Pictorial B&W is a free Lightroom preset that converts colored images to black and white. It has balanced, moderate contrast, tones that are suitable for any type of photography — from portraits to landscapes, whether shot indoors or outdoors.
This is the preset to use if you are looking for a professional monochrome look. It is highly versatile; Pictorial B&W is, easily, one of the first monochrome presets you should apply to your images. It looks great on prints and digitally, even as an Instagram filter for your everyday posts.
Creates a Balanced Monochrome Look
Just Right. Pictorial B&W produces balanced tones with moderate contrast. Creating this effect alone requires a careful enhancement of tones. As with any preset, this one starts with a simple adjustment. It increases contrast to add crispness and depth to the image.
You can examine the result in the After photo above. Compare the contrast between light and dark regions, like the white fluffy clouds against the deeply toned sky. This effect is, of course, more finely tuned in the succeeding enhancements.
Adds Brilliance to Light Regions
Brightened Expressions. In conjunction with the contrast tweak above, Pictorial B&W amplifies the intensity of whites and highlights. This then gives light areas a beautiful luster. As with its entire motif, the preset does so moderately, so as not to dilute or lose details.
You can observe how the preset processes this setting in the portrait above. See how the brightening enhancement helps accentuate the expressions of the couple: you can see more of the woman's features. Notice how the effect also enhances skin tones; this helps draw attention to the subject, especially with the dark background.
Brilliance. It is easy to see the added illumination in this example. Look at the light areas and see how much light is added to whites and highlights. The result is simple and crucial to the aesthetic: simply examine the lustrous bright whites of the architecture. The curves of the Burj Al Arab now look more stunning, especially in this classic film monochrome.
Fine Polish. The preset creates its smooth, somewhat glossy, look by lowering clarity levels. This adjustment softens midtones and creates Pictorial B&W's distinct polish. You can examine the result in this coastal scene.
Notice how the bright tones and subdued midtones come together to create a balanced black and white film effect. Although monochrome is commonly regarded as old or vintage, presets like Pictorial B&W continue to add a modern touch. This classic style is timeless, after all, and can go with any look or feel.
Draws Out Textures
Vivid Details. To complement all the brightening and smoothing enhancements, Pictorial B&W also amplifies sharpening. This setting is enough to finely extract textures and make them look clear.
Once again, this adjustment is geared towards creating a balanced look. It makes details pop nicely against the polished tones. You can observe the now-crisp details in this photo of a marketplace.
Pictorial B&W is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and...
Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Pictorial B&W preset as is, right out of the box. With any preset, you might need to make adjustments to accommodate your specific camera, settings, lighting, and subject matter.
- Entirely Adjustable
- Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC
- Performs with both PC, Mac, and Mobile
- Applicable to both RAW and JPG images
- 100% Free
This Free Lightroom Preset was last updated on July 2, 2020