Black And White Conversion in Adobe Photoshop CC

Black And White Conversion in Adobe Photoshop CC

There are photos you take which you will at times want to convert to black and white. Photoshop has tools which you can always use to help you convert the photos to black and white.

Why You Need to Shoot in Color and Convert to Black and White

In case your camera saves pictures in jpeg images even if it is capable of capturing photos in black and white, it is advisable that you avoid taking pictures in black and white and instead shoot in color and convert at a later time. The main reason behind this is that whenever you capture your photos in jpeg with the camera set to black and white, all the color information will not be there when you save the image and you will never be in a position to get back the information. So, you will only have a black and white photo. However, when you capture photo in color, you will be in a position to convert the photo to black and white and still have the color image just in case you decide it is much better that way.

Converting to Black and White in Photoshop

There are a couple of choices you can use to convert to black and white in Photoshop cc. It is possible for you to convert the image by selecting Image then Adjustments and Desiderate. This will remove the color from the image but you will not have control over how to convert it.

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One better method to convert an image is to use the black and white adjustment layer. You can achieve this by going to Layer then choose New Adjustment Layer and select Black and White. Then click Ok in order to create the new adjustment layer.

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You will be able to see sliders for:

  • Cyan
  • Magenta
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Yellow

It is also possible to use these to control how to convert the colors in the photo. Take the color slider to the left in order to darken the areas in the photo which are of that tone then slide to the right to lighten them.

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You will see no or little change when you drag the slider in some cases. However, this will only take place if there is none or little of that color in the photo.

The sliders will make it possible for you to come up with a custom black and white conversion for your image and you will also be in a position to change how to convert the similar value colors. For example, in the case below, the child’s pink shirt and the green background will turn to a similar shade of grey. However, changing the green slider to the left will darken the background and create more black and white image.

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You can also use the target adjustment tool by clicking its icon on the properties panel in addition to changing the sliders. You can thereafter click on a specific place on the image and drag to the right or left in order to change the color under the eyedropper. Darken the color by dragging to the left and to the right to lighten it. You need to be aware that this will adjust the color occurrence in the image and not just the region of the color underneath the cursor.

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Drag the sliders take care in order to avoid sliding the adjacent sliders in opposite directions. You are changing the colors that are most likely to be found close to each other in opposite directions making one colors dark and the other light. The risk that comes with all these is that you will create regions of mottle lights and dark in the photo that will not be aesthetically pleasing as shown in the image below.

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Change the adjacent sliders so that the values are close to each other for smoother and great results as shown in the image below.

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Presets options are also present at the properties dialog which you can you can always use to convert your photo to black and white. Select the present in the list in order to apply it. In case you find one you prefer, you can use it as it is or decide to continue to change the sliders in order to fine tune the final result.

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It is advisable for one to use the adjustment layer method although it is possible for one to apply the black and white feature by converting directly to the photo using Image> Adjustments> Black and White.

The main reason behind this is that you can always double click on the adjustment layer thumbnail whenever you see the adjustment layer in order to fine tune the result at any time.

When you use the adjustment as the adjustment layer, it is possible for you to incorporate it into the image shown below by reducing its opacity. In the image below, there was reduction of the black and white adjustment opacity in order show some of the initial color photo in order to produce a hand tint to the image.

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It is also possible for you to add several black and white adjustment layers and use the built in masks in order to control the way each adjustment layer will affect the photo.

How to Tint the Black and White Photo

The properties dialog box for the Black and White adjustment layer will offer you with choice of the black and white image. In order to achieve this, click tint button and select the color selector that will make it possible for you to select the color to enable you tint the image. Selecting a bright color will lead to a more beautiful and brighter tint and selecting a dark color will provide you with a more subtle tone to the picture.

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Several Black and White Adjustments

There are times when you will want to treat two regions having the same color in an image in different ways. For instance, you can have a photo containing blue sky together with other elements that are also blue. If you change the photo using one black and white adjustment layer, all the blue areas in the photo will change to a similar grey value and this will not be what you need.

In case you are in need to change two regions having the same color in a photo into different ways, you can incorporate two different black and white adjustment layers. To achieve this, add the initial black and white adjustment layer and use it in changing the photo the way you want it to appear.

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Thereafter, you can add the second black and white adjustment layer to the photo. You will notice that changes made using the second adjustment layer will not have any effect on the photo.

It is possible to change this behavior by choosing a new adjustment layer and selecting Layer> Layer Style> Blending Options. Choose deep and click ok on the knockout dropdown list.

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You can now use the new black and white adjustment layer in order to fine tune the image. In the image below, the new black and white adjustment layer made it possible to adjust the image.

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You can thereafter blend the two adjustments using the masks found on one or both of the adjustment layers to finish the image.


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