Maximizing images with black and white points

Setting the white and blacks widens the tonal range of an image so that there is a full range of color in the image from black to white. This can give your image a little extra ‘pop’.

In the short video below, I’ll explore how changing the whites and the blacks affect the image. I’ll show you the different ways to set the white and black point and why, for artistic reasons, you may not always want to do this.

Setting White and Black Points in Lightroom


Final Thoughts

Lightroom is all about experimentation but understanding the principles gets us to our end result quicker. I chose deliberately an image that enabled us to explore white and black points in isolation. In normal circumstances, we would apply other tools such as exposure, contrast, highlights etc to an image.  As a result, the effect of setting the white and black points will usually be more subtle.


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  1. Peter Faircloth February 16, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Mike, thanks for posting Peter Domican’s video on black and white points. The concepts are simply described and illustrated. A very helpful and understated aid to understanding a key aspect of LR.

  2. Teresa Russell February 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    A useful,concise explanation of the black and white points. Thank you

  3. Mike Newton February 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I’m glad you found it useful Teresa! Thanks for commenting :)

  4. Carl Lum February 27, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Good, concise tutorial. Peter forgot to mention that you can also drag the histogram itself. I just learned that a little while ago and find it really easy and fun.

  5. Ryan Berkaw March 1, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for commenting Carl! Good tip as well :)

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