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Mobile Photography: Creating Black & White Images Using Lightroom Mobile

Lesson 3 of 15

Capturing in Black and White with Lightroom Mobile

Lisa Carney

Mobile Photography: Creating Black & White Images Using Lightroom Mobile

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

3. Capturing in Black and White with Lightroom Mobile
Exploring different methods for capturing black & white images on Lightroom Mobile.

Lesson Info

Capturing in Black and White with Lightroom Mobile

We're going to talk about capturing black and white images through your mobile device, and we're always in light room, mobile or light room. I want to be super clear about this because it made a little confusing. There is a light room classic, which is a different desktop application. We are not using that one. We are using standard light room or what used to be known as light room C C and what I will refer to often as light room mobile, because I'm using it on my mobile device, and I just don't want there to be any confusion about this. And what are the differences? Well, light room classic is is a desktop application, whereas light room pay attention. Here is desktop mobile web, and when I say mobile, that's mobile phone and IPad. So I know it can be a little confusing. It's an ecosystem you're working in, and light room Classic is kind of its own standalone thing. I hope that's clear. So when you're in the mobile or light room, uh, software, you do have two options available. If you...

're on your mobile device. One is a free version that comes on your phone, and the other is the premium, which, if you're a member of the creative cloud, you get automatically for free. Or you can enroll in on your mobile device. And it's important to know the difference because there's a few editing and batch processing and, um, search functions that are not available on the free version. So you just want to make sure you know where you're at. Are you in the free or in the premium? And I'll try to be really clear when I'm using something that's only available on premium. So let's talk about this. What are the different ways of making things black and white in light room? Well, you can use camera capture and actually captured in black and white. Yes, you can. And then there's profiles, presets and editing modules. We'll go through all of these, so let's first talk about capturing through light room mobile when you're in light room Mobile. Did you know there's actually five cameras available if you're on an Apple IPhone and three cameras available right now as publication date on an android? Eventually the android will have all the same five cameras, so there's automatic, professional and HDR available to all mobile devices and then long exposure and depth capture available for an IPhone and then within that Oh, wait, I should show you. How do you actually access your phone? Some people don't know. So let me tell you, if you see your icon for the application on your mobile device, you can just press and long hold, and that will give you this little screen that will show you. And you can say, Hey, I want to take a photo through light room. Or if you're actually in the app of light room and you're in your library, your camera will appear on the bottom. Right hand corner, easy peasy. So let's talk about shooting through preset IE, shooting a black and white image through your light room mobile device. The two cameras that allow you to do that are the automatic camera and the pro camera. And what you want to look for these two intersecting circles, that is the preset button to show you what the presets are. And as you see here, there's five. There's high contrast flat, warm shadows. Those are color, and then the two black and white and the same preset work on the pro camera. So what we're looking for since we're talking about black and white would be the high contrast, black and white and the flat, black and white. It's pretty cool. And why I like this is while you're shooting, you can actually see your image in black and white, and it kept help. You figure out what kind of exposure you want, and I know when I was first starting out, it was kind of hard for me to kind of translate color tone into black and white tone. And this way, there's no guessing you can see it. But the groovy cool thing about light room is it's non destruct. So even though you're shooting in a black and white format, you still have the color. Yes, it's very exciting. So take a look here. You've got high contrast, flat and warm shadows. Those are the three color profile presets. Pardon me that you can shoot through, but then you've got the high contrast black and white and the flat, black and white, and the coolest thing about non destruct light room is at any given point. You can go back to the full color, and how you do that is you go to the color module and you'll see there's a black and white button. If your images black and white, you click on the black and white button and it'll go back to color. So it's like a toggle switch, if you will, so you can change your mind as much as you want, which is really, really great. But it's helpful to see the black and white while you're shooting. Let me go ahead and show you how this works. Let's do a little capture together using profiles. So I'm going to select my pro camera and I'm going to click on the profile setting here. And you can see here are my five different options and I'm gonna take a look and see how this looks in black and white. That's pretty cool. And then there's the flat I have to say for this I kind of like the flat, so I'm going to go ahead and capture, and then you know it just for giggles. I'm gonna go ahead and select the high contrast just so I can see how that looks later. Alright, so I've captured both Now let's take a look and see how it turned out. So I'm going to go to my most recent recently added, and you'll see I have my two settings here. Now it looks a little bright, but that's all right, because all I have to do is click on the auto button and then I'll come down. And then here's the other one who that looks really bright. Not a problem, because I can click on the auto button. And then, as I choose to edit, I can click on the lights and take it down. And in fact, I can control the exposure here as well. Let's slide over to other image. Same thing. I can change the exposure. I can change the highlights. It's perfectly editable. I just did this through a preset, that's all. But here's what I want to talk to you about. I've gone over to the color module here you can see I'm in the color module and I can click on the black and white button, and I have to click on it twice. And once I do that, it now takes me back to the full color. On the other image same thing. Scroll on over to the color. Click the color button, Click on the black and white. Oh, nothing happened because you have to hit it twice there and now I can see how it is. And then again, gang, it's all fully editable because I have all these functions. So all I did here was shoot it through a black and white preset just to kind of get me started and let me see what I'm getting. Give it a try. I think you might enjoy it.

