Black & White Conversion Using Photoshop

This tutorial for you that loves black&white(BW) or monochrome photography. Actually camera (DSLR) can take the photo in monochrome but sometimes it’s better to take photo in standard/color mode. The reason is convert color photo to monochrome is much easier than coloring monochrome photo. If you want the best result for converting monochrome photo, I suggest you to take photo in RAW format. Using RAW format, you can change many things, like color balance, brightness, etc before you convert it to BW. Most of photographers take photo in Jpeg format because it’s much practice and the file size isn’t too big. If you take photo using Jpeg format, there are many ways to convert the photo become BW. I use photoshop to convert photo become BW – in photoshop there are 2 common methods: desaturate and channel mixer. Using desaturate is very easy, you just go to Image->Adjustments->Desaturate or Shift+Ctrl+U. I use photo from my tutorial before. You can see original photo (after editing) and desaturate image below.

Desaturate the photo completely convert the photo to BW – but the lighting effect from the photo will be not appear in the desaturated photo. You can see the original photo has good lighting effect but it won’t appear in desaturated photo.

The other way to convert to BW is using channel mixer. Using Channel mixer you need to tick monochrome then you can change red-green-blue value. When you use channel mixer, I suggest you to change red-green-blue value properly. Red + green + blue value should equal to 100%, less or more than 100% will change the image histogram. Below is the example of using red:60 green:20 blue:20 – you can see the result is different from BW desaturated photo.

Comparing between channel mixer and desaturate: the lighting effect in channel mixer edited photo still appear in the photo, so this make the photo has feeling – the difficult part is you need to change red-green-blue value in good manner. Otherwise you’ll get bad or unique result like this:

Hope you like this tutorial. Any comments, suggestions, or critics are welcome.

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6 thoughts on “Black & White Conversion Using Photoshop

  1. @Webmaster….
    Sorry for long updations on August and September because I still have problems with my internet connection and my work – anyway I will start regular updations on October.

  2. Pingback: Old Photo Effect Using Photoshop « Just about Photography

  3. edwin – I would like to buy a print of the black and white photo of T.101 as a momento for the year I spent in Taipei. Can you assist me please.


  4. @Conor:
    Of course I can assist you, by the way I have many photos of Taipei 101. In this blog I just show some photos and some photoshop tutorials. Maybe you can see other photos if it’s interesting for you.

    For personal message about the photo, price and etc you can contact me to:

    Thanks, wish you Happy New Year 2009
    Edwin Setiawan

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