Camera Raw: (CS4) What's the logic behind this specific behavior in the auto-function?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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Sometimes, depending on the image, ACR (v.5.7.0.213) will push the exposure slider up while simultaneously pulling the brightness slider down when I elect to use the auto button. The result often creates odd and unrealistic tonalities even to the point of making the image appear overexposed in the mid-range. From what I can tell, the histogram is only subtly altered. What's the logic behind this behavior in the auto-function? I could provide .png images if anyone's interested in taking a look.
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Wayne Reich

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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I've been trying to understand auto-function logic for a long time, so far mostly unsuccessfully. Sometimes it overexposes a lot, and sometimes it underexposes a lot. And, sometimes overall exposure seems reasonable.

I don't know whether its flawed or by design. But in any case, I'd like to see some more auto-function controls - for example: highlight preservation control to keep it from overexposing in cases where the upper midtones & highlights are the most important aspect of the photo. And, maybe shadow preservation control, since auto-function tends to never clip shadows, even when that would be desirable.

I wrote up an Fr/Idea for it if you want to cast your vote.
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Wayne Reich

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Thanks for the reply, Rob - it's nice to know that someone else shares a similar view. I tend to feel like the Auto button is just a good starting point and I often find myself studying what has changed between Default and Auto so that I can rework the image manually and control each variable.

Something else I've noticed is that ACR on auto almost never (or at least very rarely) uses the fill light slider in my work. Is that your experience, too?

I'll take a look at your suggested idea - thanks again for responding!
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Rob Cole

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Hi Wayne,

Yeah, I alternate between using auto out of curiosity and not using it at all. I think its got potential, but it's not quite "there" yet.. Definitely tends to be very conservative on the fill, although it does kick in a little fill from time to time. Tends to be conservative on the highlight recovery too, although not as much as the fill.

I'm not sure my other idea is that good as it stands (maybe it is), but I think there's at least the seeds of an idea for improvement in it...

Cheers,
Rob