Using Zones for Black and White Photography

On this Adorama video, Mark Wallace takes a look at the zones of light method in order to convert color photographs to stunning, high contrast, black and white images.

On the video, Wallace explains his abbreviated version of Ansel Adam’s Zone System. He uses five exposure zones and demonstrates how to manipulate them using Lightroom 5. He starts with the midtones, sets black and white points, adjusts the shadows and highlights and finally makes “color” adjustments to get the most out of the contrast of the image.

Below you can see an older video by Wallace looking at the effects of color on B&W images.

How Color Influences B&W Photography


We have covered many other techniques for converting color images to Black and white as well as retouching B&W images in Photoshop – you can find all of the on our Black and White section here on LensVid.

You can find  many more helpful photography tips and techniques on our Photography tips section here on LensVid. You can also check out more of Wallace tutorials here on LensVid.


Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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