1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email

Video:Convert Color Photos to Black and White in Photoshop

with Isaac Brody

There's something special about the classic look of black and white photos. Learn how to convert your color pictures into black and white using Adobe Photoshop.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Technology Videos
  • Graphics Software Videos

Transcript:Convert Color Photos to Black and White in Photoshop

Hi, I'm Isaac Brody for About.com Computing. Today I'll teach you how to convert your color photos to black and white in Photoshop.

Turn the Color Photo Into Grayscale

First, open Photoshop. Click on 'file,' select 'open' and open your picture. There are several ways to convert photos to black and white. I'll show you the simplest way, and what I feel is the most effective way.

The simplest way to make a color photo black and white is to make it grayscale. Click on 'image,' then 'mode,' and then select 'grayscale.' We've made the picture black and white - quick and simple. Most people would stop here.

Take a Snapshot of the Photo

If you notice, the image looks washed out. Making the image grayscale doesn't allow much room for control. I personally like my black and white photos to be rich in dark and light tones.

Let's take a snapshot of the grayscale method. Click on 'snapshot' under the History palette. We'll use it to compare our methods later on.

Adjust Colors With the Channel Mixer

Click on the first layer in the History palette to select your original picture. Now click on the 'create a new fill' or the adjustment layer icon, and select Channel Mixer. Click on the monochrome box.

Now adjust the red, green, and blue channels. I'll lower the red to about 36, the green to 110, and the blue channel to -6. I'll change the constant level to -10. I like how that looks. Click 'OK.'

Let's take another snapshot to capture the Channel Mixer black and white method.

Compare the Photos

If you look at the difference between the snapshots done with the grayscale method and the channel mixer method, you can see that the channel mixer has a more contrasted, richer look.

I prefer to use the channel mixer for black and white because it provides more control, and I can make changes in real time by clicking on the channel mixer adjustment layer.

It takes a little practice to get good results in black and white using my method, but once you get your feet wet, you'll no longer be satisfied with using the grayscale method for black and white.

Thanks for watching. For more information, please visit us online at computing.about.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.