I love B&W photography especially when it comes to editing landscapes. It has a timeless feel and I love turning an “okay” color image into a dramatic B&W. A few things I keep in mind when shooting for a B&W image is leading lines, shadows, shapes, and contrast. Contrast is one of the most important aspects when I edit for B&W. By having close to a pure white and a pure black in the photo, it adds interest to something that might be plainer in color. I like to draw the view into the image. Using Pretty Presets has made B&W images easy with my two favorite B&W presets – Pretty Onyx found in the Summer Limited Edition and Black Thorn found in the Enchanted Garden Collection.
My first example is edited with Pretty Onyx. Lighting in the photo SOOC was pretty dramatic since where I was standing was very dark compared to the mountain range. Once applying the preset, I then used the Depth & Drama brush over the mountains to bring out a deeper black in the rocks. I checked my angle under the crop overlay and then exported.
My second example is edited with Black Thorn. This photo was pretty boring SOOC, the mountain had no snow & was a plain brown color. By applying the preset, I really liked how the shadows really stood out. I brought down the black clipping slightly to darken the blacks. Another favorite brush I use often is the Grit Brush. I used this over the lighter rock surfaces of the mountain. The grit brush is great for adding clarity & contrast. I use it often on rocks, wood, trees, etc. If I had chosen to darken the clouds Depth & Drama brush as a graduated filter would be a great choice!
My last example is one of the best-kept secrets about B&W presets. The initial preset I choose was Black Thorn and I then turned it to color! You can turn any of the B&W presets to color from Pretty Presets. You can easily switch back and forth under the Basic Panel in Lightroom. Black Thorn is a personal favorite to turn to color since the colors tend to be very rich and add drama. I finished this photo by using the Grit Brush over the lighter rock faces.
Happy shooting and never stop exploring!
I am a mother to two wonderful boys, a wife to my amazing husband, and lover all animals including our two dogs! I was the little girl who wanted a camera for Christmas! I have always had a love for all things photography, but it was shortly after my oldest was born I bought my first DSLR camera. Flash forward seven years, a few upgrades in my gear, and THOUSANDS of pictures later I am now sharing my love for photography through my landscape and outdoor sessions. I specialize in Landscapes, Outdoor Family, Couple, Maternity, and Senior sessions in Interior Alaska. I look forward to capturing your memories forever!