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LR4 - AutoWB on Import?

May 2, 2012 10:18 AM



I’m a long time Photoshop user but recently picked up LR4 to try to fine tune my workflow.  I’ve noticed that after importing new files (RAW, I haven’t tried with jpg) into my library as I scroll through them (1-up, not in grid) the preview comes up and then after a second or so the WB changes to a much colder image.  Also, and I don’t know if this is just in my mind or not, the image seems flatter. 


Does LR4 initially preview at specific settings and then change to the individual image settings?  Even if so, the final images seem very cool and I feel like I have to up the temp more than I should have to.  My previous workflow was to sort in Bridge and then use ACR to import to Photoshop.  I feel like I did much less tweaking of my WB this way.  Any info would be appreciated, I feel like I’m starting from square one with LR4.  Thanks!

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    May 2, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to rkelly0137

    rkelly0137 wrote:


    ... Does LR4 initially preview at specific settings and then change to the individual image settings?

    Lightroom initially shows the embedded thumbnails in the raw files (i.e. the camera's interpretation of the raw) in the preview images. A moment later, LR generates its own previews by applying the default development settings to the raw data, optionally modified by a develop preset specified at import. Both are almost always different because Lightroom's develop engine is build completely different from the camera's engine.

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    May 2, 2012 10:51 AM   in reply to rkelly0137
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    May 2, 2012 11:11 AM   in reply to rkelly0137

    Apart from the other two answers:


    Maybe you suffer from a setting in your preferences which you might not have set intentionally:

    in your LR settings - Preferences - tab Presets: do you have a tick at "Apply auto tone adjustments" ?


    If so, remove it and try if you like the result better (click on "reset all" for one or several images in Quick Develop from Library module or one-by-one in Develop module).


    How cool an image looks depends also on the calibration, i.e. the last panel no.8 in Develop module.

    If you like your camera's default jpg-rendering, set this to "Camera standard" rather than "Adobe standard".


    Then you can save this as your develop default:  menu Develop - Set Default Settings...

    You need to repeat this for all ISO settings in case you have ticked in your Preferences as "Make defaults specific to camera ISO setting", or even for each camera serial no if that is ticked.


    I prefer to tweak my default settings rather than applying a develop preset during import, because then the images are considered "not developed". With a preset I could no longer distinguish if I have edited them on top or not.



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    May 2, 2012 5:37 PM   in reply to rkelly0137

    Changing the default settings WILL NOT change the images that you have already imported. One way to quickly apply the new defaults would be to highlight those previously imported images, enable auto-sync in the develop module, and then click on the reset button. Those default settings will only be automatically applied to images that you import after you have set the new defaults.



    In my case, I chose to adjust one of my images that closely represents my "normal" shooting style. I adjusted everything until that image looked the way I wanted it to look. Then I saved those settings as my default settings. This takes care of the bulk of my images when I import new ones. There will obviously be those that don't fit into that mold, and almost every image can benefit from a little tweaking here and there.



    Lightroom is so versatile that one needs to devote time to understanding how it works and take the time to customize it up front. Doing so can save you a lot of time down the road.

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    May 2, 2012 10:15 PM   in reply to JimHess

    Yes, as JimHess explained, the new defaults are not applied to previously imported images until you tell LR to do so.


    For me the quickest way is via "reset all" from Library module, quick develop panel.


    If you still find camera standard too flat, another default setting for your purpose might be medium i.o. linear contraast for the tone curve.

    Try various approaches: it is about getting *most* of your images *into the ballpark* of your taste without individual develop.


    Calibration changes the basic raw interpretation, yes.



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    May 3, 2012 12:51 PM   in reply to rkelly0137

    Did you use ACR/raw processing a lot in Photoshop?

    If yes, remember what you usually did there. You can reapply that directly for LR (if in process version 2010 even 1:1, but you cannot yet have experience in process version 2012 inside Photoshop, other than CS6).

    The ACR engine of Photoshop is under the hood of LR's develop module - just the versions do not always synch from the beginning. LR4 matches ACR 7.0 of CS6, but you can achieve inter-operability with ACR 6.7 of CS5 as well.


    If you do not achieve your best taste immediately, you can alway change your default settings afterwards and use "reset" to apply to images imported earlier.

    So you can safely play around and find your style.

    It might even change again over the course of several shoot's edits.


    Have fun, Cornelia

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