Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White

Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White

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I’m going to start a new blog post series called watch me edit! And it is what it sounds, I’m going to be posting videos of me editing images. I don’t know about you, but I learned a lot by watching someone else edit. That’s how I learned 90% of my editing process.

If you’re curious about reasons why you would want to convert an image to black and white, read my blog post about it! I give you 5 Reasons to Convert an Image to Black and White and they’re gooooooodddddd reasons, just sayin’! Let’s dive in! But first….

FREE Black and White Lightroom Presets

check out my A Beginner’s Guide to Shooting in Black and White post

Lightroom Editing Video Black and White

what editing program I use and why

I love love love to use Lightroom to edit my images. On occasion, I do pull my images into Photoshop to either clone or add a little more pop. But, the majority of the time I use Lightroom for everything. I love it so much! I love how easy it is to use and I love the edits I’m able to produce in seconds.

a good SOOC (straight out of camera) is important

Before we get started, I wanted to dive into just how important it is to have a good SOOC. Light and exposure IN camera are so so important. Don’t take pictures thinking, ‘Oh, I can fix this in post!’. You should be taking pictures to make post processing easy. Even if you love editing, you don’t want to make it hard on yourself by taking a really crappy SOOC! This is true for any post processing, and not just black and white edits!

I’m a constant under exposure, and for that reason, my style is a little darker. If you have a brighter style, where your whites are really white, make sure you are not blowing any highlights. Highlights are not as easily fixed. If anything, make sure you have proper exposure SOOC and then brighten your photo in post to get the style you love. Be smart with how you expose your images!

Now that I’ve blabbed about the importance of SOOC, on to the video!

In case I went to fast in the video, here are the settings I tweaked to make this a nice deep black and white.


  • Exposure: -0.36
  • Contrast: +29
  • Highlights: -17
  • Shadows: -35
  • Whites: +9
  • Blacks: -38
  • Clarity: +15
  • Dehaze: +7

If you have any questions about how I convert my images to black and white, do not hesitate to ask! I am happy to help!

FREE black and white presets

I created some free black and white presets for you to use and tweak.

When using presets, be sure to tweak them so that they match your own personal style. Presets save time, but they should not just be a one click and done type of thing.

I hope they help you learn how to edit with black and white! I always look at the presets and learn something new from them. Explore and experiment!

FREE B&W Lightroom Presets


Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White in Lightroom

After B&W Conversion

As always, thank you so much for swinging by!

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3 Thoughts to “Watch Me Edit: How to Convert an Image to Black and White”

  1. Oh my goodness!! Black and white editing has been somewhat of a mystery to me until now. Thanks for this post!!!

    1. Alyssa Ahern

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I hope it helped some!

  2. […] guys! I decided to continue my series, Watch Me Edit! My first post in this series was all about how to convert to black and white. It seemed like a hit, so I thought I’d continue […]

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