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Author Topic: Dan Margulis' LAB mode book  (Read 6756 times)
Peter McLennan
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« on: September 16, 2005, 07:26:36 PM »
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Margulis' earlier works changed my use of Photoshop for the better.  

Anybody working with this new book?  It focuses on LAB mode, (the "Most Powerful Colorspace) he says.

Peter
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 07:28:02 PM »
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Dan's book is at:

<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321356780/ref=ase_sterlingledet/104-8321124-2127140>
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KenS
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 07:30:43 PM »
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Quote
Margulis' earlier works changed my use of Photoshop for the better.  

Anybody working with this new book?  It focuses on LAB mode, (the "Most Powerful Colorspace) he says.

Peter
There are several threads about his book and some examples at a website called Digital Grin:



Ken
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pfigen
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2005, 08:57:38 PM »
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I've had the new book for a couple of weeks now, and consider it to be the most revolutionary book on digital imaging ever written. It's going to be a book that will take several readings at the very least. Even in the first few chapters, there have been many eye opening revelations, and while I have used Lab for years, this book shows you not only what and how to accomplish corrections and improvement you never thought possible, it also attempts to help you sort out just when and when not to use these techniques. I knew that I would be buying it as soon as it became available, but I had no idea just how "out of the box" it really was. For anyone interested in taking their imaging process to the next level, there is no better book - anywhere.
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 05:41:48 AM »
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It's an excellent book. I've been a big fan of his previous books and the LAB book has opened up my eyes to some new and very useful techniques using LAB mode. The preface is totally over the top and I don't agree with his 8/16bit arguements but the techniques for improving colour separation, saturation and image repair are very very useful.

This wouldn't be your first PS book by any means but if you're proficient in PS already then this genuinely adds new approaches and ideas plus some easy to follow examples. It's been fun revisiting some of my less visually exciting images (lacking that Velvia presentation) and being able to significantly add more punch yet with subtlety to them.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 09:53:47 AM »
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Thanks for the notes and references, guys.  I've placed my order.

Peter
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2005, 08:50:35 PM »
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Peter - this book is excellent. There is alot of stuff here you simply won't find anywhere else. This is much more than a "how to improve your pictures with LAB" book - it really delves into what Photoshop does in a way that gets your mind in sync with how the program "thinks" and works. A real eye and mind opener.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2005, 08:30:47 AM »
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It would be interesting to hear what Jonathan and the Digital Dog has to say concerning the book. A few weeks ago the Digital Dog wondered about what Dan could fill the book- or words to that effect-with concerning Lab I fully endorse the praise stated in this thread concerning the publication
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2005, 08:55:43 AM »
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I haven't read Dan's book, so I'll reserve judgment until I have.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2005, 01:48:27 AM »
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I'm reluctant about this one. Anyone who is adamant against 48-bit editing when the benefits re so plainly obvious... well lets just say it makes me skeptical.

I keep a open mind but would like to browse through the book before buying. Unfortunately no bookstore in my town carries it.
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Hermie
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2005, 05:18:52 AM »
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I'm reluctant about this one. Anyone who is adamant against 48-bit editing when the benefits re so plainly obvious... well lets just say it makes me skeptical.

I keep a open mind but would like to browse through the book before buying. Unfortunately no bookstore in my town carries it.
I share your scepticism Daniel, but I ordered it anyway.

There are 2 sample chapters availbale from:
http://www.ledet.com/margulis/articles.html

By the way, this is Uwe Steinmueller's (www.outbackphoto.com) comment on the book:

"We hardly like any of the sample images (talking about their aesthetics) in this book which makes normally reading for us difficult (we think quite in visuals). But then this book caught us by surprise. We found it very inspiring to read about the interesting and different options to edit images in LAB mode. When Margulis finally pointed out that we can use the Photoshop plugin Curvemeister (now in Version 2.0) to use many of his LAB techniques without leaving RGB we were hooked and had to read more. Overall we recommend this book as LAB allows a different way to improve problem areas in your images. Tuning colors (especially saturation) is very powerful using LAB."

Herman
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Chris_T
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2005, 07:15:58 AM »
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I'm reluctant about this one. Anyone who is adamant against 48-bit editing when the benefits re so plainly obvious... well lets just say it makes me skeptical.

I keep a open mind but would like to browse through the book before buying. Unfortunately no bookstore in my town carries it.
Margulis is opiniated to the extreme not only on 48-bit editing, but also on the current color management concept in general. His books and writing styles are not for everyone, in particular not the PS beginners. If you can get over these, you will find many gems not found in any other PS books. I have read his previous book many times over, and can still only digest a few chapters and put them to good use.

Margulis' background seems to be in pre-press printing, and NOT desktop inkjet printing. In his previous book, he failed to separate these two topics explicitly, making it very difficult for the uninitiated to decide whether his writing applies to one, or both of these topics. He also failed to discuss desktop printing in any amount of details, such as on printer media profiles, etc..

