Converting from Color to B&W - Using Luminosity

It is very simple to convert a color image into a B&W image in Photoshop by desaturating the image (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate) or by converting a color image into grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale) - neither of these options generally produces very good results. The classic technique for converting color images into B&W used the Channel Mixer (I have provided a document for using the channel mixer on the website). I prefer to remove the color and preserve the luminosity.

1 Make sure the top layer in your layers palette is selected and create a new image layer above it; Layer> New>Layer In the New Layer dialog, name this new layer "Convert to B&W", and change its mode to "Color". Press OK to accept this dialog.

2 For now, nothing appears to happen, as the new image layer is completely empty. Fill the new layer with Gray; select Edit>Fill In the Fill dialog, select "50% Gray" for the Use option.

The Convert to B&W layer is now filled with gray, and the "Color" blending mode replaces the color of the image with the color of this gray layer, resulting in a B&W image. The luminosity of the original color image is preserved.

3 The basic process is complete here. But I will often experiment with the colors below the Convert layer to improve the look of the final image. Select the layer below the Convert to B&W layer and create a new Hue/Saturation layer, I usually call this the "mess with colors" layer.

Experiment with making some extreme changes to the colors by shifting the Hue. You could also experiment with a Color Balance or Photo Filter adjustment layer.

You can also make the image include some of the original color by reducing the opacity of the "Convert to B&W" layer; this is a quick trick to create a hand-colored look for your images.

^ Y,i1ltyofF!r5BftW a^;(C<pnwrn<.BlMk&WUIl<! RGBfBI '[email protected]

^ Y,i1ltyofF!r5BftW a^;(C<pnwrn<.BlMk&WUIl<! RGBfBI '[email protected]

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

Get My Free Video

Post a comment