Today’s Question: What would be the case for applying an auto adjustment on import [to Lightroom Classic CC]? How do you know that an image or images would benefit from an adjustment when one hasn’t had the chance to even evaluate it?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I find that applying the Auto adjustment in Lightroom generally provides a better starting point for an image than the default adjustment settings. In addition, I generally find that I have a better initial preview for evaluating my photos when the Auto adjustment has been applied.
More Detail: I’d be the first to admit that the Auto adjustment option in Lightroom won’t provide a perfect solution for most images. In other words, I always expect that after using the Auto adjustment that I’m going to want to refine most (or all) of the individual adjustments affected by the Auto option. So it is perfectly reasonable to wonder why I would apply the Auto adjustment when importing photos into Lightroom.
I completely understand the notion of not wanting to apply automatic adjustments to an image. After all, each image can benefit from different adjustments. However, I find that applying the Auto adjustment gets me closer to a final effect I’m happy with compared to the default adjustment settings.
In addition, in a recent update to Lightroom the Auto feature was updated with improved image analysis. Taking all of this into account, I prefer to apply the Auto adjustment as part of a preset I apply during import. I’ll still absolutely go back and refine the adjustment settings for my photos, but I still appreciate the initial result based on the Auto adjustment.