Photoshop How To Turn Off Grayscale

By | 06/08/2022

Black and white photography is every bit pop as ever, and, with digital software like
Adobe Photoshop, it’s never been easier to convert your digital images.

In this article we’ll run through some of the most pop black and white conversion methods, outlining the pros and cons of each. Instructions are provided for Photoshop CS and, if the technique’s available, Photoshop Elements. The techniques we cover:

  1. Catechumen to Greyscale (Destructive)
  2. Hue/Saturation Tool (Non-destructive)
  3. Lab Colour Method (Subversive)
  4. Gradient Map (Not-destructive)
  5. Channel Mixer (Not-destructive)
  6. Twin Hue/Saturation Method (Non-destructive)
  7. Black and White Adjustment Layer Method (Non-destructive)
  8. Camera Raw aligning layer (Smart Objects, not-subversive)
  9. Await-Up Tables (not-destructive)

In case you don’t want to read through every technique, nosotros recommend the last two techniques for most people: using the Photographic camera Raw filter and LUTs.

Black and White Deportment

If yous’re looking for some great Photoshop Actions to do the piece of work for you, and so there’s plenty of selection over at Envato Elements where y’all can download unlimited resource for a monthly subscription.

You lot could beginning with this set of 31 Professional Black & White Photoshop Actions which gives you a wide range of options for creating different blackness and white effects depending on the await yous’re going for.

31 Professional Black  White Photoshop Actions
31 Professional Black  White Photoshop Actions
31 Professional Black  White Photoshop Actions
31 Professional Black & White Photoshop Actions, from Envato Elements

How to Convert a Color Photo to Black and White in Photoshop

Converting to black and white digitally has a number of advantages. By starting with a colour photo and converting it to black and white in
Photoshop, yous have complete control over the conversion.

For the best possible conversion, get-go by shooting in RAW. And so, in your RAW conversion software, output the photograph equally a
sixteen-bit Tiff
file. 16-fleck files have a lot more information to piece of work with than
files, which makes for a better conversion with smoother tonal graduations.

About digital SLRs (and some compacts) have a black and white mode. The camera is making the conversion for you, and the results are usually poor, giving apartment, washed out photos. It’south commonly all-time to avoid this fashion, and use the post-obit techniques instead.

Black and White Conversions

Photoshop Elements
offer both destructive and non-subversive black and white conversion techniques. Destructive methods are ones that tin’t be re-adjusted after. Once you’ve made the conversion, the merely manner to change it is to undo the conversion and start once again.

Not-destructive methods use
Photoshop’due south
adjustment layers. The changes that you brand to your photo are stored in a layer, and the original photo remains unchanged underneath. Then, when you’re done, you lot flatten the image and it’s equally this stage that
makes all the changes to the photo permanent. You lot can edit the conversion at whatever fourth dimension before flattening the image by clicking on the
Adjustment Layer

Non-subversive photograph editing is always ameliorate than subversive photo editing!

a non destructive adjustment layer
a non destructive adjustment layer
a non destructive adjustment layer
a non subversive adjustment layer

Catechumen to Greyscale (Subversive)

The simplest black and white conversion method, converting to grayscale discards all the colour data in the photo.

  1. Epitome > Mode > Grayscale
  2. Click ‘Discard

The method is the same for both

  • Pros: Quick and piece of cake.
  • Cons: You have no command over the conversion.

Use the Hue/Saturation Tool (Not-destructive)

This method gives exactly the same result as converting to greyscale and adding a black and white adjustment layer. The advantage is that information technology’due south available every bit an adjustment layer, and tin can be used as part of a non-destructive editing procedure.

Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements:

  1. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
  2. Click
  3. Motility the
    slider all the manner to the left (-100) and press ‘OK
  • Pros: Quick and easy and and tin be applied equally an adjustment layer in both
  • Cons: Yous take no command over the conversion.
hue saturation
hue saturation
hue saturation
Reduce the Saturation to 0

Lab Color Method (Destructive)

This technique converts your photograph from
colour way way to
colour manner. Lab mode records the brightness and colour values separately, meaning in Lab you can discard the colour information to get out a black and white prototype. Information technology’southward not available in
Photoshop Elements.

