Turn Image Black And White Photoshop

By | 06/11/2022

Blackness and white photography is as popular equally ever, and, with digital software similar
Adobe Photoshop, it’s never been easier to convert your digital images.

In this article we’ll run through some of the well-nigh popular black and white conversion methods, outlining the pros and cons of each. Instructions are provided for Photoshop CS and, if the technique’south bachelor, Photoshop Elements. The techniques we embrace:

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

In instance you don’t want to read through every technique, we recommend the final 2 techniques for about people: using the Camera Raw filter and LUTs.

Black and White Actions

If you’re looking for some nifty Photoshop Actions to do the work for you, then there’s plenty of choice over at Envato Elements where you can download unlimited resources for a monthly subscription.

You could start with this set of 31 Professional person Black & White Photoshop Actions which gives you lot a broad range of options for creating different blackness and white effects depending on the look you’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 information technology to black and white in
Photoshop, you have complete control over the conversion.

For the best possible conversion, start past shooting in RAW. Then, in your RAW conversion software, output the photo as a
16-chip Tiff
file. sixteen-chip files accept a lot more information to piece of work with than
files, which makes for a amend conversion with smoother tonal graduations.

Most digital SLRs (and some compacts) have a black and white mode. The camera is making the conversion for yous, and the results are commonly poor, giving flat, done out photos. It’s usually best to avoid this style, and use the following techniques instead.

Black and White Conversions

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

Non-destructive methods use
adjustment layers. The changes that you lot make to your photo are stored in a layer, and the original photo remains unchanged underneath. And so, when you’re done, y’all flatten the paradigm and information technology’south as this stage that
makes all the changes to the photo permanent. You can edit the conversion at whatever fourth dimension before flattening the image past clicking on the
Aligning Layer

Non-destructive photo editing is always improve than destructive photo editing!

a non destructive adjustment layer
a non destructive adjustment layer
a non destructive adjustment layer
a not destructive adjustment layer

Convert to Greyscale (Destructive)

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

  1. Image > Fashion > Grayscale
  2. Click ‘Discard

The method is the aforementioned for both

  • Pros: Quick and easy.
  • Cons: You lot take no command over the conversion.

Utilise the Hue/Saturation Tool (Non-destructive)

This method gives exactly the same issue every bit converting to greyscale and adding a black and white adjustment layer. The advantage is that information technology’s available every bit an adjustment layer, and can be used as function of a non-subversive editing procedure.

Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements:

  1. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
  2. Click
  3. Move the
    slider all the manner to the left (-100) and press ‘OK
  • Pros: Quick and easy and and can exist practical as an adjustment layer in both
  • Cons: You lot have no control over the conversion.
hue saturation
hue saturation
hue saturation
Reduce the Saturation to 0

Lab Color Method (Subversive)

This technique converts your photo from
color fashion mode to
colour mode. Lab mode records the brightness and color values separately, meaning in Lab you can discard the colour information to get out a black and white prototype. It’south not available in
Photoshop Elements.

  1. Image > Mode > Lab Color
  2. Go to the
    window if it’southward already open (if non get to
    Window > Channel) and select the
  3. Epitome > Mode > Grayscale
  4. Click ‘OK
  • Pros: Gives a black and white conversion that is, theoretically, more than
    accurate. Whether it’s a pleasing conversion depends on the picture.
  • Cons: Destructive editing process that doesn’t requite you much control.

Gradient Map (Non-destructive)

Gradient Map
tool maps a blackness and white gradient to the effulgence values of your photo. Nighttime areas get black or dark grey and highlights white or light grey.

  1. Press ‘D’
    to reset the foreground and background colours to blackness and white.
  2. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map
  3. Click ‘OK
gradient map
gradient map
gradient map
Gradient Map technique
  • Pros: Quick and easy not-subversive black and white conversion
  • Cons: No control over the conversion

Channel Mixer (Not-subversive)

Aqueduct Mixer
is the first blackness and white conversion tool listed here that truly begins to employ the full potential of the data contained in the color photo.

Colour photos have three colour channels;
red, dark-green and blueish. These primary colours combine to brand the millions of colours in your photo. The
Channel Mixer
conversion method lets you adjust the ratios between the
scarlet, geen and blue

Lightening the value of a channel with the channel mixer lightens colours close to it on the colour wheel and darkens the colours that are reverse it. Increase the value of the cherry-red channel, for instance, and yous’ll make the scarlet tones in your photo lighter and the blue ones darker. This has the effect of lightening skin tones and darkening blue skies.

