Many issues arecdiscussed here. Lot's of redundant material, but that is to be expected I guess.
We discussed the color issues a short few weeks ago and as I know some of the experts and linked their sites. Don Davis is a colleague of mine and he
is likely one of or the best astronomical artists there is. See his Site
He was actually one of the people who did the compositing for the first Mars lander color photos. He is also a photographer and can talk about these
issues with experience and science that is clear and accurate. See his work on this issue here
Color in Space Photography
On the "figures" you see in the images many are making some mistakes very easy to make.
First, the dunes waves mistaken for water waves. Waves are caused by wind, and on Mars the air is so much thiner that in many cases all it can do is
blow around talcum powder sized particles. Wind there would not make waves that big if indeed what you where looking at was water. Sand is another
thing and can be duned there, but it is slightly different physics.
Even the shapes of the waves is different from Mars to Earth sand environments because the physics with respect to the air density is so different.
At Ames Research Center in Mountain View CA where I was contracted to do illustrations for Advanced Life Support, one day I stood next to a NASA
researcher looking at a Silicon Graphics Indigo monitor with a section of a high resolution B&W image from the first Viking 2 Mars images and he was
commenting on how the sand around a rock formed differently from the Martian wind than that of terrestrial (Earth) sand and wind. I learned about
this from him.
Depending on conditions, size and shapes of sand particles wave shapes and effects can be very individual. I've done lots of desert exploration and
seen many different structures for dune and wind-blown surfaces. I even have experienced "Booming Sand" where the particle shapes when flowing down
a slope make very weird sounds. We where in a bowl in the Panamint Dunes and thought a squadron of WW2 bombers was going over, but when the sound did
not Doppler or end we shook our heads and decided it was just a strange heat effect. Years later I read an article in Scientific American on it. So
we all can be fooled.
On the humanoid figure I see what this is, but you need to do the homework. I have not done this yet, but you can. With the image and a good photo
editing application like Photoshop or Thumbs Plus, push the saturation a bit and you might see that the arm extending from the rock of the figure is
actually a shadow structure in the ground behind it that so happens to be in the right place to look like it is an extended forearm. The saturation
push will show it is part of the background by amplifying the color inherent in each pixel hex set. The background pixels will likely be of a
different color and the push will show this.
Anyone familiar with artists like Bev Dolittle will know how arranging foreground with background features can create such illusions of color, shape
and form. I won a contest in Omni magazine for using such an effect for an illustration in 198?.
As a long time visual researcher and 40 years of illustration I have seen and exploited many of these and other effects. You need to see these to
actually understand how our eyes can be fooled. Another thing that helped me was taking a course in Cognition and Perception at SJS University with
my now wife in the late seventies. Much more is known now on this and I try and keep up, but Google some terms like, "Automatic Pattern
Recognition to the Study of Human Pattern Perception" or similar.
Also look at some of the old threads and do a search on these subject. I did not do that back in September when I started posting here and a nice mod
showed me I was talking about very much older threads already discussed.
I believe there is water and life on Mars. I just don't think any of these discussed are actually evidenced here. We need to educate each other and
our new friends to understand without trashing them. There is lots of material we will find that is much more clear and challenging here. We need to
bootstrap each others skills at reaserch to get good at this. I still am educated by some other sharp people here. Keeping our humility close, we
can all get better at this.
Good effort everyone.