Converting a color photo to black and white is common task but a challenging one.

On one hand you might want a “film style” look, on the other hand, you want to harness the digital image processing power of Lightroom.

I would like to show you how to take advantage of them both, in this short tutorial:

Step #1 – Choose a Color Photo to Convert

In Lightroom’s Library, choose the photo you would like to convert to black and white.

As always, I recommend Camera Raw files.

Now hit D on your keyboard to open the photo in the develop module.

For this tutorial I chose this portrait taken by Julia Kuzmenko McKim:

Step #2 – Set Colors to Basic

In this tutorial I used “BlackMagic digital Black & White laboratory”.

To prepare the colors for best conversion results, I chose “Standard Color” from BlackMagic Basic category. This seems to be a minor change, but it is significant for the black and white conversion:

Step #3 – Creative Black and White

Silver Print preset from the Creative BW category, emulates a silver print. I thought it is very suitable for this photo:

Step #4 – Fine Tune the Black and White Conversion

The black and white conversion is almost perfect.

In this image, the red sofa is slightly lighter then it should be.

In the HSL/Color/B&W section of the Develop module, I darkened the Reds:

The final image:


Click to enlarge to full screen:

Yes, it is possible to create an excellent black and white image in Lightroom, using just four short steps 🙂

To learn more about BlackMagic features:

BlackMagic free tutorial

 BlackMagic is on special sale (ends September 20, 2014) – only $14.90!

Get your BlackMagic Black and White lab for Lightroom – here

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