Channel Mixer
is the digital equivalent of black and white photographers using color filters. Setting the brightness of the red aqueduct to 100% gives the aforementioned outcome as using a red filter on the lens with black and white film. It’s not available in
Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop CS:

  1. Layer > New Aligning Layer > Aqueduct Mixer
  2. Tick the
  3. Move the
    Reddish, Green and Blueish
    sliders to the left and right to lighten and darken different tones in the photo. The full of the three sliders should be
    at all times.
  4. Click ‘OK‘ when yous’re done.
channel mixer
channel mixer
channel mixer
Channel Mixer method
  • Pros: Gives yous a high degree of control over the black and white conversion.
  • Cons: Not as flexible as the side by side two techniques. Not bachelor in
    Photoshop Elements.

Twin Hue/Saturation Method (Not-subversive)

This technique uses 2
Hue/SaturationAdjustment Layers. The top layer is a straight
conversion. The bottom layer changes the colours of the original photograph, which in plow changes the tones in the black and white conversion. Information technology gives yous a fine caste of control.

Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements:

  1. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
    and click ‘OK
  2. Move the
    slider all the fashion to the left (-100) and click ‘OK
  3. Activate the
    by clicking on it
  4. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
    and click ‘OK
  5. Click ‘OK
  6. Alter the
    blending mode
    of the bottom
    layer to ‘Colour
  7. Double click the bottom
    layer’due south icon
  8. Move the
    slider left or right and watch the tones change! Y’all tin also 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 degree of command over the
  • Cons: None, only less control than another methods.

7. Blackness and White Adjustment Layer Method (Not-destructive)

Available in
Photoshop CS3
onward, the
Black and White Adjustment Layer
gives you all the control of the channel mixer and twin
techniques via half-dozen colour sliders. Simply the nigh exciting feature is its
Targeted Adjustment Tool. With this tool yous can accommodate tones in your photo to brand them lighter or darker. It’s an intuitive and a precise conversion technique.

  1. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Blackness and White
  2. Click ‘OK‘. The
    Black and White
    toolbox appears.
  3. Move the six colour sliders right or left to burnish or darken the respective tones in the photo. You can also choose from from the presets in the driblet down menu at the top.
  4. Click ‘OK‘ when y’all’re done.

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


Larn more nearly Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

viii. Use a Camera Raw Adjustment Layer (Non-destructive)

Adobe Camera Raw has several ways to catechumen to blackness and white, and you might already be comfortable with them. Why non utilise the same tools in Photoshop, too?

Hither’south how:

  1. Select the layer (or layers) to which yous desire to use the filter. Right-click on the layer name and choose
    Convert to Smart Object
    from the context carte.
  2. This conversion volition turn your layer into a
    Smart Object
    and allow you to readjust the filter settings later.
  3. Click on the
    menu again and choose
    Photographic camera Raw Filter. This action will bring up the Camera Raw interface.

9. Employ A Look-Upwards Tabular array (Non-destructive)

Hither’s a twist on the Camera Raw method that uses presets, or Await-Up Tables, to make the process quick and instantly repeatable.

  1. Install the LUTs equally we cover in our tutorial, if you don’t have any, check out the choice beneath
  2. Your profiles should be visible under
    Browse Profiles
  3. Hover over each thumbnail to see a preview, select 1
  4. Use the slider to accommodate the forcefulness of the outcome
  5. Your other sliders are still at
    0. Brand other edits based on your chosen colour profile, including further changes to the colours in the
    Colour Mixer.

v Cool 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 become these results, then check out these blackness and white LUTs from Envato Elements:

1. fifty Nostalgia Black and White LUTs Pack

If yous like a archetype expect, try out this packet. It features 50 unique black and white LUTs with a nostalgic style. This cinematic LUT pack can assist you lot 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

2. l Black and White Wedding LUTs Pack

Are yous editing photos from your big day? Then try out this black and white LUT download. Information technology 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 Black 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

4. xx Blackness&White LUTs (Look Upwards Tables)

This bundle of 20 LUTs takes a unique arroyo to color correction. It applies the blackness and white effect, but also comes with options that allow a petty color to seep through. Effort it out to see what you 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. 10 Black and White Lightroom Presets

We circular out our listing with these ten Lightroom presets. The results of the color correction brand your photos look similar 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 can detect 40 awesome free Lightroom downloads to make black and white photos here:


It’s worth taking the time to experiment with these dissimilar methods when deciding how to arroyo black and white conversion. Some may piece of work better for you than others, but always remember to go on an original copy of the image if using a destructive method and ultimately, it’southward always ameliorate to work non-destructively, so you lot have the option to alter your mind.

Source: https://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-convert-your-images-to-black-and-white-in-photoshop–photo-488