Create Stunning Black and White Photos with Silver Efex Pro an article by Kim Still

Create Stunning Black and White Photos with Silver Efex Pro

Have you ever bought a scrapbooking kit you just adored only to realize that none of your photos really match the colors? Or maybe you have a photo that would go wonderfully with the theme of a kit, but the colors are totally wrong. Or maybe you’re like me and you just adore the timeless look of black and white photos. Whatever the reason, today I am going to show you how to take a color photo and take it from color to a stunning black and white using the free plugin Silver Efex Pro.

Choosing your photo


Choosing a photo with a lot of contrast as this will make the strongest black and white image. Look for a photo with lots of light areas right next to very dark areas. I chose the photo of Sam on the chalkboard, knowing that she would pop against the black of the chalkboard.


Baby on Chalkboard Photo by Kim Still


Start with a preset


You can download Silver Efex Pro for free here: Once you’ve downloaded it you can right-click on your image in Lightroom and choose “Edit in Silver Efex Pro 2.” A dialog box will pop up and ask you whether you want to edit a copy or the original. I recommend editing a copy so that you can go back to the original if you so wish.


The Silver Efex Pro workspace will open and look something like this:


Silver Efex Pro is a great plugin for stunning black and white images.


You’ll notice a bunch of preset previews along the left and some sliders to the right. It starts with a natural filter which looks pretty drab on our photo.I went with Full Dynamic (Smooth) as I didn’t want too much clarity on her face.


Photo with Smooth Dynamic Preset applied in Silver Efex Pro


Use the adjustment sliders to add some pop


Some of the sliders that you can adjust in Silver Efex Pro that are really useful are the Structure sliders which work similarly to Lightroom’s clarity slider, but can be applied to the Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows individually. In this case, I increased the structure shadow just on the shadows to bring out some of the texture of the chalkboard without bringing too much detail into her face.


If you want to compare what you’ve done with the original conversion, you can click on Compare to toggle back and forth. When you’re happy with your adjustments you can click Save at the bottom right and you will be brought back into Lightroom where you can continue editing as needed.


Here was my final image:


Black and White conversion done in Silver Efex Pro | Photo by Kim Still


Now you have a beautiful black and white photo you can use in your scrapbooking. I combined my photo with today’s free mini-kits from Amanda Yi and Alexis Designs and some buttons from Etc. by Danyale and Meagan’s Creations to create this layout. Make sure you keep checking back to get all the wonderful goodies in this month’s Magic of Beginnings mega-kit!


Love Your Life by Kim Still | Digital Scrapbooking


The Magic of Beginnings Giveaway


On to the next installment of the Scrapaneers December Giveaway – The Magic of Beginnings.


A big THANK YOU to all the amazing designers who contributed to this Mega Collection.  The Magic of Beginnings is perfect for your holiday and December sequential projects, but it is about so much more than that. Think about plans and goals for the new year, starting a new stage of life, new relationships or simply the start of exciting new adventures. This collection is so big we could not fit it all into one preview, so here is glimpse at the collection in two parts (we couldn’t fit everything in the preview so know there’s MORE!):


Magic of Beginnings Collection


Magic of Beginnings Collection



Magic of Beginnings download links are no longer available.


Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday, December 7 for the next set of downloads, and a fun template tutorial from Jana.












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  • Carol December 5, 2016   Reply →

    I love your site anyway – but sharing these helpful ideas AND giving us such stunning gifts is over the top. Thank you, ladies. And Merry Christmas!

  • Sandra Snook December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Amazingly awesome tutorials and freebies this month – quite exceptional.

  • Lynn Goshert December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks so much!

  • Christa File December 5, 2016   Reply →

    fabulous! great job Kim! I love the b/w!

  • vivi December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much. great tuts, and what a wonderful kit.

  • missbecki December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much for your beautiful gifts, and for the great tutorial and program info! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Tammy Espino December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much!!

  • Tammy Davis December 5, 2016   Reply →

    Everything is just so beautiful! Great tutorials! I love Scrapaneers! Thank you SO much!

  • Jo December 6, 2016   Reply →

    So fabulous! Thank you 🙂

  • willimena December 6, 2016   Reply →

    Thankyou so much!

  • joann December 6, 2016   Reply →

    i dont have light room so this isnt for me? i use
    elements 14

  • joann December 6, 2016   Reply →

    thank u for these awesome mini kits and tuts

  • Jo Campbell December 6, 2016   Reply →

    All are absolutely stunning. Thank you so much.

  • katy December 6, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much Kim, Amanda, Alexis & Barbara.

  • Mary Merrifield December 6, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the awesome kits. I love the tutorials.

  • Megan McDonough December 6, 2016   Reply →

    great tutorials and kits so far— thanks bunches!

  • Libby Wiers December 6, 2016   Reply →

    The kits are beautiful. Thank you. Also love seeing how the b/w pops…I don’t have Lightroom, but could make use of the idea.

  • Rae December 6, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you!

  • Squirrely December 7, 2016   Reply →

    These are so lovely, thanks so much!!

  • Sandra December 7, 2016   Reply →

    LOVE the freebies & tutorials!! Thanks! You guys are awesome 🙂

  • Robyn December 9, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you to the designers for their generosity in sharing these lovely kits.

  • Blackthorne December 9, 2016   Reply →

    Wow, this gifts are just amazing ! Thanks so much !
    Anybody can PLEASE tell me where I will find the Wednesday treats?
    They are always in different places, or ?

  • joann December 9, 2016   Reply →

    yes I also am having trouble finding them also/ any suggestions would be greatl

  • Peggy S December 9, 2016   Reply →

    Amazing, quality gifts AND tutorials! Wow! Thank you so much.

  • Jennifer Moore December 9, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you!

  • R December 10, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you 🙂

  • Olga December 10, 2016   Reply →

    Great! Thanks so much!

  • KimR. December 18, 2016   Reply →

    Wonderful, thank you!

  • Ana December 25, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks heaps…just awesome!

  • Sondra December 26, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing these fabulous kits with us!

  • Lis December 27, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks so much for all these fabulous kits and tutorials

  • LoriB December 29, 2016   Reply →

    LOVING the Magic of Beginnings pieces! I’m hoping I have not missed any! Thank you.

  • Megan January 7, 2017   Reply →

    I got behind so am just grabbing this. wonderful b/w tips and tools! And yay to a beautiful kit! Thanks!

  • magalie January 16, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks so much!

  • scrapulette January 16, 2017   Reply →

    Thank you, this little kit is awesome !

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