10+ Best Free Lightroom Presets for Black & White Photography


Black and white photography has been a staple since its inception. It offers a timeless and classic aesthetic that can take any photo to a new level. But despite the simplicity of the two color tones, there are so many options when it comes to black and white photography.

From high-contrast and moody to soft and dreamy, black and white photography can be tailored to fit any mood or subject. By removing color, the viewer is able to focus on the shapes, textures, and tones of the image, making black and white photography a powerful tool for storytelling.

For those wanting to take their black and white photography to the next level, we have a collection of ten of the best free Lightroom presets. These presets offer various styles and tones, from vintage film looks to modern high-contrast effects. With just a few clicks, you can transform your photos and create stunning black and white masterpieces.

You might also like our collection of Photoshop Actions for Black & White Photo Effects.

What is Black & White Photography?

Black and white photography, often abbreviated as B&W, captures images without color, relying solely on shades of gray to represent various tones and textures. Colors are converted to a range of grays, from pure black to pure white, with a spectrum of grays in between. The key aspects of black and white photography include:

  1. Contrast & Composition: Black and white photography puts a strong emphasis on the interplay of light and shadow. Contrast becomes a crucial element in creating impactful images.
  2. Timeless & Classic Aesthetics: Black and white images have a timeless and classic appeal that can create a sense of nostalgia and elegance. They focus more on shapes, textures, and emotions rather than the influence of color.
  3. Simplicity & Minimalism: Without the distraction of color, black and white photography often highlights the subject’s form, lines, and details. This can lead to a sense of simplicity and minimalism in compositions.
  4. Drama & Mood: The absence of color can create a sense of drama and mood, as the photographer relies on tonal contrast to convey emotions and atmosphere.
  5. Storytelling & Expression: Black and white photography can spark storytelling by directing the viewer’s attention to the subject’s emotions, expressions, and interactions.
  6. Technical Considerations: Photographers need to consider elements like lighting, contrast, and texture in black and white photography, as color isn’t present to provide visual cues.

Our Favorite Black & White Preset

50 Nostalgia Black & White Presets

Are you looking to give your photos a timeless, nostalgic feel? This collection of fifty black and white Lightroom presets have you covered. From classic, high-contrast looks to film grain and vintage styles, these presets offer various options to help you achieve the perfect black and white effect.

Top 10 Black & White Lightroom Presets

Contrast Noir Lightroom Preset (Free)

Bring your photos to life with Contrast Noir. This free Lightroom preset adds a touch of contrast that can be difficult to achieve manually. With a single click, your photos will stand out and grab the viewer’s attention. Say goodbye to flat, dull images and hello to a dynamic and exciting look.

Contrast Noir free lightroom preset

Dramatic Black & White Presets

Stark Black is a versatile Lightroom preset pack that offers fifteen different dramatic effects for your photos. These black and white variations include classic, film, matte, and sepia, allowing you to add a touch of drama and style to any photo with just a few clicks.

Dramatic Black & White Presets

Super Heavy 82 Lightroom Preset (Free)

The Super Heavy 82 preset, with a touch of grain to add texture, is perfect for creating a classic image with a retro feel. Your viewers will wonder if your photos were shot on film. This preset is an ideal way to transport your photos back in time while keeping them looking sharp and stylish.

Super Heavy 82 black white free lightroom preset

Hunted Lightroom Preset (Free)

This free preset captures the atmosphere of an empty city at night. It adds structure and texture to a photo, making it perfect for urban scenes or architecture. This preset will transform your pictures into moody and dramatic works of art that evoke mystery and intrigue.

Hunted black white free lightroom preset

Liefde Lightroom Preset (Free)

Liefde is the perfect Lightroom preset for creating dreamy portraits. Ideal for weddings or other special events, it adds a softness to your subjects and transforms the image into a black and white dream scene with just one click.

Liefde black white free lightroom preset

Shadowze Lightroom Preset (Free)

Shadowze is a versatile black and white preset that brings the aesthetic of film photography to your digital images. With its flattened tone curve, it creates a beautiful balance between shadows and highlights.

Shadowze black white free lightroom preset

Black & White Film Lightroom Presets

Black & White Film Lightroom Presets

Black & White Romance Lightroom Presets (Free)

Romanticism in photography is all about adding softness and warmth to images. With these ten free black and white Lightroom presets, you can transform your photos into romantic works of art. From subtle tonal adjustments to light leaks and vignettes, each preset adds a unique touch of romance to your images.

Black & White Romance free lightroom preset

Limograph Black & White Lightroom Preset (Free)

Are you looking to create stunning black and white images from your RAW files? Look no further than this Lightroom preset. It provides a neutral black and white conversion and is an excellent starting point for further customization.

Limograph black white free lightroom preset

BW Film Effect Lightroom Preset (Free)

The Urban Nights preset is perfect for adding a dramatic touch to city and architecture scenes, providing plenty of structure and texture. It works particularly well with night photography, transforming your shots into stunning black and white images.

BW Film free lightroom preset

Grunge B&W Lightroom Preset (Free)

This grungy preset is perfect for highlighting the details in your black and white images. It’s an excellent choice for photos where you want to draw attention to the subtleties and create a dramatic effect.

Grunge B&W black white free lightroom preset

Notorious Black & White Lightroom Preset (Free)

Notorious is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a versatile black and white preset. With a clean and classic style, it can be applied to a wide variety of images, making it the perfect “everyday preset” for any photographer. Whether you’re working on portraits, landscapes, or street photography, Notorious will bring out the best in your photos with its timeless black and white aesthetic.

Notorious Black & White free lightroom preset

How to Install Adobe Lightroom Classic Presets

  1. Download the preset file from the links above.
  2. Find the XMP file in each download package. The file will be packaged in a ZIP file and will need to be extracted.
  3. Open Lightroom Classic and switch to the Develop module.
  4. On the left side, find the panel labeled Presets.
  5. Click on the + icon and choose Import Presets.
  6. Browse to the XMP file, select it, and choose Import.
  7. Find your new preset in the sidebar and click on it to apply it to an image.

B&W Lightroom Preset FAQs

  • Will these B&W presets work with all Lightroom versions?
    Most presets are designed to be compatible with most Lightroom versions. However, it’s a good idea to check the specific requirements for each preset pack.
  • Can I use these B&W presets on both RAW and JPEG files?
    Yes, these presets work on both file types. RAW files offer more flexibility for adjustments, but JPEGs work fine, too.
  • Are these presets mobile-friendly?
    Many presets are made for both desktop and mobile versions of Lightroom. Always check this with the preset provider.
  • What if the black and white effect is too intense for my photo?
    You can adjust the effect by tweaking the sliders in Lightroom’s Develop module to get the look just right for your photo.
  • Are these B&W presets suitable for all kinds of photos?
    While versatile, the best results usually come from photos where the black and white effect works on the mood and feel of the image.

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