Adobe released an update to both Camera RAW and Lightroom Classic CC earlier this week which includes a completely reworked auto tone feature. According to Adobe the auto tone has been completely rebuilt to provide a more pleasing result.
Adobe says that depending on the image, applying Auto setting will make changes to the following sliders: Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, and Vibrance. They also point out that if you crop your image you should apply it again as the parameters have changed and the results might be different.
Now I have to say that in my own work I almost never use the auto tone feature in Camera RAW. I much prefer to work the sliders on my own. However at the same time it is so easy to slide into a comfort pattern where you are almost always making the same changes to your images. It can be refreshing to use the auto feature if for nothing else than seeing an approach that is different to your own.
Bellow is an image of Corey Taylor of the band Stone Sour, which I posted on the blog a few weeks ago. The first version is a JPEG from the untouched original RAW and the second version is one made with the auto tone feature in Camera RAW.
Now personally I think in this case the auto tone feature went to far. It saw the image was dark and it compensated for that opening it up in the exposure, the shadows, the whites, and the contrast.
Still you could take this as a starting point and tone it down a little. This time the first image is the same image I posted in my Stone Sour blog post a few weeks back. The second image I took the results from the auto tone and brought them down slightly into something I found more pleasing.
So that is the new and improved auto tone feature in Camera RAW and Lightroom. Not being a big user of it I can not say definitively if it is improved over the previous iteration. What do you guys think? Let me know on Twitter.