colour.
Just so you know, a lot of images of Mars which you’ll see have been manipulated. A lot of them have boosted contrast and saturation. So if you’ve ever wondered – images like this one are what Mars actually looks like.
The OP is correct in saying that NASA will monkey with their photos like nobody’s business. But this photo is not an accurate depiction of what Mars looks like. The person who stitched this together used the unprocessed jpeg files from the rover’s mastcam.
All images taken on any digital camera need some processing. Unless you are in a studio setting where you have complete control of the lighting and you can do a custom white balance, you are not going to get an accurate picture out of your camera. You’re going to get your camera’s “best guess” and it just isn’t smart enough to do that accurately.
The image above has two issues. First there is a heavy yellow and green color cast on the image. A color cast is sort of like if you took a colored gel and put it on top of a photo. The color of the gel contaminates every color in the photo. So the white balance in this photo needs some major adjustment.
The second issue is dynamic range. The mast camera on the rover is only 2 megapixels and has technology that is several years old. It was the most prudent choice for this mission, but it is not actually a wonderful camera. If you look at the histogram of the photos it takes. all of the tones are scrunched together in a small area. There are no deep blacks, no bright whites. Everything is a bit dull. Whereas the human eye can see almost twice the dynamic range of even the best cameras available. So you would actually need to boost the contrast a bit.
So what would Mars look like at this time of day in this location? I downloaded the original files myself and processed them properly to find out.
The top is the unprocessed version from above and the bottom is my edit which is white balanced and has the proper amount of contrast added. Since this is mid day sunlight, the colors do look a little washed out. I imagine Mars looks a lot more red during sunrise and twilight.
And just for fun, I also did a crazy “NASA style” edit.
If I were to guess, I’d say NASA does this because impressive, grandiose images help inspire politicians to give them funding. If you thrill them with the cosmos, perhaps they will be more prone to bankroll exploration.
If that is what it takes, NASA can certainly count on me to overprocess photos for them.
As cool as this rover is… we should be the ones on Mars right now.