Imagine you shoot film and develop your own negatives. Some of you probably do.
Then one day you buy your usual chemicals in the same looking bottle except for a 2012 written on the bottom of the bottle. You accept it and assume it's just an improved product. You then go through your normal processing routine but your film negatives now seem off with unusual looking highlights, colour and contrast. Not good!
In the digital world of raw file processing this is Adobe's process version 2012 at work. It assumes we know nothing about digital processing and in the background secretly adds recovery, contrast and brightness along with other tweaks that we have not chosen.
This and other automatic adjustments and manufacture presets are not true photographic or creative processes. There are a few exceptions to this but handing control over to software without the knowledge of what effect this is having on your image file is not a good thing.
The raw converter is just that, a raw converter. It is a place where only certain pre-editing adjustments should be made such as cropping, exposure and some other minor adjustments in order to retain the purest digital file ready for export to image editing software. A perfect example of less is more.
I will discuss my own recommendations regarding process versions, raw adjustments etc in a future post or an upcoming e-book.
Until next post. :-)
N.B.This blog post references Light Room Develop module and Adobe Camera Raw. I have not studied any other raw converters but will be researching these soon.