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Mobile Photography: Creating Black & White Images Using Lightroom Mobile

Lesson 7 of 15

Processing Black and White Part 4 - Processing Light

Lisa Carney

Mobile Photography: Creating Black & White Images Using Lightroom Mobile

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

7. Processing Black and White Part 4 - Processing Light
Adjusting with the light module to create dramatic film looks. Clarity and grain.

Lesson Info

Processing Black and White Part 4 - Processing Light

Let's get started using the light module to adjust contrast, and tone is one of my favorites. So in this panel, you have access to a tonal curve. Yes, quite literally. A curve exposure contrast highlights shadows whites and blacks. Now the whites and the blacks are literally the end points of your imagery in terms of tone. And then the highlights and the shadows rest in the quarter tones and the three quarter tones. Just so we're clear now, Um, one of the things I like to do when I'm starting this particular panel is think about what kind of film look are you looking for? Do you want super contrast? D Do you want more mid tones? And of course, you can certainly play and light room is completely non destruct, but it just kind of helps to have something in mind when you first start using your sliders. So what's the first order of business? First order of business is to make your image black and white. How would you like to do that? One. You can use the profiles, which we've already discu...

ssed to. You can use the color panel and simply click on black and white. Or use the color mixer or three. You can use the presets, which we have not covered yet. Either way, you need to have a black and white image before you start. Or at least that's what I recommend. It's a little easier to make your tonal decisions that way, and you just simply click on the light panel, the light module. As soon as you've made your image black and white and again, I'm going to reinforce pay close attention to those whites and blacks sliders down at the bottom of the panel. And as I said, there is a curve. Check this out. There's a little curve button, and if you click on that, you get this little s curve that you can manipulate with your finger. Just push and pull, and I'll show you how to do that. Or you can click on the shadow mid tone highlight sliders. So amazing, this program. And as I've said many times, this is an ecosystem you're working in. So what that means is you can either do this on the phone and IPad on your desktop app or on a Web browser. And so this is what the light module looks like on a desktop panel. Very similar. Just all your controls are off to the right, so let's get started. When I started an image, I actually like to click on the auto button to get my light balance just started. It's just a habit. And so, for this image, what we wanna do is make it black and white. I'm just going to click on the black and white slider here, and then I can go back down to my light panel. Now I can control the exposure here so I can make it darker. Light contrast. I can make the contrast. It's pretty basic here. Highlights. Now you notice the highlights are already down a little. That's because the auto button and I want to remind you, if you double click on the name like highlight or shadow, it will zero it back out, and you can re control what you want to do the same with the shadows. Keep in mind. Light room is always non destruct, which is absolutely amazing. Now let's look at the whites. If I slide the white slider here and I take him down, that means I'm darkening all the whites or highlighting lightning. All the whites, just those quarter tones, you know, all the way at the end. This is not the three quarter tones. So if you look at this, there are no actual whites in the picture. When I slide the slider all the way over with the shadows, Same difference. I can darken the shadows or light in the shadows. Excuse me, the blacks. And when I do this to the blacks, please note there are no blacks. It'll be a lighter version of a black. This is how you make a mat, if you will. And, um, yeah, it's pretty basic. So let's check this curve out. The curves are fantastic. If you slide on over here to the right and click on the curb, you can get basically like an s curve control. I can pull the highlights up. I can pull them down. I can go to shadows. Three quarter tones pull them down or up. If you like Photoshop, this would probably be an easy place to work in. And then again, I can go back and forth till the cows come home, which is great. But look at these sliders. on the bottom. They will allow me to soften the curve. Do you see that? It's trying to help me out a little bit and make me let me adjust the curve. It's really quite amazing. And again, I can pick the three quarter tones and lift him up. Now check out this color panel on the bottom curve. If I click on the blue, I can add color to the mid tones or the highlights. I can go to green. Add green to the picture or magenta. It was so cool. When you pull down, you get magenta. When you pull up, you get green blue, you pull down, you get yellow up, you get blue so I can slide down here in the three quarter tones and add yellow to my three quarter tones. And again, always editable. I can add quarter blues to my quarter tones here, which kind of looks cool, and then this big curve button on the bottom on the left. Excuse me, is an overall tonal curve, so you've got tonal curve on the left and tonal curve on the right colors on the inside, and so it's kind of like a do a tone or a tri tone you can make. So it's this little secret thing where you can do color on the inside light panel, so check out what you can do just in the light module. And remember, if you click and long hold on your image, you can see the before and after. I hope you're starting to realize how much power there is. Each one of these modules in the light room dark room, as I like to call 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.