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Author Topic: Dan Margulis Sharpening Action  (Read 108517 times)
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2007, 09:30:14 PM »
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Well, I, for one, find Jeff, Andrew, and Mark much more convincing than the "flat earth" people. I'm no expert on sharpening, but I have a healthy respect for science and arguments that are supported with evidence and reasoning.  
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2007, 01:43:05 AM »
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Dan's stuff is always tops in my book. His stuff works, works well and is fast once you get used to it.  

Thanks to the OP for bringing this to my attention and no thanks to the guys that want to turn this into some kind of macho whos the best.  When you have to knock someone else, it just proves you've still got a long way to go.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2007, 02:11:00 AM »
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When you have to knock someone else, it just proves you've still got a long way to go.

Not when the stuff you're knocking has clear technical deficiencies and works less well than what it's allegedly intended to improve upon, as is easily demonstated with some simple comparisons. Or do you have some evidence to the contrary you'd like to present? If you do, great, present it. If not, don't expect to convince many here.
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2007, 09:04:08 AM »
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Both of you yahoos go stand in the friggin' corner. If you don't have something useful to say, keep your friggin' fingers off the keyboard.
I'm an avid fan of Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public? Maybe around the time retired army generals decided it was OK to publicly criticize current active leaders.

The me-ness of our ever-growing self-obsessed narcissism gets more disturbing by the day. Frankly, I think such behavior exhibits a small, petty, and insecure nature. The behavior is unprofessional.

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This is a subject I know a lot about (having learned from Bruce as well as having taught him a thing or two)   ad nauseum
Constantly acknowledging self-greatness greatly diminishes the "great" factor and illustrates a deeper flaw. It's always best to let others do the praising: humility remains a noble trait.

Thoughtful and considerate analysis is always welcome, especially from professionals. But when the agenda gets personal and/or leans destructive, it becomes much harder for the professional to keep his title. Thank goodness some of us choose to remain anonymous and enjoy the fun of saying exactly what we're thinking.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 09:46:08 AM by mistybreeze » Logged
NashvilleMike
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« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2007, 09:33:54 AM »
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The me-ness of our ever-growing self-obsessed narcissism gets more disturbing by the day. Frankly, I think such behavior exhibits a small, petty, and insecure nature. The behavior is unprofessional.

Constantly acknowledging self-greatness greatly diminishes the "great" factor and illustrates a deeper flaw. It's always best to let others do the praising: humility remains a noble trait.

Bingo!

What amazes me is that I first read about this sharpening method over on dpreview, and people were at least receptive to seeing if it was worth looking into. I look at the thread here in the LL forums, and within a few seconds it went into a macho contest with a lot of arrogant posts - and I include more than just Andrews and Jeffs posts in that category. What gives here? I joined this forum a bit ago thinking it would be a bit more professional an environment than what I see on the non-moderated forums, but this exchange certainly proved that idea wrong in a hurry. I see a lot of likely extremely knowledgable people with really arrogant attitudes here with this topic. No need for any of that.

I look at this sharpening method post a bit differently - I thought about it and went "you know, I could see some things I've done where that might work well, but also some things where it wouldn't work as well as what I'm using now" and just filed it into a slot of memory in my brain as another tool in the tool kit. I never took it to be the grand poobah and ultimate deity of all things sharpening - just something else to try, experiment with, and ultimately see if it works for me.
And I don't really see anything wrong with that. The title of the post was never "Dan Margulis Super Perfect Never Been Beaten Sharpening Technique", so I think some could back off the trash talk a bit and try constructive criticism instead of macho arrogance.

-m
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digitaldog
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« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2007, 09:46:26 AM »
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I'm an avid fan of Brian Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public? Maybe around the time retired army generals decided it was OK to publicly criticize current active leaders.

When one started making up total crap about a number of technical issues that only he believes, then attempt to spread this nonsense to a group of people who don't know better. It started years ago when Dan tried to dismiss the work of Adobe in providing us tools to edit in high bit and started his totally lame 16-bit challenge. Most of us dismissed him because the math is undeniable. When some tried to take the challenge, they found they were working with a guy who was more interested in being right AND using the controversy to shine a light on himself. One very well known, quite brilliant color scientist by the name of Bruce Lindbloom even posted his frustration with Dan's total lack of scientific testing and rule changing here:

http://www.brucelindbloom.com/index.html?DanMargulis.html

PLEASE read it, it sums up perfectly the genesis of Dan's MO.

