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When you want a black and white photograph it's best to shoot the photograph in color, and then later convert it to black and white in Elements Full Edit workspace. That's because a color image has more tonal information to work with than does a grayscale coming right out of your camera. I'm going to convert this color image to black and white by going up to the Enhanced menu in the Full Edit workspace and choosing Convert to Black and White. That opens this large Convert to Black and White dialog box. On the left is the Before view, the original color image.
On the right is the After view, the image as it will look converted to black and white using the default settings. And this is an interactive After view, so as I tweak those settings, you'll see a change here in this After preview. One way to approach converting from Color to Black and White is to start with the presets here in the Select a style menu. For example, if I click on Infrared Effect, that moves each one of the sliders on the right side of the screen and it offers an infrared version of a black and white conversion here in the After preview.
And as I move down these items in the Select a style menu, you can see those changes take place. Not only in the Convert to Black and White dialog box, but in a live preview over here in the document window. I am going to start with the Newspaper preset, and then I'm going to customize that preset to get just the look I want as I convert the image from color to black and white. And that's done with the Adjust Intensity sliders over here on the right bottom of this dialog box. There is a separate slider here for each of the three colors of light in this color image.
Red, Green, and Blue. There is also a Contrast slider. I'm going to start with a Red slider, and move it slightly to the right. And that's going to lighten the red light in the image. So it should primarily affect these floats that are different shades of orange or red. And you'll notice in the black and white conversion that those parts of the image have gotten much lighter. That's a bit too much, so I'm going to head back toward the left with the Red slider. I am going to leave that Green slider where it is. There isn't too much green in this image. I'll move to the Blue slider, and I'm going to drag that one to the left to darken the blue areas of the image as they are converted to black and white.
Then to add some more drama to the image I'll increase the Contrast, dragging that slightly to the right. And as I do the darks are getting darker and the lights are getting lighter. That's a bit too much. So I'm going to move back to the left just a bit. Let's take a look at the buttons that are over here on the right. The Undo button takes me back one step at a time, so as I make adjustments I can undo each adjustment in sequence. If I click Undo now, keep your eye on the sliders and you'll see just the Contrast slider move back to its last position. And if I click Redo, that takes me forward one step and the Contrast slider moves again.
If I wanted to reset all of the sliders to their originals because I didn't like this result, I could click the Reset button up here. Or I could click Cancel to cancel out of the dialog box. But I do like the conversion that I've made and so I'm going to click OK to close the dialog box and in the document window the image has been converted to black and white just the way that I want it to be. So give the Black and White conversion adjustment a try if you have some color images that you'd like to convert into black and white fine art.
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