As you can see, I have a love/hate thing with his books. BTW, Margulis is the first inductee into the PS Hall of Fame.

http://www.photoshophalloffame.com/winners/dmargulis.html
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 10:00:25 AM »
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I think it is important to recognize the distinction between "colour management" and "adjusting colour images". Dan writes mainly about the latter and little about the former. His pre-press background makes him exceptionally aware of how colour works and how you use photoshop to work it. I also find he distinguishes quite carefully between what colour adjustment issues are more particular to pre-press as opposed to inkjet printing. If you think you may want this book, I would suggest not to dither too long about ordering it, because if you go to Amazon.com you will already see yourself on a two week wait list. When I bought mine it was just out in the first printing. I believe that printing must have sold out within a couple of weeks. The book is very deep. I think it is a very important book for those who want added depth and insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of various approaches for adjusting images in Photoshop - LAB or otherwise.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2005, 11:14:09 AM »
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Daniel, the fact is that in most typical situations the benefits of editing in 48 bit simply are not obvious - many professionals acknowledge this. (Nonetheless I still edit in 16 bit - no harm done, as Dan himself says.) Of course up to you to be skeptical, but you're being skeptical about 360 pages of material because of one side-issue (8 versus 16 bit) discussed on page 133 - where, by the way, he has a qualifier in a highlighted text box explaining those situations in which 16 bit is preferable!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
61Dynamic
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2005, 02:27:25 PM »
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Like I said, I have not read the book or any of his other works yet. I have only have what I've heard via commentary.

If the book has good info, it has good info. I don't like buying things unseen and that is the primary thing keeping my from this book. I'll be looking at those sample chapters when I have time to do so and perhaps that will sway me.
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dandill
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2005, 03:12:20 PM »
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A detailed synopsis, with full examples, of the first three chapters of the book starts  here. I have found it exceptionally helpful.

Dan
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Dan Dill
PeterLange
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2005, 03:27:48 PM »
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Out of interest,

does the book mention the "blue turns purple" problem with Lab?

Said exciting new technique to steepen the contrast on both a & b channels should be right the same as to use the Hue&Sat.-saturation slider in Lab mode .

Peter

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2005, 07:58:55 PM »
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Dan, I visited that site you pointed to and was disappointed. I'm reading the book very carefully and found that discussion thread lacking in both substance and understanding.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
hdomke
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2005, 06:49:13 AM »
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"Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace" by Dan Margulis is definitely worth reading and is most entertaining. I don't agree that it is "the most revolutionary book on digital imaging ever written" and it is certainly not a comprehensive look at Photoshop CS2. If you want comprehensive, get the gold standard: "Real World Photoshop CS2.

But there are some interesting gems buried in here that might improve your digital output. To me the biggest discovery was the idea of using curves in LAB color space to increase color variability. We are not just talking saturation here, but rather color separation. His explanation for why we want this is that cameras lack the sense of simultaneous contrast common to most human beings. When we see a lot of similar colors in close proximity, we break them apart. He shows how we can do that in Photoshop. It makes a big difference on some images.

His writing style is quirky, intelligent and often funny. That helps for such complex ideas. I think this book should only by used by advanced readers.

He relishes taking positions that are against the mainstream. For example, he argues that for photographic images high-bit editing is worthless. Likewise, he does not illustrate the use of Adjustment Layers or Layer Masks which are part of the standard workflow for most advanced users.

What is so wonderful about all his ideas, which go against the current accepted wisdom, is that he makes you question what you are doing. He presents his arguments using concise logic. It made me frequently pause and question my workflow.

Bottom line: This book should be at the top of the reading stack for Advanced Photoshop users. Learning how to increase color variability alone makes it worthwhile.

Henry Domke
Henry Domke Fine Art
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Henry

Henry Domke Fine Art
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2005, 07:05:50 AM »
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PeterLange, I'm a good way into the book and I haven't come accross any mention yet of blue turning purple - but perhaps it may surface later on in the context of something more important - I'll see by the time I'm finished.

There is discussion and demonstration within the first half of the book comparing movements of Lab curves in Lab mode versus using HSB sliders in RGB mode. I've not seen yet a comparison of using Lab curves versus HSB sliders in Lab mode. That may be there also in parts I haven't read yet. But on this point, for a good many purposes you'll find professionals relying more generally on curves as an adjustment tool rather than HSB sliders because of the refined control one can exercise over luminosity, contrast and hue with curves. However, put the HSB commands in the hands of someone like Ben Willmore (see his DVD "Mastering Color" , published by KW Computer Training and available through NAPP), and one sees the remarkable utility of the HSB box FOR COLOUR ADJUSTMENTS in RGB mode. What one uses all depends on the image and the purpose of course.

You sound like a very bright fellow, but there really is no substitute to reading the book before raising issues about whether or not it addresses, confirms or debunks your own particular insights.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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