Please take note of something Bruce says (and I believe in my testing):

"My goal in preparing it was to be truthful and objective. If it contains errors, please let me know". It would be refreshing if we ever heard something like this from Dan.

Then I submitted actual Raw files on my iDisk to illustrate an image that showed image degradation in 8-bit that didn't show up in 16-bit. Dan trashed it, again moving the goal posts by saying that I used an "Ultra wide gamut" space (ProPhoto RGB) and these spaces are not to be used and don't fall into the challenge. Note the new Dan term he made up and now uses to dismiss a working space that lots of users work with every day. I then submitted again, Raw files to illustrate a situation where using ANY working space OTHER than ProPhoto RGB would show problems (image damage) even in 16-bit. He of course dismissed that as well.

Oh, I should point out that when I uploaded both sets of test files as .DNGs, Dan dismissed them as not being Raw files. Only until his close moderator friends on the list carefully explained to him that a DNG is a Raw file, did he back off on that method of dismissing my files.

As to 16-bit, in Dan's mind, Adobe and all the manufacturers who provide data in high bit are wrong, its not useful and he's right. And yet, has Dan EVER provided any empirical data to back up his theories? No. Instead he expect us to provide files to prove our point, then he dismisses them using whatever he wishes to use to tell us what we're seeing or doing is wrong. That's not good science as I said before.

Then we have the more recent composite curve nonsense of Dan's that resulted in Mark Segal's excellent and well researched article here. Again, Dan and his minions shot it down. Dan told his list that Camera Raw and Lightroom use "sloppy math" and are "unfit for professional use". Instead you should (if you must use these products) set the sliders to default and fix the images in Photoshop, the only application he really has a clue about.

Dan put his foot in his mouth by saying he had produced the exact math used in CR using an Excel spreadsheet to prove his point about the sloppy math. Many of us asked to see this so called proof, even willing to provid this to Thomas Knoll so he could 'fix' this issue. We suggested Dan would do the imaging community a lot of good by providing this to Thomas. Well not only did he spend weeks ignoring countless requests, he finally demanded the topic be closed. This is after all, a highly moderated list. Fine, its obviously there to promote Dan.

Now we have the magic sharpening technique. Again, based on the past history of Dan, many of us, myself in the forefront want to know, where's the beef?

If Dan wasn't a capable guy, we'd dismiss him long ago. That he does make up stuff, basically lie (the spreadsheet is a prefect example) and has the ear of so many less than knowledgeable readers, its simply unfair for those of us that have seen what he says to remain quiet. At the very least, test what he says is the law of physics according to Dan.

BTW, everything mentioned above is documented and direct quotes from Dan can be provided. This is ALL from his list. No one is putting words in Dan's mouth. He's usually pretty careful about not 'getting caught' using terms like "everyone knows" or "if this is too much or too little do this" etc. The spreadsheet was a huge mistake on his part, and he's progressively being caught with his pants down. Just in the last few weeks, he's told folks this new sharpening technique is " highly effective at adding focus..." Technical psychobabble. Again, when Mark pointed out that NO sharpening technique could add focus, he was shunned and censored (again).

So, to answer your question, its all about letting the imaging community know the kind of crap this guy has been generating and asking these people to TEST and examine what he says before drinking the Koolaid outright.

As for the army generals, I will only say that I support them in saying what they feel are the facts, as some of us have tried to do here and on other lists. Lists that are not moderated and censored so that those running them can be protected from the facts, or at least to provide readers enough information to make up their own minds, should they be willing to do some testing. Or, people can read and believe what they hear as fact based on the messenger.

The files, should anyone wish to test them continue to be on my iDisk.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 10:06:44 AM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2007, 09:49:56 AM »
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I'm an avid fan of Brian Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public? Maybe around the time retired army generals decided it was OK to publicly criticize current active leaders.

The me-ness of our ever-growing self-obsessed narcissism gets more disturbing by the day. Frankly, I think such behavior exhibits a small, petty, and insecure nature. The behavior is unprofessional.

Constantly acknowledging self-greatness greatly diminishes the "great" factor and illustrates a deeper flaw. It's always best to let others do the praising: humility remains a noble trait.

