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filmscanners: "Auto Levels" Revisited



I've spent the last 4 days experimenting with the good inputs that members 
have put forth re Photoshop "Auto Levels."  I can see how Tony, being 
somewhat a perfectionist, would reject 9 out of 10 "Auto Level" 
interpretations. I tend to reject 40-50%, myself. The various comments on 
the White Point were particularly valid--Auto Levels tends to select a White 
Point in the blue-white sector, and the results become overly blue as a 
result.

I also noticed that it clips the color points (individual R,G,B) short of 
the histogram by several values. Whether this would amount to the complete 
destruction of a picture may be subjective--I don't see how it could "ruin" 
a picture that may be easily Color Corrected, but then, clipping parts of 
the histogram might possibly be construed as such, where there is finesse 
detail.

In non-critical correction, I still find Auto Levels very useful and very 
fast.  It's especially useful, IMHO, for neutralizing bad color casts, which 
can be a real pain in the tuchas to correct with Levels, Curves, etc. As I 
said before, it gives you a good "start point."

Again as in the past, when I tried to use the eyedroppers on a particularly 
poorly-exposed pic, the thing went bizarrely nuts. Very "Modern Art."  Very 
unacceptable. For my way of working, I prefer the gradualism of sliders, 
thank you very much. I guess that's why shoes come in so many sizes, styles 
and colors, eh? :-)

For Newbies (and I still consider myself one of these), experimentation is 
still the best way to learn. There ain't no "One Size Fits All" in color 
correction, AFAICT. There's just what works best for you.

Best regards--LRA

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