Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Converting color to black and white, part of Photoshop CC Essential Training (2013).
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There are a number of different ways that you can convert your image to black and white in Photoshop. Two of them are adjustments here, there's a black and white adjustment layer and then there's also a channel mixer adjustment layer. We're going to go ahead and add the black and white adjustment layer. And I can either use the sliders here in order to tell Photoshop how I want different color ranges to be converted, or if I'm not really sure, I can always select from these different presets. So I wanted to know what this would look like with a blue filter, or maybe with a green filter on it, or a high-contrast, maybe a red filter, I have all these different presets that I can select from. Or we can just choose Default.
And if we want to make a custom conversion, we can either use the sliders like I did before or we can select our Targeted Adjustment tool. If I select the Targeted Adjustment tool, then all I need to do is click and drag, either left or right to darken a color range or lighten a color range. In this case, I'm going to try to lighten the yellows a little bit. And then I'll click again in the reds here and just darken those down a bit to get a little bit more contrast between the letter and the background. Now if I like that, but I want to go in and may be just dodge and burn in a few areas, then I can always add a secondary adjustment layer.
So I am going to add a curves adjustment layer, and I am going to bring the curve down a little bit. You'll notice it's a affecting the entire image. I actually want the opposite to happen, because I want to be able to go in and selectively paint in where I want my areas of my image burned down. So I'll select the adjustment layer mask here. And then I can choose to invert it so that it becomes black. So now even if I toggle on and off the eye icon, to show or hide that layers visibility, I don't see any change. Because a solid black mask is going to hide all of the changes. But the curve has been changed so if I select my Brush tool by just tapping the b key, and then I want to slowly dodge or burn my image, burning in this case, because I lowered the curve.
I'm just going to tap the one key that will change my opacity to 10%. Now I need to make sure that I'm painting with white, because I want to actually reveal the lowered curve. So, with 10%, I'm just going to start painting in here. We might not be able to notice it right away, but I can see that it's slowly building up the white here in my mask. And if I hold down the Option or Alt key, and select that, we can see that mask. So now let's go ahead and toggle on the visibility.
Of all three layers, and then I can just toggle on and off the visibility of this curves adjustment layer. So, it's rather subtle, but I just wanted to show you that not only can you use two or more adjustment layers together, you can also mask those adjustments layers, and also come in and make really subtle adjustments, because everything that we've done so far has been pretty heavy handed. In addition, I'm just going to go to the black and white adjustment layer for a moment, and I'm going to change the opacity of this. Just going to bring down the black and white adjustment layer just maybe to around 85. So, we start seeing the color from the original background image. So there's a great alternative to converting your images to black and white, which gives you a little bit more power over what you want to do with that conversion after you apply it.
So in this case, I want it tell Photoshop how to convert my color ranges, but I want it to reintroduce a little bit of color from my original image.
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- Viewing, rating, filtering, and creating collections to isolate your best work
- Comparing raw and JPEG file formats
- Retouching and automating workflow with Camera Raw
- Navigating documents and the Photoshop interface
- Understanding file formats, resolution, canvas size, and print size
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- Selecting, stacking, aligning, and grouping layers
- Making precise selections using the Marquee, Lasso, and Brush tools
- Using Refine Edge, Quick Selection, and layer masks to isolate soft edge objects
- Improving tone, contrast, and color selectively
- Converting to black and white and tinting images
- Retouching blemishes, smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and brightening eyes
- Retouching with the Liquify, Content-Aware Fill, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
- Merging multiple exposures
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