The Canyon Conundrum


Dan Margulis
 

A bit over ten years ago Photoshop LAB Color burst onto the scene and became the #1 seller in the entire computer field for several weeks. Ten years later, which is an eternity in terms of computer books, that 2004 edition is still doing well, but the publisher, Peachpit Press, is running out of copies and trying to decide whether to reprint more.

By contract, they have first dibs on any subsequent edition. Two days ago they told me they would like to exercise that right and ask me to update, We agreed that by the end of the year I would give them some kind of response and, if needed, a proposal.

It's been a while since I've read that book but I've gone over it in the last 48 hours and it wears its age well. I'm thinking that about half of it stands as is. Some of the exercises aren't particularly impressive today and should be replaced. A number of workflow considerations have changed. The channel structure needs to be discussed more. Man from Mars and similar techniques need to be fleshed out. Chapter order would have to be revised somewhat, but not radically. A lengthy section on how LAB doesn't do any harm would go online-only. In each chapter there would probably be a box discussing how things have changed in the past decade.

That is a brief first guess at how I would proceed assuming the obvious solution of a straight revise. However, Peachpit has said that it is open to other alternatives, such as adding things written by others, making it more interactive, or even going as a straight ebook with embedded content.

For the next week or so I have only a laptop and no access to my library of images. That gives us time to think this over, and I would like to ask the list for suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks in advance for any contribution.

Dan Margulis


Hector Davila
 

The first thought that comes to my mind is to reprint it without any changes. Call it a Classic...reprinted. I like to read books in the advertising field, but I search for
the original version without the updates. The "updates" in my opinion, ruin it. But that's just my opinion.

If someone wants...updates, they can buy Margulis's latest books.

Hector Davila

On 12/13/2014 9:33 AM, Dan Margulis DMargulis@... [COLORTHEORY] wrote:
 

A bit over ten years ago Photoshop LAB Color burst onto the scene and became the #1 seller in the entire computer field for several weeks. Ten years later, which is an eternity in terms of computer books, that 2004 edition is still doing well, but the publisher, Peachpit Press, is running out of copies and trying to decide whether to reprint more.

By contract, they have first dibs on any subsequent edition. Two days ago they told me they would like to exercise that right and ask me to update, We agreed that by the end of the year I would give them some kind of response and, if needed, a proposal.

It's been a while since I've read that book but I've gone over it in the last 48 hours and it wears its age well. I'm thinking that about half of it stands as is. Some of the exercises aren't particularly impressive today and should be replaced. A number of workflow considerations have changed. The channel structure needs to be discussed more. Man from Mars and similar techniques need to be fleshed out. Chapter order would have to be revised somewhat, but not radically. A lengthy section on how LAB doesn't do any harm would go online-only. In each chapter there would probably be a box discussing how things have changed in the past decade.

That is a brief first guess at how I would proceed assuming the obvious solution of a straight revise. However, Peachpit has said that it is open to other alternatives, such as adding things written by others, making it more interactive, or even going as a straight ebook with embedded content.

For the next week or so I have only a laptop and no access to my library of images. That gives us time to think this over, and I would like to ask the list for suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks in advance for any contribution.

Dan Margulis


Posted by: Dan Margulis











davlime
 

The book at the time was a colossal success. Still ten years is a very long time, and even if its teachings could still help beginners to understand tha basic concept of Lab color, it wouldn't probably make much sense from a business point of view to run a simple reprint of the old edition.

I believe that updates would be most welcome- even in the firm of an ebook. We all keep finding better, faster and smarter ways of dealing with our images. So, why not put those new ideas in print and share them with the world? This way people who already bought the old book would probably purchase the new one; and that definitely makes sense from a business point of view to me.

Dan: to put the above in other words...we don't want you to retire!!!! :-)

David


James Gray
 

Hector,
I disagree when I think about others who have not read and reread Dan's later books.  I know a number of serious amateurs and pro wanna bees who bought the LAB book and have not looked at his subsequent books.  Computers and work flows have changed in 10 years.  I have found it essentially impossible to persuade any of my friends who use Photoshop extensively to try the techniques in MPCW.  Yet they know about the LAB book and say things suggesting that they might consider using LAB color mode more but not the whole PPW as described in MPCW.  The fact that the LAB book was a #1 seller for several weeks suggests it was purchased and looked at by a lot people who have not looked at Dan's other books.  A 2nd edition would probably be noticed and purchased by people who would not pay any attention to MPCW.  That in turn would probably draw attention to MPCW.  I would speculate that people who purchase LAB 2nd edition may buy MPCW who would not do so otherwise.

