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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
There's more than one way to convert a color image to black and white in the Full Edit workspace. The method that gives you the most control over the conversion of individual colors is the Convert to Black and White command in the Enhance menu and I'll show you why in this movie. I shot this photograph in contrasty light on a stormy day. I think it gives the color photograph a pretty intense mood and I'd like to retain that mood, when I convert from color to black and white. So I'm going to go up to the Enhance menu and down to Convert to Black and White.
That opens this large dialog box. On the left you can see the color image and on the right I can preview the image as it will look with the settings that I am going to choose at the bottom of the dialog box. I'll start here by clicking through these preset styles, keeping my eye on the preview on the right. You can see that each one of these black and white conversion styles makes the photo look very different when it's converted to black and white. For example, in this Vivid Landscapes style there is quite a bit of contrast in the boot and cloud above it.
In the Newspaper style your eye goes to the highlights in the background rather than to the boot. So I'm going to start with this Vivid Landscapes style and then I can tweak that style over on the right to get a different mix from the red, green and blue color channels that make up the color image when I'm converting to black and white. So I will just move these sliders to taste, may be I'll add a little more from the Red channel and a little less from the Blue channel and I also have a Contrast slider. If I drag this to the left, I am reducing contrast if I drag it to the right, I'll increase contrast.
Here there is an Undo button and a Redo button. The Undo button takes me back one step. So if I click this, only the Contrast slider will move and the Redo button will return the Contrast slider to where it was before I clicked Undo. If I want to put all the sliders back to where they were when I started then I would click the Reset button and the Cancel button would just take me out of this dialog box making no change to the color image. But I like the version of the black and white that I put together here so I'm going to click OK and that converts my color image to black and white.
Now let me show you how the conversion would look if I used another method, the Remove Color command from the Enhance menu. I have another copy of the same color image here. I'll go up to the Enhance menu and down to Adjust Color and I'll choose Remove Color and that automatically converts the image to black and white. Let's compare the two copies of the black and white image. To view both images at once, I am going to go to the Arrange menu in the Application bar and from there I'll choose this two up vertical view.
You can see that the two black and white conversions are dramatically different. The one on the left is the result of the Remove Color command. The one on the right is the result of the Convert to Black and White command which gave me more control over exactly how the colors were going to be converted. So I ended up with a much more contrasty and intense black-and-white using the Convert to Black and White command than I did when I applied the Remove Color command, so the one on the right is my preference. Simply because it gives me more control over the outcome.
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