“Black and white”: it’s just two words, but it offers unlimited photo style options.
Ranging from high-contrast styles to old-school films, black and white imagery is popular. Photography is the art of less, focusing your audience’s eye on what matters most. That helps limit an image to black and white tones.
For the best in black and white, we’ve put together a collection of ten of the best free black and white Lightroom presets. You might be surprised how many black and white variations you can take advantage of with these Lightroom presets. Let’s take a look.
Note These black and white Adobe Lightroom presets are used for Adobe Lightroom Classic. They are packaged with .xmp files. Check out our instructions for installing these presets at the end of this post.
Far from being neutral, Contrast Noir is a preset that brings life to your image. You may have heard someone describe an image as having “pop,” and while it’s hard to describe, it’s easy to see. Contrast Noir adds pop in one click. This high contrast black and white look is the best way to make a statement with your image.
This preset will ask the viewer, “was this shot on film?” With just enough grain to add texture to a photo, it’s the perfect way to send your photos back in time. To create a classic image with a retro look, Super Heavy 82 is the default for the job.
Have you ever been out walking in an empty city at night? You’ll recognize that exact vibe with the Hunted preset. Adding structure and texture to an image, it’s an excellent preset for urban scenes or architecture.
Ideal for the big day or any consequential portraiture, Liefde brings softness to your subjects. With one click, you will transform an image into a black and white dreamscape. This preset is a picture-perfect example of “less is more,” as defocused details help the viewer feel the photo.
Shadowze is another cinematic style preset, albeit unique in its presentation. With a flattened tone curve, the gap between “black” and “white” narrows beautifully. It’s a general preset that you can apply to almost any image for a throwback black and white style.
What makes a romantic default? It’s the light tone and delicate nature of your images. It is great for engagement and wedding photos, for example. This download pack includes ten free black and white Lightroom presets. It shows how many versions of black and white there really are.
This preset is better than taking an image from RAW to black and white. Even better, it serves as a starting point that you can style further. The default conversion is neutral black and white, and with a few tweaks, you can choose which direction to take your image.
Adding plenty of structure and texture, I love this preset for architecture and cityscapes. It’s a great preset for a dramatic look in black and white. For best results, try this image on night photography.
Grunge is a great choice for a black and white preset that brings out the details. This preset works well for any image where you want to bring the subtleties into focus. Try this preset on a scene where you want to highlight items that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Every photographer needs an “everyday preset” in their tool belt. That means it’s a look you can apply to most images to test the style. Notorious is perfect for the occasion, with a clean black and white style that suits so many photos.
How to install Adobe Lightroom Classic Presets
- Download the default file from the links above.
- Find the .XMP file in each download package. Sometimes, the packaged file will come in a zip file and need to be extracted.
- Open Lightroom Classic and switch to the
- On the left side, find the panel labeled
- Click on the
+icon and select
- Browse to the
XMPfile, select it, and choose
- Find your new preset in the sidebar and click it to apply it to an image.