Dan,
First I want to say that the section on how converting to LAB does no harm should continue to have a prominent place in the book if the 2nd edition is a printed book.  There are still a lot of people in my experience who believe that changing color space will damage their digital file.  I realize my interactions are not a scientific sample and may be quite peculiar.  I do interact with professional photographers including a few from the Santa Fe Workshops.

If you are wanting to be a little more partially retired I would think there is a lot of talent on this list and among your past beta readers who could be excellent co-authors of some chapters if you wanted to do that.  Overall, I think a 2nd edition would be terrific.

James Gray

On Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM, Hector_APR amerphoto@... [COLORTHEORY] <COLORTHEORY@...> wrote:
 

The first thought that comes to my mind is to reprint it without any changes. Call it a Classic...reprinted. I like to read books in the advertising field, but I search for
the original version without the updates. The "updates" in my opinion, ruin it. But that's just my opinion.

If someone wants...updates, they can buy Margulis's latest books.

Hector Davila

On 12/13/2014 9:33 AM, Dan Margulis DMargulis@... [COLORTHEORY] wrote:
 

 A lengthy section on how LAB doesn't do any harm would go online-only. 

 


John Bongiovanni
 

I bought the book when it came out, and it was extremely useful for me. Once I understood LAB, I was able to make some corrections much more easily. I can't say I change the color of a car frequently, but I do use the Blend-If sliders in LAB quite a bit. 

With the PPW panel, some of the topics are less useful, at least practically. MMM becomes a much lighter discussion, I think. A little bit of how/why it works, but not much else (except how to use it in the PPW panel).

I do get the sense (from other forums) that 10 years on, the understanding and use of LAB is still not very high. Perhaps you could add some material on more specialized types of correction that are done better in LAB (or maybe in RGB, to cover the range).

I guess I'm the contrarian here (so far). I don't see so much the value of a "classic" edition, but I do see the value of an updated one. I read somewhere that one of the differences between philosophy and physics is that students of  philosophy still read Plato and Aristotle, but no physics student today reads Einstein. Our understanding of relativity has improved too much to make the originial papers useful.

Anyway, I'm delighted that you have the interest and energy for this project, and I look forward to the result.


John Bongiovanni


Russell Brown
 

There have been so many tweaks and modifications to some of the methods described in the book, particularly the MMM, that an update would be a very good idea, IMHO.

I, for one would be interested in seeing what has been learned and improved upon, condensed into a "Ten Years On" edition.

I know that you had planned retirement from this sort of thing, Dan but I don't imagine that it would be a *huge* task and would certainly be worthwhile. (You should have *something* to break the monotony of travelling the globe and quaffing Grappa while watching the sunset over the Pyrenees!) ;-)

My hand is up to assist, should you require it.

Russ Brown


Dan Margulis
 

James Gray writes,

If you are wanting to be a little more partially retired I would think there is a lot of talent on this list and among your past beta readers who could be excellent co-authors of some chapters if you wanted to do that. 

I would be not be thinking of that. AFAIK nobody can imitate my own inimitable style as well as I can, and certainly not as quickly. If somebody else were to get involved it would be because that person could bring something to the table that I could not. I am open to suggestions as to what this might be.

Dan Margulis



Kirk West
 

Having bought the Canyon Conundrum some 8 or 9 years ago, but admittedly was not ready for all of the techniques discussed in it at that stage, the book did assist me in understanding the use of LAB in color correction as well as MMM. I have worked my way and learnt a tremendous amount and enjoyed every moment of the process of the MPCW and have considered working my way through both the LAB book and Professional Photoshop to see if I can enhance my understanding of the processes both in the use of the panel and other photoshop techniques. Personally I think an updated version would be extremely helpful to me as it would include updated methodology which would assist one in understanding the workings and decision making when using the Panel better.
Dan, you are a couple of months my junior and are entitled to enjoy your retirement even if it involves quaffing liberal amounts of Grappa. However you also have a rare talent and have assisted me by giving my retirement years tremendous meaning and satisfaction in being able to learn and use new skills. I seriously doubt I am alone and am confident there are others out there in the same position. To cut a long story short, my vote is a resounding Yes! I cannot wait for the updated version, my only hope is Amazon does not restrict initial sales to the USA only as the did with MPCW.
Regards
Kirk West


Kirk West FPSSA
"Retirement is a gift of time - do not waste it!"

