Aperture Presets: Black and White v.1


I've always been a fan of black and white photography, and since the main software I use is Aperture, I've experimented a lot with different adjustments to achieve interesting black and white looks.

This set of free black and white presets for Aperture 3 was originally published in early 2010.

It was built at a time when I was shooting with a Nikon D70s that, by today's standards, had terrible noise at high ISO. It also tended to blow the highlights quite easily, so I got into the habit of underexposing by about a stop, which resulted in photographs that were relatively dark straight out of the camera. 

These presets were designed to lighten the photograph, add contrast, and preserve the shadows as much as possible.

As with all presets, they won't work for all images and they'll require further tweaking once you've applied them. For example, if your photographs are too light, overexposed, or already too contrasty, applying these will likely blow the highlights. But for darker images they create nice black and white variations.

The set contains 3 presets. Here's an example:



Original (no adjustments)


PRESET 1: Light Shadows


PRESET 2: Preserve Shadows


Preset 3: High Contrast


The Aperture Free Black and White Presets v.1:

- PRESET 1: LIGHT SHADOWS - Adds a bit of contrast and lifts shadows. It darkens blues and lightens reds. Good for landscapes in daylight.

- PRESET 2: PRESERVE SHADOWS - Similar to Preset 1, but increases exposure (lightens the image) and adds a slight vignette. It lightens shadows even more.

- PRESET 3: HIGH CONTRAST - Significantly increases exposure and contrast. Best for images that are underexposed.

I hope you enjoy these black and white Aperture presets. They're completely free and have been downloaded over 2,000 times. I still find that amazing. To get them just click on the button below.

If you download them I'd appreciate your comments on them, good or bad! Do you find them useful? Any suggestions for improvements? Send me a message and let me know.


Also, check out the Black & White v2.0 presets. This set is designed for portraits and it adds contrast and a faded effect to shadows.

Aperture Presets Black and White v2.0