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How to Create a Black and White Film Grain Effect in Lightroom 3

By Pye Jirsa on July 5th 2011


(The Lightroom video tutorial in this post is just under the introductory text below. The working files for this Lightroom video tutorial can be found just above the video. So that we can keep on providing free paid-quality content, please share these videos and raise awareness of SLR Lounge by Facebooking or Tweeting the site and articles, thank you!)

I am a big fan of film grain, especially when it comes to dramatic black and white imagery. So, in this Lightroom video tutorial we are going to show you how to use Lightroom to achieve realistic film grain effects on your black and white images using the Lightroom Effects Panel.

We are going to work through two example images, one from the previous tutorial, and one new image. On the first image, we are simply going to take our previous black and white image and add grain to it. On our second image, we will use the Black and White Mix technique to create a dramatic toned black and white image, then add grain to turn it into an image that looks like it was shot on film.

To see all Before and After versions of each image from this tutorial, please visit the Photo Album on the SLR Lounge Facebook Page.


Exercise File Download Links:

Note: These images have been provided to the SLR Lounge users curteousy of Lin and Jirsa Photography for educational purposes only. They may not be used in any other manner outside of these SLR Lounge learning videos without the express written consent of Lin and Jirsa Photography. Thank you.

Full RAW Exercise Files (265MB) – For faster connections. The full RAW files will allow you to follow the tutorials while achieving the exact same results as shown.
JPEG Exercise Files (24MB) – For slower connections. The JPEG files will allow you to follow the tutorials, although the results may vary due to not having the image details of the full RAW file.


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1) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – As of April 4, 2011 – Among the larger reputable dealers, the lowest price we found for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is $236.99 (Free Shipping) through Amazon. Click any of these links to take you to the offer.

Click here to purchase Adobe Lightroom 3 from

2) Student and Teacher Editions of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – For teachers and students, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is available for $89 through the Adobe Educational Purchasing Site.

Post Production Pye
SLR Lounge Senior Editor
Partner ofLin and Jirsa Photography

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa


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  2. Alex

    Sorry, here’s the link:

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  3. Alex

    Great tutorial, many thanks!
    I own DSLR and I like grain effect. Your article will be very helpful for me.
    In case of video, I found free film grain overlay here: – also very useful!

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