Before and after: A black and white Lightroom edit

  • Before and after Lightroom edit by Mickie DeVries

Often, before I ever pick up my camera, I know how I will process the resulting image, and this image here is an example of that.

My daughter was playing outside this summer and came to the door covered head to toe in dirt and grime. Before I let her come in for a shower, I grabbed my camera and had her sit in front of my open garage just inside the shade so that the sunlight would light her, but the rest of the garage would largely fall off into shadow.

From previous experience, I knew that this set up works well for me when converting to black and white, and this picture was begging me to be black and white before I even took it.

My choice for black and white was mainly because I knew that I could play up the dirt that was covering her much more in black and white than in color. My goal for taking the picture was to document the dirt of summer, so black and white for me was a natural choice. Plus, black and white hid the awful mismatched play clothes she choose to wear that day!

The following video walks you through my thought process and editing steps in Lightroom 5.

About the Author:

Mickie DeVries resides in West Michigan close to the beauty of the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is married to her husband Luke and has two children. Mickie’s work is centered around documenting her children, and she also teaches Unlocking the Magic of Photoshop through Click Photo School.


  1. Pam Oct 06 2014 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    I love the keyboard shortcuts you mentioned and how you darkened your background. Thank You for making this video.

  2. Joanne Rodriguez Oct 07 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    This was very helpful, thanks so much!

  3. Jayne Cho Oct 08 2014 at 1:06 am - Reply

    this is Wonderful Mickie – I want to go outside right now and photograph my child just to practice this conversion

    • Mickie Oct 09 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Make sure they are nice and filthy like my daughter first 😉

  4. Patty Oct 08 2014 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Oh My Goodness! Can I tell you I love you?? I have been trying to learn how to do this for several weeks, searching youtube, looking through my reading materials and here, in 11 lovely minutes you’ve taught me what I desperately wanted to learn. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

    • Mickie Oct 09 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Yay! I’m so glad it helped Patty!!

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  6. Katherine Garcia Aug 06 2016 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    where can we purchase and download these presets?

    • Mickie Aug 11 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      I used the titanium preset from the film art set that is sold in the Click and Company store. I did tweak the preset during editing.

  7. Sasha Aug 07 2016 at 4:00 am - Reply

    Hi, thanks for the video. Can you please leave a link for where the preset is from? Cheers

    • Mickie Aug 11 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      I used the titanium preset from the film art set that is sold in the Click and Company store. I did tweak the preset during editing.

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