I’d Like To See That In Black and White

I'd Like To See That In Black And White

I have a slight obsession with black and white photos. If you’ve attended a photo discussion webinar, you’ve heard me repeatedly say, “I’d like to see that in black and white.”  I don’t mean it HAS to be in black and white, it means I’m curious what it might look like.

For almost every photo I take, I do a quick conversion to black and white. Just to see. I often go back to the original version or am prodded by my color loving eight year old to return to color. I like to see my options. Occasionally in that quick peek at black and white, I create  something I treasure.

This photo is an example of just what black and white can do.

Let me set the stage.

We were all seated at the dinner table doing what most families do…waiting for the non-eater in the family to finish, of course. You might call my eight year old a picky eater, I call him a non-eater because he would literally live on air if he could figure out how. He once asked me how long he could go without eating before he died. Ugh. Just this week, he declared he loves the dentist, not because of the toy he gets at the end but because, he can’t eat for a half an hour after the visit!


Dinner time is fun at our house.

So back to the edit.

We had waited a long time for him to eat. My husband is much more patient than I am and had settled in to wait the eight year old out. I got bored. So I picked up my camera, set it on the table and began to shoot.

This is what I got.

A Faceless Portrait | January 30, 2013

Nothing spectacular, kind of yellow, and the crop was a little wonky since I hadn’t looked through the lens.

I adjusted the photo some, but still wasn’t happy. That’s when I needed to use my  “I’d like to see that in black and white” rule.

And in the following video, I walk you step by step through my process. Enjoy!

Watch more of my Lightroom process videos.

When do you convert your photos to black and white? Share in the comments below.


  1. Tina Fowler

    Enjoyed this quick tutorial. Thanks so much.

  2. I am really drawn to B&W photos right now. I was glad to see that I am not crazy in that I like to do a BW conversion before I make any other adjustments. Usually it is very easy for me to decide which I like better, color or BW. Thanks for the video! I love seeing process.

  3. Tracey Gehring

    Great post Katrina! I find I do the same thing quite a bit – a quick conversion just to see what it may look like 😉 I love the old glamorous Hollywood-style B&W portraits and have since I was a kid, so I’ve loved B&W for a long time. I think they can just be so flattering, and just cool. And I have to say I cracked up when I read about your non-eater. I have one too. Dinner time can be excruciating, lolol and I’ve often called him my Air-Fern because I swear he lives off air like those plants!!

  4. Katrina, I don’t have Lightroom either and would like to hear your comparison to PSE sometime. I know it does deeper(?) editing.
    I haven’t converted a lot to B&W, but I do when I want to get artsy or when the coloring is too bad to edit properly or when editing the light/dark in the photo ruins the color. OR, I have scanned a bunch of old photos and sometimes there are discolorations that can’t be edited out w/o a LOT of help so making it B&W easily made the photo look better!

  5. Faith Haynesworth

    I do not have Lightroom so I really appreciated seeing this video and the steps you take in using it to edit your images.


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