On 13 Dec 2014, at 7:33 PM, Dan Margulis DMargulis@... [COLORTHEORY] <COLORTHEORY@...> wrote:

 

A bit over ten years ago Photoshop LAB Color burst onto the scene and became the #1 seller in the entire computer field for several weeks. Ten years later, which is an eternity in terms of computer books, that 2004 edition is still doing well, but the publisher, Peachpit Press, is running out of copies and trying to decide whether to reprint more.

By contract, they have first dibs on any subsequent edition. Two days ago they told me they would like to exercise that right and ask me to update, We agreed that by the end of the year I would give them some kind of response and, if needed, a proposal.

It's been a while since I've read that book but I've gone over it in the last 48 hours and it wears its age well. I'm thinking that about half of it stands as is. Some of the exercises aren't particularly impressive today and should be replaced. A number of workflow considerations have changed. The channel structure needs to be discussed more. Man from Mars and similar techniques need to be fleshed out. Chapter order would have to be revised somewhat, but not radically. A lengthy section on how LAB doesn't do any harm would go online-only. In each chapter there would probably be a box discussing how things have changed in the past decade.

That is a brief first guess at how I would proceed assuming the obvious solution of a straight revise. However, Peachpit has said that it is open to other alternatives, such as adding things written by others, making it more interactive, or even going as a straight ebook with embedded content.

For the next week or so I have only a laptop and no access to my library of images. That gives us time to think this over, and I would like to ask the list for suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks in advance for any contribution.

Dan Margulis


philipwarner2000
 

Hello,

Regarding the new Lab book proposal: I think this is a great idea to update this book. I am very excited to hear about this.

The eBook version with interactivity would alleviate the need to carry the book around with you, however, if you don't have internet access and you need some info, you don't have the book to reference.

I think an option to buy the ebook or the hard copy would be more flexible.

I can't wait!

Phil Warner


Rick Gordon
 

It's certainly possible to produce interactive ebooks with local data/media, so that online access is not required. It's common, and often preferable.

Rick Gordon

---------------------
On 12/13/14 9:38 PM, Philip Warner wrote:
Hello,

Regarding the new Lab book proposal: I think this is a great idea to update this book. I am very excited to hear about this.

The eBook version with interactivity would alleviate the need to carry the book around with you, however, if you don't have internet access and you need some info, you don't have the book to reference.

I think an option to buy the ebook or the hard copy would be more flexible.

I can't wait!

Phil Warner

___________________________________________
RICK GORDON
EMERALD VALLEY GRAPHICS AND CONSULTING
___________________________________________
WWW: http://www.shelterpub.com


Mike Davis
 

As an owner of every book that you have written in the past two decades or so, I would welcome a re-write of the LAB book. I would, of course, not purchase a second copy of the original LAB book, and I wonder if most of your "disciples" are not in the same boat. I would guess that your market is with experienced pros and advanced hobbyists rather than any more "general" market, and would expect a near 100% response from us. The question is how many "new" buyers would be disciplined enough to handle "advanced" material. The answer to that is above my pay grade (especially since I'm retired). But I can assure you that anything published by you will be on the top of my list for acquisition and study.

Mike Davis


Adrian Thompson
 

Hi, 

I would certainly be very interested to read an updated LAB book.  I would definitely prefer a printed book rather than ebook. I find the real thing much easier to read and to work with!

Adrian

On 13 Dec 2014, at 17:33, Dan Margulis DMargulis@... [COLORTHEORY] <COLORTHEORY@...> wrote:

A bit over ten years ago Photoshop LAB Color burst onto the scene and became the #1 seller in the entire computer field for several weeks. Ten years later, which is an eternity in terms of computer books, that 2004 edition is still doing well, but the publisher, Peachpit Press, is running out of copies and trying to decide whether to reprint more.

By contract, they have first dibs on any subsequent edition. Two days ago they told me they would like to exercise that right and ask me to update, We agreed that by the end of the year I would give them some kind of response and, if needed, a proposal.

