Courthouse Wash: Results

Dan Margulis

I’ve posted the results of the Courthouse Wash exercise, our final case study for this year.
Reviewing: The  panel at Courthouse Wash used to be the most spectacular display of pre-Columbian American rock art. In 1980, a vandal or vandals, using bleach and wire brushes, almost destroyed it. A quarter-century later, the late Bud Turner attempted to restore the pre-vandalism look photographically. We are given his raw captures, one a standard photograph, and several at various infrared wavelengths. Our job is to put these together in a way that suggests the grandeur of what was lost. Whether that means trying to make it look as it did pre-1980 is unclear.
We have 16 attempts, one of which came in six minutes before the deadline. There is one abstention, from a person claiming to have spent 100 hours on the project without getting anything worth showing. Most people also submitted a list of their steps, thanks very much. I haven’t read these, because I’d rather get a sense of who was successful and who wasn’t before investigating why.
The files don’t have people’s names on them, and were random-generator numbered from #1101 to #1116. As with past studies, we also have a “par” version, #1117. To get it, I chose five that I thought were among the best entrants, and averaged them, each one weighted 20%. This often creates a version that is superior to most if not all of its parents.
Normally I don't comment on results for two days after they're posted. Meanwhile, if you’d like to know how your own version stacked up, download the par version and compare the two directly. Do you think you got the same kind of quality? If not, I hope you’ll find further discussion useful.
That discussion will likely get very confused unless we can agree on terminology, because this image is full of vague objects that are difficult to describe in words. Therefore, I've made and attached a graphic with terms that I suggest we use.
The Folder is in the group's Photos section, 2021 Case Study: Courthouse Wash,
I also have zipped the terminology guide along with all entries and, due to size limiations, uploaded two file to our Files section,
Search for and
If you are going to study these versions I strongly encourage you to download it. Many of these entrants vary only in a minor way and it is hard to see the impact of a change without toggling back and forth between them.
I look forward to your comments, and hope you have found this series worthwhile.
Dan Margulis

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