photoshop friday | converting to black and white

Who’s ready for another edition of Photoshop Friday?  Us too!  There are so many ways to convert an image to black and white and everyone has their favorite ways.  Our always helpful CMmentor Jenna Stoller is sharing one way in which she likes to convert her images in this Photoshop Friday.  Fire up Photoshop and get ready to learn!

photoshop friday | converting to black and white

by Jenna Stoller

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

1.  Opened up the image in ACR and adjust exposure.

2.  Fixed the composition. I did this by double clicking on the background, pressing ctrl t (or edit-free transform), held down shift and drug the top left corner out a tiny bit so they weren’t quite so centered.

3.  Duplicated the Layer.

4.  Used the clone stamp set to 100% and stamped out the rest of the people (just basically creating more trees and more of a solid image).

5.  Next is the black and white conversion. Go to Image-Mode- Lab Mode.

6.  Next find your channels palette and click on your lightness channel.

7.  Then go to Image-Mode-Grayscale.

8.  You will have a pretty light version of a black and white at this point. Most likely you are going to want to add some depth into your blacks to give it more contrast. I decided for this image to do more of the matted look.

9.  Create a curves layer where the left side climbs up. Then adjust the midtones area per your taste.

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

10. My final step is adding the gradient layer to bring some color back into the black and white.

11. Click on gradient in your adjustments palette. It may look kind of wonky at first. Double click on your gradient and choose your colors. The colors on the left of the gradient will affect your darker colors in your image. The colors on the right side of your image will affect the lighter areas. I chose a purple and yellow.

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

12. I then pressed ok, and set the blend mode to soft light and changed the opacity at 65%.

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

And here is the before and after, side by side.

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photo

Thank you Jenna for the awesome tutorial!  Tell us, what is your favorite way to convert an image to black and white?

photoshop friday | converting to black and white photoJenna Stoller, Indiana/New Jersey
CM Mentor
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Even though Jenna enjoys traveling, which comes in handy with family scattered all over the globe, she loves her country life with her husband and three children in Indiana.  As a family, they love to spend time outdoors going to the lake or water park and spending time in worship and fellowship with fellow believers at church on Sundays.  Being creative is buried deep inside Jenna.  She loved art and design as a child and now that love has branched into home decorating, music and photography.  Shooting with a Canon 5d mark ii and various lenses, Jenna describes her photography as “relaxed + lifestyle + a hint of vintage.”

Read all photography tutorials by Jenna Stoller.


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13 Responses to “photoshop friday | converting to black and white”

  1. Laura
    May 25 2012 at 7:33 am #

    I love Jenna's work! Thank you, Jenna for a great tutorial!!

  2. Colie
    May 25 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I just love your tutorials Jenna :)

  3. Sara
    May 25 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Beauty!!! Thanks Jenna!

  4. May 25 2012 at 8:27 am #

    im loving the added gradient for the b&w. great tutorial jenna! tfs!

  5. Alana
    May 25 2012 at 8:53 am #

    great tutorial! im trying to edit the composition on a photo right now and it says cant perform change, background layer locked. how do i do this? Thanks

  6. Jenna
    May 25 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Hey Alayna. Double click on the background layer to get it editable.

    :) forgot that step!

  7. May 25 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Awesome Jenna! Thank you!

  8. Cindy
    May 26 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    I don't know what I am doing wrong. When I go to do the gradient, I can not pick colors. Everything is just black and white. Help!

  9. Cindy
    May 27 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Never mind, I figured it. Love these ideas! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Mara Vaughan
    May 29 2012 at 4:58 am #

    I loved this tutorial, and cannot wait to try it! Thank you!! This is very clearly explained, too.

  11. Neeraj
    May 29 2012 at 11:03 am #

    When i am using the Gradient tool i am not able to pick colors. How to resolve that. I have CS5.


  12. Jul 26 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I enjoy your web site. Quite cool. Will come again.

  13. Oct 15 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

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