Thanks for posting that. It's been years since I've seen Lee present (maybe since the last 13 Forum). I got a real kick out of seeing his early work. I forgot he did the Silence of the Lambs poster.
As for his 10 Channel demo, yes, it's what I expected. He intentionally processed the raw flat and fixed it in Photoshop. Photoshop is Lee's strength...his approach is more like the old days of film scans where you intentionally waited to do anything other than base cast correction and brought it into Photoshop flat. I used to do that with raw files early back when I had to use the crappy Canon software before Thomas wrote Camera Raw.
Clearly he could have done a lot more to improve the images in ACR/LR (and even admitted he does use LR's controls when he's doing a lot of images). I also thought his corrections were a bit over the top...but something that could be adjusted using masks and opacity.
I did get a kick out of his answer regarding 8 bit–note he was working in 8 bit sRGB and had his workflow settings in ACR to 72PPI and had web output sharpening on. He mentioned my "recreational user" comment regarding not using 16 bit. I suspect he doesn't normally use sRGB–he must had been doing some web images before. I was sort of shocked how slow his computer was running...
The bottom line is it's useful for a user to know many ways to work on images and pick and choose when to do what where. I always go into Photoshop for retouching, midtone contrast and fine tuning with layers and of course, soft proofing. Much of what Lee demoed regarding contrast, color and saturation could easily be done parametrically in ACR/LR and leave some tuning work for Photoshop. I'm not at all convinced that people should ignore the toolset ACR/LR has just to go into Photoshop to fix it, unless maybe you're doing a book on the process. Course, I may be biased since I've been involved with the development of ACR/LR and write a book about ACR. On the other hand, maybe it's because I've been involved that I also know how to use the controls so well.
I'm also pretty darn good at Photoshop as well...Lee and I have been in the biz about the same length of time although I think I've got him beat in terms of shooting for digital manipulation. My first digitally imaged job was in 1984 well before Thomas ever started work on Photoshop. I didn't do the imaging but shot the elements specifically for digital assembly by Rafael at Digital Transparencies Inc in Huston. That was my first taste of what would eventually happen because of Photoshop.
I like Lee, I wish him well and happen to thing he's wrong but provides useful techniques...