How To Make A Photo Black And White In Photoshop

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If you want to know how to make a photo black and white in Photoshop you’ve come to the right place.

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Convert To Grayscale (Destructive)

This is by far the simplest way for one to convert a photo from color to black and white. By converting an image to grayscale, you basically delete all the color information of a photo. This is a really quick and easy way for one to make the conversion, but you don’t have too much control over the conversion, and the only way you can re-adjust this conversion is to undo it and re-do the whole process.

To do this, all you have to do is go to the Image, select Mode, then go to the Greyscale option. Once there, simply click discard and your photo will be converted to black and white instantly.

How To Make A Photo Black And White In Photoshop Hue/Saturation Tool (Non-Destructive)

Using this method will give you the exact same result as converting to grayscale. However, the difference here lies in the fact that this adjustment gets saved as an adjustment layer, meaning you can make all the adjustments necessary without redoing the whole process. It doesn’t do anything permanent to the photo, so this is a great non-destructive way of converting a photo to black and white.

To use this method, simply go to Layer, then select New Adjustment Layer, then click Hue and Saturation. Once that is done, you will see a Hue and Saturation slider. Once you see the slider, simply slide the Saturation slider all the way to left (-100%), and your photo will be converted.

Lab Color Method (Destructive)

This method will change the entire color mode of your photo. It will convert it from RGB mode to Lab mode. Lab mode records brightness and color separately, meaning you can basically discard all color information and be left with a black and white image. Mathematically, this method is very accurate as you completely remove the color data, whether or not this aesthetic makes the photo better all depends on the photo.

To do this, go to Image, Mode, then select Lab Color. From there, go to the Channels window and select the Lightness Channel. Then go to Image, Mode, select Grayscale then click “Okay”.

How To Make A Photo Black And White In Photoshop Gradient Map (Non-Destructive)

This a very quick, easy, and non-destructive way to convert a photo to black and white. What it does is it maps a black and white gradient based on the brightness values that your photo has. This means that darker areas (shadows) will be black or very dark gray, while the bright areas (highlights) will be white or a light gray.

To do this, press “D” to reset the colors in the background and foreground to black and white. Once that’s done, go to Layer, Adjustment Layer, then select Gradient Map. Click “Okay” then watch as your photo turns black and white.

Channel Mixer (Non-Destructive)

This method gives you some of the most control when converting to black and white. This is because colored photos have three color channels: red, green, and blue. By using the channel mixer method, you can manually adjust the ratios between these channels. That way, you can have full control over the output of the conversion.

To do this, select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, then select Channel Mixer. From there, simply tick the monochrome box on the mixer. From there, you can make manual adjustments by moving the red, green, or blue, sliders to make certain areas darker or lighter. However. it’s important to remember to keep the total sum of the three sliders at 100%.

Twin Hue/Saturation Method (Non-Destructive)

This method also gives you a lot of control. There are two layers going on here, the top one is a monochrome layer that basically converts the photo to black and white. The layer underneath changes the tones and shades in the original photo, which makes certain areas lighter or darker in the converted photo.

To convert using this method, select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, then go to Hue/Saturation and click “Okay”. Move the saturation slider all the way to the left (just like in the Hue/Saturation Tool method). After that, you have to activate the background by clicking on it. Next, you have to make another Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. On the new layer, change the Hue/Saturation blending mode to “color”, then double click the new layer’s icon. From there, you can adjust the Hue slider to change the tones on the black and white image.

Black And White Adjustment Layer Method (Non-Destructive)

This is another way to convert your photo with a lot of control. The Black and White Adjustment layer works similarly to the channel mixer method but is made much easier and gives you more control as you can even use the targeted adjustment tool to make certain tones lighter and darker. It also has six sliders that you can play around with to give you as precise a conversion as possible.

To use this method, go to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, then click Black and White. From there, the toolbox will appear with six sliders that you can use to make adjustments to the photo. There are also presets you can choose from. Once you’re satisfied with how the photo looks after making your adjustments, simply click “Okay”.

Read the official Adobe guide here.

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