Creating a Dramatic Black and White Image Using Only Lightroom

There are numerous ways to convert an image to black and white, each bringing with it its own balance of efficiency and artistic control. This method shows you how to really take the reins using just Lightroom.

Coming to you from Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect, this helpful video will show you how to use a combination of tools to create a dramatic black and white conversion in Lightroom. I generally prefer to stay in Lightroom whenever I can, only switching to Photoshop when I absolutely need to, as I just find it keeps me more efficient. The nice thing is that Lightroom has a lot more capabilities than might seem apparent at first glance, and with a little practice, you can get quite a bit of control over even local editing. When you're working with black and white, remember that painting with the light becomes even more important: use the interplay of highlights and shadows to shape the image and draw the viewer's attention where you want it to go. And of course, be sure you're shooting in raw to maximize your ability to push the file in the direction you want while still maintaining quality. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Once again an “article” that’s just a link to a video ::eye roll::

Hey Noah,

Just a note to explain a bit more of what I do around here. Part of my job is using my knowledge and judgment to find the best tutorials on the web and present them in one place, Fstoppers. While I write original content too, that's only part of my job, and as such, you're going to see video articles from me. I understand your position from your previous comment and appreciate the feedback, and I'd like to point out that every video-based article on Fstoppers has a play button in the upper left corner on the home page, so you'll know what it is before you even click into it. You can also click the "Originals" tab to see our original content. Thanks for reading.

Almost every good photography site culls information from around the internet. What I appreciate is that Fstoppers doesn't just present me with a link to a video with a short subject line but adds some additional information about the content of the video as well. This helps me better decide if I then want to watch the full video. Like you said if I just want to see original content there is a tab that is easily clicked. I say keep it up.

absolutely. I highly commend the information that is added in the article around the video which would make me start watching or refrain.

Thanks Alex

I disapprove of this approach. I demand to be entertained and informed multiple times per day for free ONLY with original high quality content from FStoppers authors. I also demand a filter so that I can understand satire and sarcasm online.

I’ve earned all this because I filled out a form to create an account here.

Just think.... an old war horse like me learning the whimsical Lightroom moves of a millennial. I typically use a more disciplined workflow. However, I see the value of the artsy approach presented here. One interesting thing he brought up was lens profiling at the end to keep LR from slowing down. Is that a known bug?

It's not a bug. It's just due to the simple fact that lens profile correction involves nondestructive warping of the entire image, so it's processor intensive to start applying other effects on top. But most decent computers can handle it no problem. Unmesh just mentions it because he's on a laptop that might struggle to keep up.

OK thanks.... I checked it out on my computer, and I didn't notice any gains by leaving it until the end.