Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Converting to black and white, part of Enhancing a Black-and-White Wedding Photo with Lightroom.
The actual process of converting a color image to black and white in LightRoom is pretty straightforward. I'll start by taking my virtual copy into the Develop module. I'll select the virtual copy here in the Library module and press D on my keyboard. And then I'm going to go over to the panels on the right. There are two different places from which I can convert this copy to black and white. I could do that from here in the Basic panel right at the top by clicking the black and white label. Or I could come down to the HSL Color B and W panel.
And I could click B and W there. Or I can just press the keyboard shortcut V on my keyboard. Either way, that converts the selected virtual copy to black and white. And to do so, LightRoom is applying an automatic mix. Which you can see here in the HSL Color Black and White panel. And by mix, I mean that it's converting various ranges of color in the master photo. To particular brightness values in the black and white photo. And you can see those here in the sliders in the HSL Color B And W panel.
Before I go on to fine tune this black and white conversion, I want to make a snap shot of the state of my work flow. That's because as I continue to work on this image I sometimes like to do a before and after comparison. And if I were to press the / key on the keyboard to do a before and after as I'm working on the image, that would take me all the way back to the color version of the photo. I'd rather come back to this initial black and white version so I'm going to make a snapshot of it. To do that, I'll go to the Snapshots panel and I'll click the Plus symbol there. And that creates a new snapshot.
I'll name this Snapshot1 since this is the first snapshot I'm making in this photo and I'll call it Initial BW, for black and white. I like to name my snapshots with meaningful names so I know which is which later. And then I'll click Create. And, you can see that snapshot in the Snapshots panel. At anytime in the future, i can come back to this panel and click on this snapshot to return to this view of the photo.
- Converting to black and white
- Fine-tuning with a tone curve
- Controlling how colors convert
- Painting with light
- Bringing out detail in the dress and veil
- Removing hotspots
- Adding a vignette
- Sharpening, resizing, and exporting the file