How to Search for Black & White photos ?

Hi all,
I’m looking for a way to search for Black & White photo within my library. Not able to find out how to do that intent being to create a project with Black & White photos also fitting with other tagging criteria.


As of today, I know of no easy means to find B&W images in DPL and outside of it.

This kind of info can be found in the database or in the sidecar (.dop) files and DxO could introduce such a search functionality in a future release. Post a feature request in order to boost such a request.

In addition to what @platypus wrote, I would just add that the best way to search for such files is to add keywords to them when you transfer them from your camera to your computer. There are several good D(igital) A(sset) M(anagement) apps out there that create XMP sidecar files for keywords, that PL will import, or you can use PL itself to add keywords, but that will limit you to only being able to search from within PL.

I assign each image converted to black and white a keyword (“n&b”) with the DAM application I use.
But, doing this afterwards for maybe a few thousand photos could put off the bravest, except to keep this work for the next total lockdown :unamused:.

This is a case, where the AI driven approach of Excire Foto could find B&W images (after analyzing each photo) in your library.
It would work for the exported photos (JPG).
If it is worth the cost of this software is another question.

If they are rawfiles shot in black and white modes in camera there should be a marker in the exifdata. The thumbnail is also B&W.
Search and grouptag xmp file wise with keywords is the only secure way.

@OXiDant has hit on the approach I would take.

I’m a bit of a geek so I have exiftool installed. I pointed it at one of my 16-bit B&W TIFF files and it lists

Bits Per Sample                 : 16
Photometric Interpretation      : BlackIsZero
Samples Per Pixel               : 1

Versus a 48-bit colour one.

Bits Per Sample                 : 16 16 16
Photometric Interpretation      : RGB
Samples Per Pixel               : 3

I looked at DNG and JPEG files as well and the value types are different, but it occurs to me all such files would naturally be 3-colour images.

Which leads me to a question. Are these photos only black and white only because you have processed them to be that way with PhotoLab? Or are the originals black and white and if so in what format are they?

If they are processed to be black and white you’d have to search/filter on something in the .dop files, but there are multiple ways to make a photo black and white so you’d need to be cognisant of how you achieved it.

Ooc jpegs are processed and grayscaled if it’s black and white
But monochrome with a yellow tint are color based.

Excire Foto has this function, you take the excire search for “farblos” and it will find all black and white

Best regards