Thoughtful and considerate analysis is always welcome, especially from professionals. But when the agenda gets personal and/or leans destructive, it becomes much harder for the professional to keep his title. Thank goodness some of us choose to remain anonymous and enjoy the fun of saying exactly what we're thinking.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142905\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know from where you picked up the quote about yahoos keeping their fingers of the keyboard, because I reviewed this thread twice and couldn't find it.

As for professionals critiquing eachother's work in public - that is normal, and an accepted means of making progress. As well, I have no problem with Jeff Schewe reminding readers that he has the credentials to make the analytical remarks he made, because his credentials are his credentials, and not everyone who happens-in to read this stuff knows about them. When I took my car to the repair shop for an opinion on whether the suspension needed revamping, the first thing I asked them is whether they have a mechanic with the knowledge and experience to assess it for that particular vehicle model.

Turning back to the substance of the topic, Jeff and Jonathan have both made the valid point that the procedure seems to emphasize the sharpening of the darker, noisier parts of the image. I suppose that gets enabled with step 6 in the procedure - inverting the channel. However, step 8, the Gaussian blur, is supposed to eliminate the noise. Step 10 I assume is meant to be a "Reveal All" mask, but one could consider doing it with a "Hide All" and painting in the sharpening with a white brush in the desired areas - kind of as a way of not needing to rely on the effectiveness of Step 8. Then one would be left with the fundamental question about how well the technique sharpens the mid tones. If step 8 somehow contributes positively to this, the reasons aren't explained. It isn't obvious.

Therefore one is left with the usual task of "the proof is in the pudding". Jeff here has stated he did make the pudding, and over in DPReview "flashlight" posted some pudding - in both cases it would appear that this technique really has nothing to offer, even compared with USM, let alone any comparison (not yet posted as far as I know) with PKS, which offers substantial value-added over USM.  Contrary to what EricWHiss says above, this is not about "macho" anything. It is completely fair and legitimate to test any new technique against any other existing technique - that is the only way to know whether or not it is better in some respects, in all respects, or not at all. And as I've indicated above, to do this thoroughly is a big job. The big job could be worthwhile if the early indications and the underlying principles showed promise, but so far they don't.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2007, 10:12:18 AM »
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Therefore one is left with the usual task of "the proof is in the pudding". Jeff here has stated he did make the pudding, and over in DPReview "flashlight" posted some pudding - in both cases it would appear that this technique really has nothing to offer, even compared with USM, let alone any comparison (not yet posted as far as I know) with PKS, which offers substantial value-added over USM.

Which brings me back to a key point by Lindbloom that should be emphasized here for those that think its unprofessional to question new methods. It sums up the reason many of us are asking for the pudding with respect to Dan and asking for evidence:

Quote
I have nothing against Dan Margulis. As I have repeatedly stated in various venues, he is a knowledgeable person who has helped many people by way of his many contributions online, in publications and through his seminars.

But making statements such as those quoted above, involving accusations of sabotage and deliberate postings of false information, must be challenged. Why should anyone believe these statements? Where is the supporting evidence? My single most important message on this page is found in the last paragraph at the very bottom of the page, which highlights the difference between an assertion and an argument. Learning to recognize assertions when you encounter them, and then forcing the other person to turn it into an argument is a very valuable technique in many aspects of life. Learn it.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2007, 10:26:35 AM »
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I'm an avid fan of Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public?

The dawn of time.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2007, 10:35:40 AM »
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Bingo!

What amazes me is that I first read about this sharpening method over on dpreview, and people were at least receptive to seeing if it was worth looking into.
-m
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142907\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mike,

Jonathan and Jeff reviewed the procedure and raised in this Thread problems in principle to the effect that from the description of the steps it would appear to sharpen shadow noise and highlights, which is exactly what one would want to avoid (I know Step 8 of the procedure is designed to mitigate that, but does it do so in an acceptable manner?). Jeff says he tested the procedure on some images and believes it is prone to spoiling them. This confirms a spot-test finding made by "flashlight" on DPReview. I think the discussion here between Jeff and Bill Janes on the possible role of this procedure in a multi-stage sharpening workflow was useful. So it looks very much to me as if participants in this thread in this forum are evaluating the procedure for what it is. In all of this, no-one set-up Dan's procedure as the be-all and end-all. That isn't necessary or appropriate; nonetheless it remains totally legitimate to simply evaluate what it does and compare it with other tools and procedures.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2007, 12:00:41 PM »
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Both of you yahoos go stand in the friggin' corner. If you don't have something useful to say, keep your friggin' fingers off the keyboard.