Class Description


  • Take black & white photos using the Lightroom mobile app and presets.
  • Use profiles and presets to start your creative editing, save custom presets for black and white.
  • Use the Color and Light modules to create mood and lighting effects that mimic black and white film.
  • Selectively edit only parts of photos to create mood and lighting effects.
  • Practice and experiment by creating multiple versions of your black and white photos.


Open your eyes to the stunning effects you can create when you master the process of thinking in black and white. There’s an art to composing and exposing shots for optimum black and white conversion, an art that will elevate your work. Creating fantastic black and white conversions using Lightroom Mobile is about way more than pushing a button.

Go beyond applying black and white filters or presents and learn how to create fantastic black and white images by using professional techniques in Lightroom, even while working on your phone. Learn techniques guaranteed to infuse your black and white images with more drama. More emotion. More SOUL. You’ll never see a black and white photo the same way again.


  • Intermediate users who already have a basic understanding of Lightroom, Lightroom Mobile
  • Portrait, Editorial, Landscape, and travel photographers taking advantage of the expediency of mobile editing.
  • Anyone who wants to create branding, editorial, fine art series or social campaigns looks quick and easily. All on mobile.


Lightroom Mobile v6 (premium version)
*Class taught on an iPhone, but information is valid for all devices that can use Lightroom Mobile/Lightroom CC


Lisa Carney is a high end retoucher who has spent over two decades working with the most dynamic players in the print, motion picture, and television industries.

Besides being a regular presenter at the Adobe MAX conference, her teaching roster runs the gamut from beginners to professional retouchers, and includes universities, design studios, movie studios, corporations, and private students.

Lisa has worked with all major movie studios and many television networks including Disney, Buena Vista, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Sony, Universal, Newline, Columbia, MGM, ABC Television, ESPN, TNT, CNN, CBS, CW, Warner Brothers and Sony.

Advertising credits include Burger King, Baskin-Robbins, Lowes, Jordana Cosmetics, Strategic Perceptions, Mattel, Chrysler, Mercedes, Mazda and Best Buy.

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Gretchen Shepherd

This is one of the BEST classes on Creative Live, and I have a Creators Pass and have taken tons! As a retired teacher I really appreciated Lisa's teaching style and the clear use of tech aides (circle, highlights etc) to lead me through the steps used on LR mobile. Her clear descriptions make the class easy to follow. I have also used LR mobile for several years and learned at least 3 new things in the first few minutes! In addition Lisa's in-depth knowledge of BNW and how to apply the principles of BNW to color conversions was wonderful. I have shot BNW for years in film and digital and also taught darkroom at the college level (ages ago) and Lisa's teaching and skills rank up there with the best. I learned even more the second time through and will come back to this class frequently and grab any others that Lisa Carney teaches. Highly recommend!

nancy brindisi

I have always loved black and white photography and so many of the other courses I have taken on Creative Live touch on black and white but it is never as in-depth as I would like it so I was very excited to see this course offered in Lisa's mobile series. I love how explains the black and white presets you can shoot pictures through in the LR camera, the profiles and then the presets in post. Her knowledge of light and how color adjustments even on a B&W photo affect how that light is shown is very informative. This course finally gave me more detailed knowledge and inspiration to do so much more with my B&W pictures. Thank you for another great class!

Deanna Gordon

I loved the information, the tips and tricks and the delivery. I cant wait to do some more of her classes.