Do I just prefer darker images?

Started 4 weeks ago | Questions thread
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Flycaster
Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,844
Do I just prefer darker images?

I use both Photoshop Elements 18 and Photo-lab 4-Elite to process my RAWs.  I generally start out in PL and finish up in PSE.  And, when I am just about finished in PSE, I give PSE's Smart Fix a look-see.  I recently checked an image that was done completely in PL4 and Smart Fixed in PSE to the same image completely processed in PSE and then finished with Smart Fix.  Inevitably, the Smart Fix image is always brighter after the fix, regardless whether it is initially processed in PL or PSE. This outcome, Smart Fix leading to brighter images regardless of which program was used to do the initial processing, now has me wondering if I am consistently underexposing during post???  Or, is it just a matter of taste that I may like darker images??? Here are two examples of what I'm trying to describe:

All PSE

PSE + Smart Fix

All PL4

PL4 + PSE's Smart Fix

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