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The 10 Best Free Black & White Lightroom Presets

Andrew Childress
Published: August 10, 2022

“Black and white”: it’s just two words, but it offers unlimited photo style options.

Ranging from high contrast styles to old-school films, black and white imagery is hugely popular. Photography is the art of less, focusing your viewers’ eye on what matters. Limiting an image to black and white tones helps do just that.

For the best in black and white, we’ve put together a collection of ten of the top free black and white Lightroom presets. You might be surprised by just how many varieties of black and white you can tap into with these Lightroom presets. Let’s take a look.

Note these free black and white Adobe Lightroom presets are used for Adobe Lightroom Classic. They are each packaged with .xmp files. Check out our instructions to install these presets at the end of this post.

Far from neutral, Contrast Noir is a preset that brings your image to life. You might have heard someone describe an image as having “pop,” and while that’s difficult to describe, it’s easy to spot. Contrast Noir puts pop into a single click. This high contrast black and white look is the best way to make a statement with your image.

Contrast Noir free lightroom preset

This preset will have the viewer asking, “was this shot on film?” With just enough grain to add texture to a photo, it’s the perfect way to send your photos back in time. To create a classic image with a retro look, Super Heavy 82 is the preset for the job.

Super Heavy 82 black white free lightroom preset

Have you ever been out for a walk in an empty city at night? You’ll recognize that exact vibe with the Hunted preset. Adding structure and texture to an image, it’s a top preset for urban scenes or architecture.

Hunted black white free lightroom preset

Ideal for the big day or any impactful portrait, Liefde offers softness to your subjects. With one click, you’ll transform an image into a black and white dream scene. This preset is a picture-perfect example of “less is more,” as de-emphasized details help the viewer soak in the photo.

Liefde black white free lightroom preset

Shadowze is another preset with a film style, albeit unique in its rendering. With a flattened tone curve, the gap between “black” and “white” narrows beautifully. It’s a general-purpose preset that you can apply to practically any image for a throwback black and white style.

Shadowze black white free lightroom preset

What makes a preset romantic? It’s the light tones and delicate nature that it applies to your images. It’s great for engagement and wedding photos, for example. This download pack includes ten free black and white Lightroom presets. It illustrates just how many versions of black and white truly exist.

Black & White Romance free lightroom preset

This preset excels at taking an image from RAW to black and white. Even better, it serves as a starting point that you can style further. The default conversion is a neutral black and white, and with a few tweaks, you can choose what direction to take your image.

Limograph black white free lightroom preset

Adding plenty of structure and texture, I love this preset for architecture and city scenes. It’s a great preset for a dramatic look in black and white. For best results, try this image out on night photography.

BW Film free lightroom preset

Grunge is an excellent choice for a black and white preset that brings out the details. This preset works well for any image where you want to bring focus to the subtleties. Try this preset out on a scene where you want to emphasize items that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Grunge B&W black white free lightroom preset

Every photographer needs an “everyday preset” in their toolbelt. That means that it’s a look that you can apply to most images to test out the style. Notorious is perfect for the occasion, with a clean black and white style that suits so many photos.

Notorious Black & White free lightroom preset

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.