Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Converting to black and white

From: Photoshop for Designers: Color

Video: Converting to black and white

So why in a title on color would I have a black-and-white image? Well, the reason is that it's important for us to remember that sometimes the best color is no color at all and of course, this is entirely subjective but for me, if a certain image's color can actually detract from the image, take away the color and the image becomes about shape and form and texture and I think that's the case with this image. If we take a look at the color original, I am not going to split my screen.

Converting to black and white

So why in a title on color would I have a black-and-white image? Well, the reason is that it's important for us to remember that sometimes the best color is no color at all and of course, this is entirely subjective but for me, if a certain image's color can actually detract from the image, take away the color and the image becomes about shape and form and texture and I think that's the case with this image. If we take a look at the color original, I am not going to split my screen.

On the right is the color original and it's a fairly boring picture of Yosemite. On the left, I converted it to black-and -white, done some work with it, I have done some dodging and burning, some sharpening, adjusting the contrast, but it's a whole new image. It wasn't really much I could do and in fact, I almost overlooked the color original because it was saying nothing to me but when we work with the gray values of the black-and-white version, it's something else entirely.

So I just want to quickly run you through what I did and it's all nondestructive, so I can come and Alt+ click or Option+click on the background layer and we are back to our starting point. I do have my Smart Filters turned on, so I have converted this for Smart Filters and then I have applied some sharpening first of all. Let's take a look at what that does. I am just going to zoom in; we need to see this at 100% to evaluate the sharpening.

If I turn that off, there is before the sharpening, there is after the sharpening, I applied this much an Amount of 147 a Radius of 1. I then converted it to a black-and- white image using the Black & White adjustment layer right there. When we click on that and we go to the Adjustments panel, we can see what values are used. So I have increased the brightness on the magentas, I have decreased it on the blues and the cyans and I am doing this mainly using the Targeted Adjustment tool.

We'll go back to a Fit in Window view and I am using the Targeted Adjustment tool, I am coming down here and I am saying I want it to be brighter in this area. So I am dragging that to the right. You can see that as I do that, the green slider starts moving over to the right. The yellow slider has already been moved out to the right quite a lot. The next slider, I need some more contrast. So I added a Levels adjustment layer. I am going to tear off my Layers panel so that we can see it side-by-side with my adjustments.

On this Levels adjustment layer, I have moved the black-and-white points in towards the middle and I am actually clipping some contents. So there are areas in this image that are 100% black and there are areas that are completely white. Areas that formally had some detail, but that's okay, I like it this way, I like the high contrast of it. I have then added a curve adjustment. Now this curve adjustment, if I turn that off, it is adding more contrast, but you can see it's only adding more contrast to the top portion of the image and that's because I have combined this curve adjustment, you can see I have moved the curve down somewhat.

I have combined it with a layer mask, and that layer mask is a gradient from white to blacks and where it's white, the curve adjustment is affecting the image and where it's black, it's not affecting the image. Then I have a layer of Dodge and Burn. Now I am going to turn on this layer all by itself by Alt and clicking on it and you can see, it's nothing more than that. It is a gray layer filled with neutral gray. This is how I got it, come and choose New Layer and as you do so, hold down the Option or the Alt key and you will get these options.

I want the New layer to have the Overlay blend mode to be filled with overlaying neutral color. It gives me a layer of solid gray. So that was my starting point and in the Overlay blend mode, Overlay neutralizes gray, in the same way as Multiply neutralizes white and Screen neutralizes black. So then I can paint at a very reduced percentage on that layer in white to dodge to lighten areas and in black to burn to darken areas.

Here is the overall effect of this Dodge and Burn layer. If I turn it off, there is the before, there is the after. So what I am trying to do with this is really bring out the lighten shade in this image. So I want to accentuate the difference between the bright areas and the dark areas and then I have an additional levels adjustment. Why do I have this? I can't quite remember, let's see what it does. It doesn't do anything. Not sure why we even have it.

Let's throw it away and at the very top, the finishing touch is a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. I just felt it needed something a little bit extra. So I have applied this, I have increased the Brightness, I have increased the Contrast, and I am only doing it in the bottom half of the image because as you can see, this adjustment layer has a layer mask attached to it. It looks like that. So it's another of those gradient masks applied to the adjustment layer.

And we will just compare the two again and I am just going to come back here and choose Match Zoom, so that we see them both at Fit-in Window view, and I hope you will agree with me that the image on the left, the one where I am pretending that I am Ansel Adams is a whole lot better than the one on the right which is nothing more than a snapshot.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Color
Photoshop for Designers: Color

75 video lessons · 18567 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 41m 4s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      14m 15s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 30s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 0s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
      57s
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 4s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 8s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 9s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 19s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 42s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 15s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 24s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 49s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop for Designers: Color.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.