Uncolor My World; Techniques To Get Beautiful Black And White Images From Color Originals Page 2

To get started on any conversion, move the red slider down a bit to the 50-80 range. Then bring up the green slider in the 10-50 range. Finally, leave the blue at 0 or try a minus setting, since the blue channel contains most of an image's digital noise. In principle, the red, green, and blue settings should add up to 100. However, I find that frequently adjustments outside this range give the best results. You have to take some time and experiment. Also, every image is different and may require slightly or drastically different settings. The constant slider lightens or darkens the image--I always leave it at zero. For this portrait, I settled on +80 red, +40 green and -10 blue to yield good contrast and detail throughout the tonal range. If you want to further tweak your conversion, you can add a curves and/or levels adjustment layer above the Channel Mixer layer. That was unnecessary here.

Another easy way to convert to black and white is to open your color file and select Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. Note that for this flower, Desaturate reveals more separation, detail, and contrast in the petals than the Image>Mode>Gray scale method did, although the Gray scale conversion shows more detail in the pistils. But beware, this example doesn't mean Desaturate is always better. Try several different methods on any given photo to find the one that works best for that particular image. In spite of the black and white tones, Desaturate maintains your photo in the RGB color mode, and maintains the original file size. In Elements, you can get this effect with Enhance>Adjust Color>
Remove Color.

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