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I'm an avid fan of Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142905\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ah...an attempt to use a cross-quote (from me) from an entirely different thread (one that devolved into a mean & nasty exchange) into this thread to try to make a point. Nice try bud...but I'm not being mean and nasty...when I'm mean and nasty, you would know about it–there would be no question, really.

In point of fact, I was actually giving Bill some crap for bringing the whole Photoshop Hall of Fame thing into play as though that somehow had anything to do with anything...I thought that was a useless attempt and one that deserved some blowback.

Bill posted the original message with full knowledge that he would get a rise out of some people. But the fact remains that Dan's sharpening "technique" is pretty far south of useful. And I would have no problem saying that to Dan's face...if he were around (I think he's still off to northern Europe teaching).

If sombody comes up with a crackpot idea, I'll shoot it down regardless of how famous he or she may be. The idea that somehow being famous offers some sort of "protection" from ridicule is, in itself, pretty stupid. Being famous exposes you to critisim and ridicule if the idea being fostered is stupid.

But those of you who wish to continue to drink Dan's Kool-Aid, you go right ahead...but just be sure you understand what it is you are drinking.

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Thank goodness some of us choose to remain anonymous and enjoy the fun of saying exactly what we're thinking.

Ah, there you have it...because this person remains "anonymous" he enjoys the freedom of "saying exactly what we're thinking"...but since some of us don't choose to hide behind an anonymous screen name, we get held to a different standard?

Try again bud...that dog don't hunt.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 12:07:59 PM by Schewe » Logged
mistybreeze
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2007, 01:43:04 PM »
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when I'm mean and nasty
My dearest Jeff, you appear mean and nasty often and  laced with plenty of "tude."
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If sombody comes up with a crackpot idea, I'll shoot it down regardless of how famous he or she may be. The idea that somehow being famous offers some sort of "protection" from ridicule is, in itself, pretty stupid. Being famous exposes you to critisim and ridicule if the idea being fostered is stupid.
Interesting that you, Jeff, would focus on the word "famous" when my point concerned the words "professional" and "behavior."
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Ah, there you have it...because this person remains "anonymous" he enjoys the freedom of "saying exactly what we're thinking"...but since some of us don't choose to hide behind an anonymous screen name, we get held to a different standard?

Try again bud...that dog don't hunt.
That dog hunts all the time, bud. In "professional" business, different standards apply. They always have. Of course you and other so-called professionals are free to publicly "shoot" anyone down you wish. That doesn't mean such behavior will define "professional" or will remain free from negative consequence.

I wonder how Bruce Chizen feels about professionals who publicly wax derision and do so with a self-righteous big mouth?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2007, 02:08:02 PM »
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I'm an avid fan of Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney. But when did it become acceptable for one (famous) professional to openly criticize another well-known professional in public?

When a "well-known professional" espouses crackpot theories that are demonstrably false, and responds to every attempt to disprove said theories with ad hominem attacks and censorship, that person deserves public criticism. If I was a famous doctor, and started running around claiming that eating dog feces cured cancer, wouldn't you agree that I would deserve ridicule?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2007, 02:13:59 PM »
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If I was a famous doctor, and started running around claiming that eating dog feces cured cancer, wouldn't you agree that I would deserve ridicule?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142951\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

ROTFL! That's what we needed in this series of posts on such a fine Sunday!
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2007, 02:31:03 PM »
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I wonder how Bruce Chizen feels about professionals who publicly wax derision and do so with a self-righteous big mouth?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142943\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why would I possibly be interested in what Bruce Chizen thinks about anything?

Again, you are free to hide behind your screen name and launch personal attacks all you want. It means absolutely zero to me. (actually, less the zero truth be told) Maybe sometime you'll actually have something interesting to contribute to the forum instead of ad hominem arguments...(you know what those are, right?)

:~)
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laughfta
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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2007, 02:46:42 PM »
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I simply cannot believe that this whole thread is in response to this, from Dan:

"Meanwhile, I wanted to throw out a sharpening idea that I've been having success with
recently. I am intending to show this in my advanced classes later this year but haven't
tested it as well as I should have with enough of a variety of images. So, to those
interested in testing it , suggestions or comments would be welcome, although I don't
know whether I will personally see them for the next two weeks."

and the response includes THIS???:

"When a "well-known professional" espouses crackpot theories that are demonstrably false, and responds to every attempt to disprove said theories with ad hominem attacks and censorship, that person deserves public criticism. If I was a famous doctor, and started running around claiming that eating dog feces cured cancer, wouldn't you agree that I would deserve ridicule?"

