The 10 Best Free Lightroom Presets for Black & White Photography


Black and white photography has been a staple of the art form since its inception. It offers a timeless and classic aesthetic that can elevate any image to a new level. But despite the simplicity of the two colors, there are so many options when it comes to black and white photography styles.

From high-contrast and moody to soft and dreamy, black and white imagery 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 in storytelling.

For those looking to take their black and white photography to the next level, we have compiled 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 images and create stunning black and white masterpieces.

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

Contrast Noir Lightroom Preset (Free)

Bring your photos to life with the Contrast Noir preset. This Lightroom preset adds a pop 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 on Envato Elements

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 image with just a few clicks.

Dramatic Black & White Presets

Super Heavy 82 Lightroom Preset (Free)

With a touch of grain to add texture, the Super Heavy 82 preset 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

50 Nostalgia Black & White Presets on Envato Elements

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.

50 Nostalgia Black & White Presets

Hunted Lightroom Preset (Free)

The Hunted preset captures the atmosphere of an empty city at night. It adds structure and texture to an image, making it perfect for urban scenes or architecture. This preset will transform your photos 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 and impactful 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 on Envato Elements

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)

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)

The Grunge 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 a great 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 look.

Notorious Black & White free lightroom preset

What is Black & White Photography?

Black and white photography, often abbreviated as B&W, is a style of photography that involves capturing images without color. Instead, it relies solely on shades of gray to represent the various tones and textures in the scene.

In black and white photography, colors are converted to shades of gray, ranging from pure black to pure white, with a spectrum of grays in between. The key aspects of black and white photography include:

  1. Emphasis on 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 and visually striking images.
  2. Timeless & Classic Aesthetics: Black and white images have a timeless and classic appeal that can evoke a sense of nostalgia and elegance. They focus more on shapes, textures, and emotions rather than being influenced by 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 enhance storytelling by directing the viewer’s attention to the subject’s emotions, expressions, and interactions. It encourages viewers to focus on the essence of the scene.
  6. Technical Considerations: Photographers need to consider elements like lighting, contrast, and texture more intensively in black and white photography, as color isn’t present to provide visual cues.
  7. Digital and Film: Both digital cameras and film can be used for black and white photography. In the digital age, with an application like Lightroom using presets, you can shoot in color and convert to black and white during post-processing.

Black and white photography remains a powerful and evocative form of expression, allowing photographers to capture the essence of a scene without the distraction of color. It’s a creative choice that can emphasize a photograph’s emotional impact and aesthetic qualities.

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. Sometimes, the file will come 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.

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