Processing Micro Four-thirds Images in Black And White

Special post by Mark Toal

I’ve had many questions about how I process my black and white images. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about how to set your Micro Four-thirds camera to black and white. This week I want to share how I process the images.

You can either start with a color or black and white JPEG file or a color RAW file. I prefer to set my camera to black and white (monochrome) so that I can see something close to the final result on the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder.

I use Adobe Lightroom for importing and cataloging my images. If you’re serious about photography and don’t use Lightroom I would highly recommend it. At approximately $150 it does most everything you need in an image processor. Keep in mind that I don’t like to spend much time processing my photos. If you search online you’ll find other great ways to do this. Choose what feels best for you.

Before image LR[1]

  1. Import your images into Lightroom and choose the file that you want to work on.
  2. For 90% of my images I adjust exposure, bring the highlights down a little, bring shadows up a little, add or subtract a small amount of clarity and then set sharpening to 50. For this image I reduced the clarity adjustment to soften the image.
  3. If you want a warmer tone, move the temperature slider slightly to the yellow side of the scale.
  4. I like to adjust the post-crop vignetting to slightly darken the edges and bring attention to the subject.
  5. As a final touch I do any cropping or straightening needed and I’m done. You can see the exact adjustments I made in the before and after photos.

After LR image[1]

© Mark Toal, self-portraitMark Toal works for Panasonic as a training representative in Portland, Oregon. His views on this blog are his own and do not represent Panasonic. You can see more of Mark’s photos on his web site at Mark can be contacted at Mark can be contacted at

Author: Joe Farace

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