Luminar NEO: How to use the Black & White Tool

luminar neo Dec 02, 2022
Luminar NEO B&W Tool

The Black & White tool is the main hub for Black & White photography. It not only allows you to convert colored photos to B&W, but it also contains several other controls to manipulate the monochrome look. 

TIP: The Black & White tool allows you to create a popular Selective Color effect with the help of masking.

GIFT 🎁: Download your Free Luminar NEO Shortcut Cheatsheet and immediately speed up your editing workflow in Luminar NEO! Click here to get your gift!



In this article:

  • What is the Black & White Tool?
  • Introducing the Black & White Tool sliders
  • Getting started with the Black & White Tool
  • Video tutorial
  • Luminar NEO



What is the Black & White Tool?

The Black & White tool converts a color photo to black and white. It also contains a number of controls to manipulate the monochrome look.



Introducing the Black & White Tool sliders

Convert to B&W

Click this button to convert between color and black & white.


When the Luminance button is selected, the Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta color sliders control the brightness of each respective color as it’s converted to black and white.


When the Saturation button is selected, each color slider introduces the respective color into the black and white image where it was present in the original color image.

TIP: If you want to create a spot color effect, be sure to explore the Edit Mask for the Black & White tool.



Getting started with the Black & White Tool

Depending on your photo-editing workflow, some photographers use the Black & White tool at the beginning of their edits. However, if you work with RAW files, we would always recommend you develop your photo with the RAW development tools like Develop RAW and Noiseless RAW. To turn your photo into Black & White, use the Convert to BNW button and continue adjusting the final effect with the help of additional tools.

Black & White Tool: 

  1. Open the image in Luminar NEO using the Add Photos button (Cmd/Ctrl + O) in the Catalog module (L).
  2. Move to the Edit module (E).
  3. Open the Black & White tool in the Essentials section of the main toolbar.
  4. Start by converting your image with the Convert to BNW button.
  5. Use the Luminance sliders to adjust the brightness of individual sliders.
  6. Add additional effects with the use of saturation sliders.
  7. Continue the edit with other available tools like Dramatic Matte or Film Grain. 



Black & White video tutorial

Watch the full video tutorial covering all sliders in this tool.




Luminar NEO

Luminar Neo is the latest editing software from Skylum. It was announced back in September 2021, and it's been highly anticipated since.

Luminar Neo is an AI-powered photo editing software. Skylum has said that Neo isn’t replacing their previous release—Luminar AI. But Neo sets out to fix some of the issues users faced with Luminar AI.

We were impressed with the AI tools in Luminar AI. But like many others, we encountered performance issues. Luminar Neo uses the same AI tools, but the new high-speed core engine improves speed and performance.

Luminar Neo isn’t just more of the same. We’re happy to see Skylum has taken Neo in a different direction, adding layer and mask AI tools to the program. This broadens Neo’s appeal, taking it in an Adobe Photoshop direction.

Learn more about Luminar NEO here.

Use one of our discount codes: CPNEO10 will give you a 10% discount - CP10 will give you a $10 discount.


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