How to Turn Color Photos into Black-and-White Images

Sometimes, it is only after a shoot that I discover a shot would have looked better in black and white. On other occasions, I turn my color photos into black-and-white images at the model’s request or because I need the pictures to create some special moods. Black-and-white images are particularly suitable for journalistic style photography or for evoking a sense of nostalgia. In this article, you will learn to turn a color image into a high-contrast black-and-white image in order to emphasize the lines and shapes in the image.

  • Select [File]-[Open] from the menu bar. The Open dialog box appears.
  • Open the image

  • Select [Enhance]-[Adjust Color]-[Remove Color] from the menu bar. This removes all the color information so the color image changes to one in shades of gray.
  • Select [Enhance]-[Adjust Brightness/Contrast]-[Levels] from the menu bar. The Levels dialog box appears.
  • In the Input Levels text boxes, enter 50, 0.85, and 200, respectively.
  • Click OK. This will increase the highlights and midtones in the image.
  • Click and drag the Background layer in the Layers palette onto the Create a New Layer icon to make a copy of the layer.
  • Select [Image]-[Adjustments]-[Threshold] from the menu bar. The Threshold dialog box appears.
  • Move the Threshold Level slider to a value of 60.
  • Click OK. The image changes from shades of gray to purely black and white. The Threshold command transforms color and grayscale images into high-contrast black-and-white images. Pixels lighter than the stated threshold value will be converted to white, while pixels darker than the thresh¬old value will be turned into black. In general, the higher the threshold value, the more black the image will contain.
  • In the Layers palette, change the blending mode of all layers for which the Threshold Level has been changed to Overlay.
  • In the same palette, change the layers’ Opacity to 60%. The result is a high-contrast black-and-white image.

Filed Under: Computers & Technology


About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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