It's been a while since I've read that book but I've gone over it in the last 48 hours and it wears its age well. I'm thinking that about half of it stands as is. Some of the exercises aren't particularly impressive today and should be replaced. A number of workflow considerations have changed. The channel structure needs to be discussed more. Man from Mars and similar techniques need to be fleshed out. Chapter order would have to be revised somewhat, but not radically. A lengthy section on how LAB doesn't do any harm would go online-only. In each chapter there would probably be a box discussing how things have changed in the past decade.

That is a brief first guess at how I would proceed assuming the obvious solution of a straight revise. However, Peachpit has said that it is open to other alternatives, such as adding things written by others, making it more interactive, or even going as a straight ebook with embedded content.

For the next week or so I have only a laptop and no access to my library of images. That gives us time to think this over, and I would like to ask the list for suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks in advance for any contribution.

Dan Margulis



onelistdrs
 

I think a new updated release for Lab/Canyon would be welcomed by new users and long time users of Ps.


Oriented to use with new PPW4 and Ps CS6 (for those unwilling to use CC) and CC+CC2014...would be quite useful.


 There are many who know little or never use Lab tho it has been in the press over the last year....now/soon is a good time to release an update....that says *over xx% is new info/material*.  People like to be up-to-date in the fast changing world of tech and s/w.


Doug Schafer


Henry Davis
 

Really, the debate between Einsteinian and quantum theory is far from settled.  That present day students don't read Einstein is not something to be proud about.

The understanding and use of Lab techniques are just as viable today as 20 years ago.  The ideas presented in the original edition set the foundation and are worthy of repeating as well as serious consideration - especially so for cases where they are demonstrably superior to "push-button" alternatives.  The opportunity to clarify and expand in a new edition is an opportunity to bring a deeper understanding that comes from greater experience. 

Working in Lab is a paradigm difference compared to CMYK and RGB and since it's the in-between connection space it is like the mother's milk of encoded color.

Henry Davis 


On Dec 13, 2014, at 5:07 PM, jjbong@... [COLORTHEORY] wrote:

I guess I'm the contrarian here (so far). I don't see so much the value of a "classic" edition, but I do see the value of an updated one. I read somewhere that one of the differences between philosophy and physics is that students of  philosophy still read Plato and Aristotle, but no physics student today reads Einstein. Our understanding of relativity has improved too much to make the originial papers useful.


Henry Davis
 

Mike, your points speaks to something I wonder about. Specifically, how present-day workflows and color management have impacted the numbers of those who were once relied upon to perform color correction and image evaluation. My take is that workflow has for the most part replaced hands-on involvement.

When I began working in Lab a long, long time ago my encounters with other Lab-bers was almost totally nonexistent (even among print shops and color pros). That didn't seem to change as time progressed (excepting color-management/profile specialists). On occasion someone would ask how I was able to accomplish a particular edit while they had been stumped. When I mentioned Lab they most often took on a blank stare. Given a chance to demonstrate it, they would shrug and say that it would be easier just to request a different image. That response wasn't surprising at all - it was the go-to response in such situations.

When photographers began stepping into pressroom territory with their own editing, RGB bias collided with CMYK. While that debate raged, Lab got some notice but was out-shouted in the RGB/CMYK argument. Meanwhile a few kept on quietly working minor miracles in Lab.

So you have a good question: How many people are really interested? Further, among all those who's pressroom positions have been eliminated: who cares?

Henry Davis

On Dec 14, 2014, at 6:50 AM, Mike Davis mldavis2@sbcglobal.net [COLORTHEORY] wrote:
<Snip>
I would guess that
your market is with experienced pros and advanced hobbyists rather than
any more "general" market, and would expect a near 100% response from
us. The question is how many "new" buyers would be disciplined enough
to handle "advanced" material.


James Gray
 

Dan,
Since you asked I will be more explicit, not withstanding the fact that I have never written a book length manuscript or did commercial writing.  So my thoughts may be of limited value.  I certainly was not thinking of somebody else trying to write in your style, far from it.  The principle thing I was thinking that other writers might offer is doing some of the hard work and allowing you to be something like an editor of some chapters that need to be rewritten.  Perhaps that would not save you any work.  I cannot tell from my experience.  You have already established a precedent of having two sections of individual chapters written in somewhat different styles (i.e. the first simpler part and the latter deeper look section).  I think it would flow quite well to have either half of certain chapters written by a different author with the alternate author clearly indicated as the author.  To do this perhaps it would be better to change the chapter structure a bit.  I do not know if chapter 2 would need to be revised, but perhaps it could be Chapter 2 - LAB by the numbers and Chapter 3- A closer look at LAB by the numbers etc.  That is just a thought.  I really do not know if this would reduce your work in revising the book.  If it would not reduce your work, it probably is not worth considering.

