Import Your Raw Files as Black & White Images in Lightroom

You can easily convert your Raw files to B&W as you import a camera’s memory card contents into your preferred Lightroom Catalog.

Adobe includes a number of B&W preset conversions in the ‘Lightroom Presets’ folder you can easily access. However, these are “creative” recipes meaning that designers have tweaked settings in each to most obviously affect contrast, have-at the file by draining all its color saturation in a variety of methods, employ custom tone curves and a variety of split toning combinations among other things.

Better instead for us each individually to grab the wheel and drive. Create your own B&W conversion preset and then target an entire series of Raw files for conversion from within the Import dialog. Later you can tweak each photo as need be inside the Develop module.

Here’s how:

create an auto black and white mix preset in lightroom

1. Choose one of the images already inside your current LR Catalog.

2. Click on the “Black & White” rendering treatment option at the top of the ‘Basic’ panel in the right column of the Develop module workspace.

3. Now you’re going to make a custom preset you can target later when you import a body of work into your LR Catalog. Click the plus-sign (+) in the ‘Presets’ panel and a ‘New Preset’ window will open allowing you to save whatever settings you choose, currently assigned to your open image.

4. First drop down to the bottom of this dialog and click on the ‘Check None’ button (which clears any options you may have set in the past). Then click on the “Auto Black & White Mix” option which is available for you to select now because the image you are currently working on is already utilizing this conversion algorithm.

That’s it; nothing more. But don’t forget to label your new Preset – and please, remember to use short, utilitarian names for your preset recipes: “What/How This Preset Affects Images”. Press ‘Create’ and you’re done.