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Converting to black and white

From: Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers

Video: Converting to black and white

Like many photographers, I have a fondness for the black and white image, and so, quite often, I like to convert a color image into a black and white in Photoshop. There are a variety of different ways you can approach this task, but in my mind, the Black and White adjustment is the best approach. I'll go ahead and choose the Adjustments panel and then click on the Black and White button in order to add a black and white adjustment. As you can see, that creates a black and white version of the image, but with just a basic interpretation. I can fine tune the image based on my own personal preferences. What I'm able to do is to change the overall appearance of the image by adjusting the luminance values, for color values in the image. In other words, taking what had been yellow pixels and brightening them or darkening them.

Converting to black and white

Like many photographers, I have a fondness for the black and white image, and so, quite often, I like to convert a color image into a black and white in Photoshop. There are a variety of different ways you can approach this task, but in my mind, the Black and White adjustment is the best approach. I'll go ahead and choose the Adjustments panel and then click on the Black and White button in order to add a black and white adjustment. As you can see, that creates a black and white version of the image, but with just a basic interpretation. I can fine tune the image based on my own personal preferences. What I'm able to do is to change the overall appearance of the image by adjusting the luminance values, for color values in the image. In other words, taking what had been yellow pixels and brightening them or darkening them.

In addition to working with the sliders here, we can also simply point to the image. I'll go ahead and click on the On Image Adjustment tool and then if I click on the image, you'll notice that the yellows value gets highlighted since I'm pointing to an area that is predominantly yellow in the original image. And then I can click and drag to the right to brighten or to the left to darken. In this way I can continue fine tuning specific ares of the image, for example, brightening up the blues or darkening the blues down a little bit. I think in this case I'll stick with a slightly contrasting version of the image, but I can continue going through the individual sliders or working directly on the image if I want to. I'll go ahead and play with the rest here.

looks like the reds, if I darken them down, that will add some contrast to the background. So again, it can be very helpful to experiment around, to explore all of the sliders in order to create what you feel is the best interpretation of your color photograph into black and white. In addition we can also add a color tint to the black and white image. I'll go ahead and turn on the Tint check box on the Properties panel and that will add a color tint. You'll notice the color swatch here that shows me which color is being applied.

If I'd like to change the color, I can simply click on that color swatch to bring up the Color Picker. I can then fine tune the overall hue, saturation, and brightness. I usually start by adjusting hue. So I'll click on Hue, and then adjust the Vertical slider here to find the color that I'd like to apply to the image. For this photo, I think a nice sepia tone type of effect will work nicely. Once I have the hue, the basic color selected, I can then adjust saturation and brightness using the larger gradient.

Up or down represents light or dark, and left to right represents less saturated or more saturated. Generally speaking, when I'm adding a color tint to a black and white photo, I'll use a color of relatively low saturation, just a subtle amount of color to bring out some quality in the image. For example here, sepia tone bringing out a little bit of warmth and perhaps a little bit of a more nostalgic feel. But I can adjust the color any way I'd like. Once I'm happy with the result, I'll go ahead and click the OK button to close the Color Picker. But at anytime I can return to my Black and White adjustment and fine tune the individual sliders or turn the color tint off or on and adjust the color of that tint as I see fit.

But in this case, I'm pretty happy with the result I've achieved and it took very little time and not too much effort. But at this point, I think I'm happy with the result I've achieved for this image. It didn't take very much time, it didn't require much effort, and it's a lot of fun. .

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Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers

31 video lessons · 2244 viewers

Tim Grey
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