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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Converting to black and white


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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

with Jan Kabili

Video: Converting to black and white

If you want to make a black-and-white photo, the best thing to do is not to try to shoot a black-and-white photo using your camera's controls, but rather, to shoot a color photo and then convert it to black and white here in Elements' Expert edit workspace. I'm going to do that using a direct adjustment from the Enhance menu. So to be safe, I could make a duplicate of this color version of the image by right-clicking on the background layer in the Layers panel and choosing Duplicate Layer. I'm going to skip that this time. Instead I'm going to go directly up to the Enhance menu and I'm going to choose Convert to Black and White.
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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of Elements' tools
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos
4h 17m Beginner Nov 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.

Topics include:
  • Arranging the panels and interface
  • Cropping and resizing photos
  • Creating new layers
  • Refining selections
  • Hiding content with a layer mask
  • Using adjustment layers
  • Correcting color, lighting, and contrast
  • Converting a color photo to black and white
  • Creating a panorama from multiple photos
  • Retouching blemishes and wrinkles
  • Making adjustments in Camera Raw
Subjects:
Photography Retouching
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Converting to black and white

If you want to make a black-and-white photo, the best thing to do is not to try to shoot a black-and-white photo using your camera's controls, but rather, to shoot a color photo and then convert it to black and white here in Elements' Expert edit workspace. I'm going to do that using a direct adjustment from the Enhance menu. So to be safe, I could make a duplicate of this color version of the image by right-clicking on the background layer in the Layers panel and choosing Duplicate Layer. I'm going to skip that this time. Instead I'm going to go directly up to the Enhance menu and I'm going to choose Convert to Black and White.

That opens the Convert to Black and White dialog box with the color image on the left and an initial black-and-white conversion in this After preview area on the right. I usually start in this dialog box by going down to Select a style menu and choosing among the pre-built black- and-white conversion styles here. Keep your eye on the After preview as I click through these pre-built styles, and you can see how very differently the colors in the image are the converted to black and white in each of the styles. The reason for that is that each of the styles is using a different amount of the Red, Green, and Blue color channels that make up a color image, as this tip tells us.

If I like a result, I can just click OK at this point. But I'll usually come down to the Adjust Intensity sliders and I'll tweak the amount of information that's being used in the conversion from each of the Red, Green, and Blue channels. In this case, I think I'd like the red areas, the beak and the eye and the red feathers, to be lighter than they are in this preview. So I'll take the Red slider and I'll increase the amount of information from the Red channel by dragging the Red slider to the right. That also lightened the background slightly. I'd like to darken the background now, so I'll take the Green slider and I'm going to reduce the amount of information from the Green channel. And then let's say I want the blue feathers to be slightly lighter in the black-and-white conversion.

I'll take the Blue slider and I'll drag that to the right, increasing the amount of information coming from the Blue channel. I can also fine-tune the amount of contrast between the brightest and darkest areas in the converted image. To do that I'll click on the Contrast slider. To increase Contrast I would drag to the right, to decrease Contrast, drag to the left. When I'm satisfied that the with the conversion, I'll click OK, and that closes the Black and White Conversion dialog box and brings me back out to the Expert edit workspace, where all that's left to do is to save this black-and-white conversion.

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