Auto Tone question

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tjcadwalader

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Lately I have started using Auto Tone for a starting point. It is working fairly well on most images except that about 90 % of the time exposure is over exposed, sometimes by a full stop or more. I can double click on exposure to reset it to what I assume is as shot. Is there anyway to change how auto treats the exposure adjustment ? I am thinking of doing auto tone as a starting point on import and would like to have exposure closer to the as shot condition.
Thanks in advance for any help with this.
 
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AutoTone uses "magic" formulas to determine the best settings for your camera model or my camera model. There are no adjustments for Adobe's "magic".

For me on my Nikon, the Whites are almost always a positive number when they look better and eliminate highlight clipping if left at zero. If I reprocess my old Pentax, AutoTone does a mediocre job. But it is a reasonable starting point and without further adjustment, 90% of the AutoToned images make a quick viewable JPEG if I'm in a hurry to show my work.

I have developed a preset to reset the Whites to zero. I often apply this routinely after applying my import AutoTone Preset.
 

tjcadwalader

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Cletus,
Thanks for the reply.
I was afraid this would be the case. the more I use auto tone to more I am realizing the over exposure may not be as far off as I had originally thought. After I tweak the black and white settings then perhaps lower the mid tones with the tone curve...it's not that far off. Just needs to be moved back to as shot slightly. I may do as you do for whites and add it to presets. It surprises me that LR would want to increase exposure as I generally expose so that my RGB histograms are just touching the right wall. I would expect that to result in a slightly overexposed picture ?
 
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... I generally expose so that my RGB histograms are just touching the right wall...
Too far to the right. "Expose to the right" does not mean to clip the highlights. That is what is happening when you "touch the right wall" If a Photosite registers the maximum color value ( In decimal 255 for red , green or Blue), you can't increase it further through data manipulation so you start to lose detail. your imageare are getting overexposed with LR's Auto tone because you are over exposing them in the camera"Exposing to the Right" means getting a histogram that has a normal Bell shape skewed to the right but not bumping a against the right wall.
 
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bobrobert

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If you haven't lowered LR'S default setting for the sliders then you are starting off with a raising of the tone curve and auto tone is adding to it. In reality you are auto toning it twice. Try setting the sliders to there lowest - you can't zero them in process 2012 but in process 2010 - and see what auto tone does. Michael Reichman - Luminous Landscape - in one of his videos states he has never pushed that button and he is knowledgeable of LR. I think he is right?
 

tjcadwalader

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Cletus,
I dont expose to the point of clipping. I strive to get one of the R,B,or G to almost touch the right wall, never climbing. If my exposure slider is at 0 the exposure looks good. Auto tone adds a full stop sometimes. I'll watch the LR histograms and see whats going on with them. Now my camera histogram will vary depending on what picture style I have set. ( Canon 5D MKII ) I almost always shoot faithful, which is somewhat flat and works for my video.

bobrobert,
"If you haven't lowered LR'S default setting"
Can I lower the default setting ?
 

bobrobert

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You can lower the "boost" that adobe has added which means you are starting from a more neutral setting. I forget what the "boost" is but a Google search will find information about the difference. A lot of photographers don't like the "flat" look a Raw looks like compared with the Jpeg so in their wisdom they thought that an initial viewing of the image that had some contrast added would be better. A mistake imo because it looks less like what was captured. Better to add to an image rather than changing one that has been auto toned?
 

analoguey

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Too far to the right. "Expose to the right" does not mean to clip the highlights. That is what is happening when you "touch the right wall" If a Photosite registers the maximum color value ( In decimal 255 for red , green or Blue), you can't increase it further through data manipulation so you start to lose detail. your imageare are getting overexposed with LR's Auto tone because you are over exposing them in the camera"Exposing to the Right" means getting a histogram that has a normal Bell shape skewed to the right but not bumping a against the right wall.

Ah. This might explain why I find the use of auto-tone similarly distasteful!
Maybe because LR expects that you expose for the highlights and boosts them up generally without much more input.

I generally stay away from auto-tone because I expose for the shadows/darker areas.
 
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...I generally stay away from auto-tone because I expose for the shadows/darker areas.
Remember the OP (and me) use auto-tone as a starting point. Lightroom does a very good job (LR4 & 5 at least) at recovering shadow detail. You can not recover highlights once these have been blown out by over exposure. You may want to review your exposure strategy.
 

Den

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I generally shoot as if I'm using positive film---Exposing for the highlights. It generally works the best IMO.
 
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