  1. Prototype > Mode > Lab Colour
  2. Go to the
    window if it’s already open (if not go to
    Window > Aqueduct) and select the
  3. Paradigm > Mode > Grayscale
  4. Click ‘OK
  • Pros: Gives a black and white conversion that is, theoretically, more
    authentic. Whether it’s a pleasing conversion depends on the movie.
  • Cons: Subversive editing process that doesn’t give y’all much command.

Gradient Map (Non-destructive)

Gradient Map
tool maps a black and white gradient to the brightness values of your photo. Dark areas get black or nighttime gray and highlights white or light gray.

  1. Press ‘D’
    to reset the foreground and background colours to black and white.
  2. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Slope Map
  3. Click ‘OK
gradient map
gradient map
gradient map
Slope Map technique
  • Pros: Quick and easy non-subversive black and white conversion
  • Cons: No control over the conversion

Channel Mixer (Non-subversive)

Channel Mixer
is the commencement black and white conversion tool listed here that truly begins to use the full potential of the information independent in the colour photo.

Colour photos take three color channels;
cherry-red, green and blue. These primary colours combine to make the millions of colours in your photo. The
Channel Mixer
conversion method lets yous adjust the ratios between the
red, geen and bluish

Lightening the value of a channel with the aqueduct mixer lightens colours close to it on the color wheel and darkens the colours that are contrary it. Increase the value of the red aqueduct, for instance, and you lot’ll make the red tones in your photo lighter and the blue ones darker. This has the effect of lightening pare tones and darkening blue skies.

Channel Mixer
is the digital equivalent of black and white photographers using colour filters. Setting the brightness of the ruby aqueduct to 100% gives the same issue as using a red filter on the lens with black and white moving picture. It’s non available in
Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop CS:

  1. Layer > New Aligning Layer > Channel Mixer
  2. Tick the
  3. Move the
    Cerise, Dark-green and Bluish
    sliders to the left and right to lighten and darken unlike tones in the photo. The total of the three sliders should exist
    at all times.
  4. Click ‘OK‘ when y’all’re done.
channel mixer
channel mixer
channel mixer
Channel Mixer method
  • Pros: Gives you a high degree of command over the black and white conversion.
  • Cons: Non as flexible equally the next 2 techniques. Not available in
    Photoshop Elements.

Twin Hue/Saturation Method (Non-destructive)

This technique uses two
Hue/SaturationAligning Layers. The top layer is a straight
conversion. The bottom layer changes the colours of the original photo, which in plow changes the tones in the black and white conversion. It gives y’all a fine degree of control.

Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements:

  1. Layer > New Aligning Layer > Hue/Saturation
    and click ‘OK
  2. Motility the
    slider all the way to the left (-100) and click ‘OK
  3. Activate the
    past clicking on information technology
  4. Layer > New Aligning Layer > Hue/Saturation
    and click ‘OK
  5. Click ‘OK
  6. Change the
    blending mode
    of the bottom
    layer to ‘Colour
  7. Double click the bottom
    layer’s icon
  8. Move the
    slider left or right and watch the tones change! Y’all can too experiment with the
  9. Click ‘OK‘ when y’all’re done.
twin hue saturation method
twin hue saturation method
twin hue saturation method
Twin hue/saturation method
  • Pros: Extremely fine caste of command over the
  • Cons: None, but less control than some other methods.

7. Blackness and White Aligning Layer Method (Non-destructive)

Available in
Photoshop CS3
onward, the
Black and White Adjustment Layer
gives y’all all the control of the channel mixer and twin
techniques via six colour sliders. But the most exciting feature is its
Targeted Adjustment Tool. With this tool you tin can accommodate tones in your photo to make them lighter or darker. Information technology’s an intuitive and a precise conversion technique.

