I refer to the RESET command in Lightroom, which I always thought meant "reset" — as in "go back to zero." I'm sure this was discussed in one of the many Lightroom tutorials I've completed, but for the life of me I don't ever remember the issue RESET being covered — at least not the most crucial part of what RESET actually does. You see, RESET doesn't go back to zero like you'd think — or at least like I thought. Guess again.
The reset command is not an "everything back to zero" command. Instead, the ground zero that reset actually resets to can be defined by us. In fact, it probably is, either by us or by Adobe by default. Reset means "go back to the beginning as you've defined it in the Set Default Settings" command. This is a very different thing than ZERO. It's found in the Develop Module under Develop/Set Default Settings . . .
Whatever your settings are when you click on Set Default Settings will be the automatic settings used when importing and when you click on the reset button. I have no idea how this little detail escaped me, but what a huge oversight on my part. Somehow I had set this default wrong and all my images imported with the wrong settings. It was easy to fix, but took me a while this morning to realize my mistake.
For reasons I'm not sure I know (but suspect were simply carried over from Lightroom 2 to Lightroom 3), my default settings were . . .
Because it was the default, every image I've imported into Lightroom 3 arrives with these settings. Because it was the default, every time I'd reset an image, it would jump to these settings. Maybe these are Adobe's defaults; maybe I somehow set them without knowing I did so; maybe they did carry over from Lightroom 2 when I updated my catalog. I don't know. The point is, these settings were fairly typical for my images in Lightroom 2 using PV2003, but are way off for Lightroom 3 using PV2010. I've needed to tweak every blasted image I've imported to Lightroom 3 to get it were I wanted it — and didn't need to. Aaaargh. I am dogmeat.
More typically, my settings end up something like this on most images processed in Lightroom 3 using PV2010. If they don't end up here, they at least ought to start here because it's a better setting for the vast majority of my images from the Panasonic G1 camera.
Now that I understand it, this feature is quite powerful and a good thing. For one, I can have different default settings for different cameras. Handy! Once I finesse the settings for sharpness, noise reduction, etc., every image comes in using that default and is ready for more serious editing. Handy! If I ever need to change the settings — which is precisely what I needed to do for the update to PV2010 — it's easy to update images to these new settings by simply doing a RESET. Handy!
And I can always get back to true dead zero if I need to with a preset that changes everything to zero. I suppose in some sense, the default settings is nothing more than a preset you can get to with the special RESET command/button with the added advantage that it is applied automatically per camera upon import. I know I must have learned this somewhere along the way and simply forgotten it. Live and learn. I just hope I don't forget it and need to relearn it all over again with Lightroom 4 and the next process version update.