This is my first post. I searched first and found a prior discussion that touched on this topic (Auto Tone vs LR4 Develop Module Adapted Workflow Sequence), but it focused on Auto Tone and my question is really more about manually developing.
My question is about the sequence in which one should use the sliders in Develop. Jeff and Michael state quite clearly in the LuLa Lightroom video that Thomas recommends updating the sliders in order, i.e., Exposure, then Contrast, etc. My question is, how can you have any idea how to set the Contrast slider before setting the White and Black points, because setting Whites and Blacks drastically changes the contrast?
I've been playing around with Auto Tone a bit lately (I'd never liked what I saw from it) and noticed that it usually makes large adjustments in Whites and Blacks and very little adjustment in the Contrast slider. In fact, it often decreases the Contrast slider, but the actual contrast increases dramatically because of the Whites and Blacks adjustments. I'm not suggesting that Auto Tone should necessarily be our guide, but I found that often if I adjust Exposure after Auto Tone the result is pretty good (sometimes it's awful, but sometimes it's a big improvement). One would think that the programming for Auto Tone would in some way take into account Thomas' philosophy on developing, but there is no way one would get to the Auto Tone results if you edited the Contrast first and the Whites and Blacks last, without having to go back and completely re-do the Contrast setting. I understand that some back and forth tweaking is always going to be necessary, but if you set Contrast first you're likely to set a significant increase, and then when you use Whites and Blacks to set the white and black points (this is assuming a photo where you want a full range from dark to light) the contrast will be way too high and you'll have to go back and totally change the Contrast setting.
Can anyone clear this up for me?