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When you want a black and white photograph, it is best to shoot the photograph in color and then convert it later to black and white in Photoshop Elements because a color image has much more tonal information in it then a gray scale image made in a camera. And so you will have more latitude to adjust the color image and then you can convert it to black and white. When you are ready to convert, go to the Full Edit workspace in Elements and use the black and white converter adjustment. I'm going to convert this photo floats. jpg from the 10_10-convert subfolder in the Chapter10 exercise files. I'll go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen and down to Convert to Black and White. That opens the Convert to Black and White dialog box. On the left you see the color image, on the right a preview of how the black and white image will look with the current adjustments.
And those adjustments are down here at the bottom of the dialog box, the way to approach this is to start with the Styles on the left, which are preset combinations of individual controls on the right. So for example if I click on Infrared effect, that moves each one of the sliders on the right and it offers an infrared version of a black and white conversion. Newspaper gives a different look and different set of sliders as does Portrait, Scenic Landscape, Urban Snapshots and Vivid Landscape.
I think I'm going to try to start with Newspaper here and as the second step, I'm going to move over to the sliders and work with them. There is a separate slider here for adjusting the conversion for each kind of light in this RGB or red green and blue image. There is also a contrast slider. If I move the red slider to the right, it is going to lighten the red light in the image. The same is true of the green slider I think I'll leave that where it is and the same is true of the blue slider. That will lighten the blue light in the image. I'm going to try darkening the blue light by dragging it to the left of it and then it gives me a more dramatic look to my black and white conversion. I might increase the contrast a little also. Notice the buttons on the right. The Undo button takes you back one step at a time, so as you make adjustments to these sliders you can undo each adjustment in sequence. And there is a Redo button one step at a time, there is also a Reset button here and that will take you all the way back to ground zero before you started converting the image.
I'm going to click okay because I like this result and there is my converted black and white image back in the Full Edit workspace. Give this black and white conversion adjustment a try if you have some color images that you would like to convert into black and white art.
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