Another thought is that you have used beta readers extensively and quoted their words quite liberally in your books.  Perhaps expanding the direct quoting of beta readers would save you some work.  Perhaps bringing beta readers into the project at an earlier stage before you have rewritten the sections you know need to be rewritten with instructions to make suggestions and recommendations about how to rewrite.  I am sure some of you beta readers could write pages that would be good if not in your style.  At this stage you have experience with a set of beta readers and know who would write whole paragraphs and who provided suggestions and corrections in a more cryptic style.  You could reuse some of the former beta readers.  I do not have experience from your side of things.  I do not know if in the calculus of "faster, cheaper, better" if beta readers actually offer anything in the "faster" department.  If not, this suggestion may not be worth considering.

If I thought I could help with content, I would be happy to help.  However, as an amateur photographer and amateur Photoshop user, I presume that others are in a better position to offer content.

James Gray

On Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM, Dan Margulis DMargulis@... [COLORTHEORY] <COLORTHEORY@...> wrote:
 

James Gray writes,

If you are wanting to be a little more partially retired I would think there is a lot of talent on this list and among your past beta readers who could be excellent co-authors of some chapters if you wanted to do that. 

I would be not be thinking of that. AFAIK nobody can imitate my own inimitable style as well as I can, and certainly not as quickly. If somebody else were to get involved it would be because that person could bring something to the table that I could not. I am open to suggestions as to what this might be.

Dan Margulis




Lewis LaRue
 

Dan:  LAB Color is the book from which I have learned the most, so I would be delighted if you were to update it.

But when you do, I think you need to keep in mind the potential audience, and in particular, I would hope you would write it for a different audience than that which follows this group, i.e., those who are likely to use the PPW panel and the recommendations in MPCW. In other words, you might consider the possibility that preferences in how to work are subjective, that these subjectivities are legitimate, and that a refusal to follow MPCW is acceptable.

The modern workflow that is now recommended is to process the file repeatedly (with variations) and to do so as quickly as possible. Then, one is to blend the best of each version. What needs to be considered is that many people find this workflow either unnatural or even abhorrent; furthermore, one needs to accept the fact that such a response does not make them ignorant or perverse. Different people are different.

If one accepts this difference, then the strategy of the original book is still sound and that strategy should be replicated in the revision.

On the other hand, might decide that you do not wish to serve the audience that responded to the original. You have moved on, and you could say you are not interested in those who refuse to move with you. I think it would be a pity were you to so decide, but this is your call.

Lash LaRue


Mike Weis
 

First, I would like to see an ebook. I, for one, have been moving more and more that way over the past several years.

An update is probably due. I think it would be good to focus new sections on the channel side of things rather than on the procedures which now comprise MPCW, although I understand they are tightly related.

Boy, the decades fly by, don’t they?

—Mike Weis


Rex
 

What Ho,

My limited experience of e-Books is that reading a novel is just about OK; but trying to follow an e-book technical / instruction manual is a definite no-no. Way to difficult and inconvenient.

If the proposed up-dated volume is published only as an e-book, I will not be a buyer.

Toodle Pip,

Rex


paco@...
 

Hi to all!

Definitely update! I am all for whatever helps one improve upon what you have already taught us. Just to think that you have found new techniques in the world of LAB is wonderful!

In my very personal opinion, I do not favor doing so by means of the modern workflow panel. I might sound old school but I want to do my correcting the old way. This is a personal choice because in my work, I always know what I want to achieve and you have taught me, how to do it quickly and accurately. If I run into an unfamiliar situation, I have always managed to find an answer somewhere in a mixing and matching of your techniques.

As to the book being paper or ebook I favor the ebook. It gives the reader so much access to extra resources that it seems foolish not to take advantage of it.

Be it as it may, I am very excited that the publisher wants to do this and that I will be learning more about the fantastical world of LAB!

Thank you Dan!