[...] It was this pair of Bl@ster's semi dress boots in Brown Smooth that has me confused. That looks light as can be, and while I'm sure some of it can be attributed to the use of flash, I can't imagine flash could change it *that* much.
Just thought I'd make a quick comment here.
Try this link. It is (IMO) one of the best efforts at capturing the different leathers used by White's. The only problem is I don't know what the difference is between "Brown Oil Tan" and "Brown Smooth" on this link. From talking to Baker's I understood these to be the same thing. Maybe someone else knows the answer.
On a more general note, and this may not be what you want to hear, but photos are completely subjective and should form only a small part of your research. Speaking from having bought and sold a couple of dozen very expensive watches via online forums, one of the things I've learned was that the photos/images give you the feeling of absolute objective truth. In reality, partly because of the online medium, we begin to equate the image with the thing... but images are framed and contextualised in different ways, they're placed in a context, and even you and me as the viewer bring in our own context and therefore view the image in unique (and often different) ways. To be honest, I learned with watches not to place much emphasis on photos. The most important information is the story (history, experience, details, etc.). If the story is not consistent then alarm bells start ringing even if the images are faultless.
What does this mean in the case of the boots? If you can't see handle them directly then I'd be inclined to listen to the individual stories that people have on here. Ask for an account of their direct experience and not just a link to a googled image.
If its any help... I just ordered a pair of White's using Smooth Brown. I made the decision after calling a couple of people who had direct experience with the leather. I was tossing up between Smooth Brown and Brown CXL and was swayed to the former on the basis of the less uniform surface colour and the thicker, tougher character of the Smooth Brown leather. The conclusion that I came to on colour was that both were a similar, relatively light "mid brown".