A common feature in photo editing software is the automation. Basically you have two choices while editing a picture. You pick the parameters or you have the program do it for you (well you can always edit on top of the automation). The nature of automation is something I often ponder. If I hit that auto button, am I less of genuine photographer? Well, yeah. If you use your camera in full auto mode are you less of a photographer then someone who uses it in manual? Well, yeah. You no longer make decisions for yourself and have the camera make it for you. However there is something to automation that I have been discovering lately (this only pertains to photo editing software. Every time I use my camera in some sort of auto mode, I am disappointed). After I take a photo, I throw it into lightroom and start messing with all the functions in the develop module. I know how I like my pictures; bright, clear, sharp, vivid, blah blah blah. There are times when I’ll edit a photo my usual way and then reset the settings and hit the auto button. Most of the time I like mine better. Sometimes the computer will edit a photo in way I would have never thought to. Here are two examples. The first picture is my edit and the second is lightroom’s.
A little cooler and darker. I went for a quasi vintage feel and lightroom did the opposite. The moral of the story is sometimes automation can be your friend.
UPDATE: I still like mine better.