David Johnston

How to Edit Black-and-White Photos

David Johnston
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Duration:   7  mins

If you decide to edit black-and-white photos after you’ve converted 4-color images to monochrome by removing the saturation, you can make improvements in post-processing. This can be accomplished through various editing techniques in Lightroom. In this premium video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s David Johnston takes you into his studio and shows you how to edit black-and-white photos with dramatic results.

To edit black-and-white photos, David brings up Lightroom and works on his image of a winter scene in low light. Using the histogram as a guide, he raises the exposure, boosts the contrast, and brings up the highlights. He also increases the whites and decreases the blacks. All these slider adjustments add depth and drama to his image. But he continues the editing process with the Black & White mix tool and its various color sliders, each color having its own luminance value.

When you convert your full-color images to black and white in Lightroom, each color is assigned to the gray scale. In other words, to edit black-and-white photos and make them memorable, you need to adjust the color sliders. David continues to edit his winter scene, adjusting the temperature slider into the blue category, and then adjusting the contrast. When working in black and white, you can push the various sliders to the extremes to achieve noticeable changes. For instance, he pulls his shadows slider way down to darken the shadows in the snow mounds. Then, he increases the whites to add more contrast.

These are all post-processing tips to edit black-and-white photos. If you keep experimenting with the Lightroom tools and sliders, you will be pleased with the results. In this premium video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s pro David Johnston employs the black & white mix tool to add depth and drama to monochromatic images.

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