High-Key Black and White photography

Properly adjusting exposure and contrast is crucial when post-processing a black and white high-key image. To edit the image we provided of the couple, or similarly lit images, we suggest selecting the Glam BW preset with blooming highlights to boost the highlights, where skin tones usually reside. This preset creates a soft and pleasant high-key look.

If you press “J,” which shows shadow and highlight clipping, and the edges of the image are not all the way blown out, use a brush set to dodge-white to “paint” along the edges and ensure they are white. Again, be sure to brighten the exposure and adjust contrast to a point that works best for the high-key look you’re trying to produce.

Finally, complete the image by adding an “Ilford HPS + Lifted Matte” preset to create a classic filmic look.

To create a high-key color image, follow similar steps, but use the Glam Color LR preset instead.