BW Conversion Using Adobe Photoshop

I create this article because some people like my black and white photos, some of them also asking me about my own method, or maybe action/plugin which I use for converting color photos to black & white photos. I need to mention that I don’t use any special action or plugin, just using Photoshop.


For this tutorial I will use this photo (cute blue duck^^) :

The first way to convert the photo to b&w is using “desaturate” (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate) or simply click shift + ctrl + u.  The result is not so nice (in my opinion) :

The other way to convert to b&w is using channel mixer.

By the default, if you click the monochrome button then you will get the setting as red: 40%, green: 40%, and blue: 20%. Normally the total should be 100%, you can try modify the number and see what happen if the total less or more than 100%.

The result with default setting (R:40%, G:40%, B:20%) :

The result with modified setting (R:20%, G:40%, B:40%) :

The result with modified setting (R:20%, G:40%, B:40%, constant: -5%) :

If you using Adobe Photoshop CS 3 or higher version then you also can use black and white adjustment which instantly convert your photo to black & white. Look like channel mixer, but you have more option with this one….

Using default setting (R:40, Y:60, G:40, C:60, B:20, M:80) then you will get kind of this result:

Using green filter preset, the result will be like this:

Using maximum black preset, the result will be like this:

Using maximum white preset, the result will be like this: (contrary to maximum black)

You also can modify the number for every channel / color, and you will see the different kind of black & white result.

I will give you another example for comparison (for each method)…

Original photo (with a bit PS touch) :

Desaturate (I don’t like the result) :

Channel Mixer with default setting :

Channel Mixer with modified setting (R:50%, G:50%, B:0%) :

B&W adjustment with default preset (I don’t like the result ^^) :

B&W adjustment with yellow filter preset :

B&W adjustment with default preset (then modify R: 50, Y:100) :

I think you can understand what I want to explain in this article…. simply that you can make your own black and white photo (except for “desaturate” method, because you don’t have any option to modify the result). I prefer the last method because I have more option to customize the result.

I hope you can learn something from this tutorial, feel free to share if you think it is useful – thanks for visiting my blog and website…..

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