Would suggest you to go under Lightroom Preferences> Presets tab> uncheck the option "apply auto tone adjustments"
Restart Lightroom and import a few fresh images to check if the issue persists.
I tried that, it didn't work. And you failed to answer the 2nd half of my question: how do I recover my preferences, presets, watermarks, etc from this junk update?
These forums seem to be just about worthless. Answers that don't answer squat and others left unanswered after several weeks.
After the import, try to reset the develop settings for any one the images under develop module to check if it undoes any effect or does it remain the same with white rectangle.
About the second issue to restore presets and all, uninstallation generally does not remove the presets, watermarks.
You get an option to remove preferences at the time of uninstallation and that could have caused the preferences, presets to disappear if you chose yes.
You can look for the presets at the below location if they are still there :
Mac : /Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/[preset or template folder]/[preset or template filename.lrtemplate]
windows : C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\[preset or template folder]\[preset or template filename.lrtemplate]
Also, under Lightroom preferences> Presets tab> check if the option "Store presets with this catalog" is checked or not.
This idiotic program keeps automatically adjusting exposure to -5.00 all by itself! No presets activated, just import and then selecting auto adjustment.
And how is it that when I go to synchronize a folder and it shows 259 new photos, then when I click "synchronize" it then pops up a window saying it can't find any photos to add? This is an absolute joke!
synchronize feature is a known issue in Lightroom 6.2.1 and the engineering team is currently working on it.
here is the reference article for the same : Synchronize folder fails with error 'No photos or videos were found to import'
We have seen a lot of issues been reported due to the new import window.
If you want, you can roll back to the previous update : http://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-do-i-roll-back-to-lightroom-2015-1-1-or-lightroom-6-1-1/
And if the presets are not there at the specified location, then you might have to recreate or reinstall the presets unless you have a backup copy of them.
I guess I'll try this since nothing else is working. Can I ask how this garbage software was released to the public? How are we going to be compensated for all of the issues, downtime and frustration this has caused? I've seen the sad excuse of an apology for 6.2, but I never saw one for 6.2.1. And I was seriously considering moving to CC since it's on sale, but not after this entire fiasco!