  1. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black and White
  2. Click ‘OK‘. The
    Blackness and White
    toolbox appears.
  3. Motility the 6 colour sliders right or left to brighten or darken the corresponding tones in the photograph. You lot can also choose from from the presets in the drop down carte at the top.
  4. Click ‘OK‘ when you lot’re done.

  • Pros: The most flexible blackness and white conversion method available.
  • Cons: But available in
    Photoshop CS3


Learn more about Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

8. Utilise a Camera Raw Adjustment Layer (Non-destructive)

Adobe Camera Raw has several ways to convert to black and white, and you lot might already exist comfortable with them. Why non apply the aforementioned tools in Photoshop, too?

Here’southward how:

  1. Select the layer (or layers) to which y’all desire to utilize the filter. Right-click on the layer name and choose
    Convert to Smart Object
    from the context menu.
  2. This conversion will plough your layer into a
    Smart Object
    and allow you lot to readjust the filter settings afterwards.
  3. Click on the
    card again and choose
    Camera Raw Filter. This action will bring up the Photographic camera Raw interface.

9. Utilize A Look-Upwardly Table (Non-destructive)

Here’s a twist on the Camera Raw method that uses presets, or Expect-Up Tables, to brand the procedure quick and instantly repeatable.

  1. Install the LUTs equally we encompass in our tutorial, if you lot don’t accept any, cheque out the selection beneath
  2. Your profiles should exist visible under
    Browse Profiles
  3. Hover over each thumbnail to meet a preview, select one
  4. Use the slider to adjust the forcefulness of the effect
  5. Your other sliders are still at
    0. Make other edits based on your chosen colour profile, including farther changes to the colours in the
    Colour Mixer.

v Absurd Black and White LUTs From Envato Elements

The above techniques work well to convert your photos to black and white. If you lot want a quicker way to go these results, then check out these black and white LUTs from Envato Elements:

1. fifty Nostalgia Black and White LUTs Pack

If you lot similar a archetype look, try out this bundle. It features 50 unique blackness and white LUTs with a nostalgic style. This cinematic LUT pack can help you transform your photos in a affair of clicks.

50 Nostalgia Black and White LUTs Pack
50 Nostalgia Black and White LUTs Pack
50 Nostalgia Black and White LUTs Pack

ii. 50 Black and White Wedding ceremony LUTs Pack

Are you editing photos from your big solar day? So try out this black and white LUT download. It was created with weddings in mind. Use it to add a touch of elegance to shots of the happy couple.

50 Black and White Wedding LUTs Pack
50 Black and White Wedding LUTs Pack
50 Black and White Wedding LUTs Pack

3. 50 Blackness and White Mystery LUTs Pack

For a bit of mystery, try out this cool blackness and white LUTs pack. The effect is easy to apply and works for both Mac and Windows devices.

50 Black and White Mystery LUTs Pack
50 Black and White Mystery LUTs Pack
50 Black and White Mystery LUTs Pack

four. twenty Black&White LUTs (Look Up Tables)

This bundle of xx LUTs takes a unique approach to color correction. It applies the black and white outcome, but as well comes with options that let a little color to seep through. Try it out to see what you lot can create.

20 Black and White LUTs Look Up Tables
20 Black and White LUTs Look Up Tables
20 Black and White LUTs Look Up Tables

5. x Blackness and White Lightroom Presets

We round out our list with these ten Lightroom presets. The results of the color correction make your photos expect like they were shot in black and white originally.

10 Black and White Lightroom Presets
10 Black and White Lightroom Presets
10 Black and White Lightroom Presets

Speaking of presets, you tin can find 40 crawly free Lightroom downloads to brand black and white photos here:


It’s worth taking the fourth dimension to experiment with these different methods when deciding how to approach black and white conversion. Some may work better for you than others, but e’er remember to continue an original copy of the prototype if using a destructive method and ultimately, information technology’southward always amend to work not-destructively, and so you have the choice to change your mind.