Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quick and Easy Black and White

Creating a black and white photo is sometimes a frustrating and difficult, but if you have Adobe Photoshop there is a very simple and easy way to quickly turn any digital photo into a beautiful black and white image. 

You can take any colored photo.  Sometimes it is a great idea to take a photo you love in color and experiment with what it will look like in black and white.  Often times you will discover that you don't only have one great photo, but two.  Perhaps the black and white will even look better!

Once you open your photo in Photoshop select Image >> Adjustments >> Gradient Map.  When you do that you'll see a box pop up like this...

Here you will find multiple gradients to choose from.  To alter your photo to a crisp black and white image click the third black and white option that is circled above.  As soon as you click that option you will see your image transformed from color to gray scale.  

Now you can edit your photo like any other photo. Pay particular attention to the levels, brightness, and contrast.  A nice and balanced black and white photo will not have blown out white or over darkened blacks.  

Photo Taking Tip:  You still have to use good composition when taking a photo whether you desire it to be a black and white photo or colored.  Pay particular attention to contrasts and lighting.  When composing a black and white photo it helps if you don't base your reasoning for taking a photo "because the colors look nice", like a sunset or autumn leaves.  Think in shades of gray. If what you are photographing already has a lot of lights and darks in it then chances are it will make a good black and white photo!

NOTE: It is possible to just "reduce the saturation" of your photo to zero so no color is visible. however you will not be able to adjust the other aspects of your photo when editing it which will result in a less crisp and bold black and white photo.  The change is also permanent and affects your ability to edit. 

View July's Photo Assignment: Black and White

1 comment:

  1. I WILL try this. I'm not even going to hold anything against you for using a PC and NOT a Mac…


I love and appreciate all comments! If you have a question please ask away and I will certainly reply.