Wow.
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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2007, 02:50:34 PM »
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and the response includes THIS???

Look up Dan's positions on 16-bit editing, color management, and Adobe Camera Raw, and my comment will make a LOT more sense. My analogy is approriate when applied to an alleged "expert" who dismisses the usefulness of 16-bit-per-channel editing, wide-gamut color spaces such as ProPhoto, and Camera RAW in general. Dan ought to know better.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 02:58:05 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2007, 03:08:48 PM »
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In point of fact, I was actually giving Bill some crap for bringing the whole Photoshop Hall of Fame thing into play as though that somehow had anything to do with anything...I thought that was a useless attempt and one that deserved some blowback.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142932\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What annoyed me in Andrew's response is that he denounced the method without even having analyzed it. He falsely asserted that the method would throw away detail by using a conversion to CMYK, but if he had read the post, he would have seen that the CMYK was used only to obtain a mask form the K channel. Anything from Dan must be crap.  That is unprofessional, and hence my comment on the Hall of Fame.

On the other hand, you and Mark Segal actually analyzed the method and identified some shortcomings

Bill
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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2007, 03:12:40 PM »
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"Meanwhile, I wanted to throw out a sharpening idea that I've been having success with
recently. I am intending to show this in my advanced classes later this year but haven't
tested it as well as I should have with enough of a variety of images. So, to those
interested in testing it , suggestions or comments would be welcome, although I don't
know whether I will personally see them for the next two weeks."

Let me translate. It's kind a new Dan speaking here, based on those who have repeatedly questioned him on his list in the past, much of it described above.

I'll be Dan: I just made up a new technique. I don't know if its any good but the after effect looks like the image is sharpener. I'd like you to tell me its good. If you tell me its not so good, I'll ignore you or tell you that you don't understand what I'm going or you didn't tweak the numerous parameters in the technique to make it look good (your fault). If you try this, without testing it next to techniques that have been written about by others over the years, that be great. I really want you to tell me that the technique looks good, then I'll teach it to others. I will not explain when or how to use this, that's not necessary. I'd hate for you to spend the hours upon hours it would take to fully test this on lots of images, out to lots of devices, especially compared to existing techniques where the authors did all this work. All I'd like is for you to say its good as it currently stands. I would test this myself but for reasons I will not say, I can't. I'm now leaving the scene, discuss this on your own, but be aware that my list has no less than 5 moderators and if you question what I'm doing, you'll be censored. Enjoy.

In the recent past, Dan would simply state his techniques as being factually correct and superior to anything else out there. Like "you should convert to Lab and sharpen the L channle despite the time and data loss". When you inform him that such a process isn't necessary, we have blend modes in Photoshop for doing this faster, with more control and without data loss, well its simply not appropriate.

To append, Dan never setups up any kind of testing parameters, making the request for testing pretty lame. Bruce didn't operate in such a non scientific process. When he asked for feedback, he didn't just throw out a techniques, he used well defined ground rules for testing. He wasn't asking for people to tell him what he wanted to hear, he wanted actual, useful feedback in order to make his technique better. In the above example, Dan really wants admiration and attention. Otherwise he'd ask people to use well defined testing methods for valuable feedback.

He could have said "if the image looks sharpener, let me know" but that would have been a bit too obvious, even for his followers.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 08:40:34 PM by digitaldog » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2007, 03:15:34 PM »
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What annoyed me in Andrew's response is that he denounced the method without even having analyzed it. He falsely asserted that the method would throw away detail by using a conversion to CMYK, but if he had read the post, he would have seen that the CMYK was used only to obtain a mask form the K channel. Anything from Dan must be crap.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142969\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, what I said was exactly this, a series of questions, not statements:

Quote
What makes it novel?

Is it capture or output sharpening? If the later, how does one know the parameters for each device?

If its based on visual sharpening, how does one operate this considering we're working on low resolution output devices like a display?

What about converting to CMYK (and what space) to generate a black channels? Seems like a good way to toss away a lot of useful data and color gamut (not that Dan believes either are an issue).

Yes I did question it outright based on Dan's history. And I didn't get any replies to the questions asked by those who feel this is a useful technique.
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Andrew Rodney
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