There are different ways to change your color photos and convert them to black and white. If you have Photoshop, the easiest way would be to convert the photo to Grayscale. If you opt for this method, I recommend to make a Duplicate of your picture (Image, Duplicate) and work on that. These are some of the ways to achieve the black and white:

  • Go to Image, Mode and choose Grayscale. A dialog box will open asking if you want to discard all the color information. Click OK.
  • Another way that gives you more control is theChannel Mixer. Go into Image, Adjustments, Channel Mixer. You are going to have a new window; there check the Monochrome box.  After you make the image monochromatic, you can adjust the level of Red, Green, and Blue channels of the image using the slider for each one. Experiment with different levels.Go to Image, Mode and choose Grayscale before saving it.
  • If you don’t want to use the Channel Mixer, then you can try the Lab conversion. Go to Image, Mode, Lab Color. This is going to separate the image into a Lightness channel, and two Hue/Saturation Channels called a and b. Click on the Channels palette and delete channels a and b. Now, if you notice, you are left with Alpha 1 and Alpha 2; delete Alpha 2. Go to Image, Mode and choose Grayscale before saving it.
  • Also, you can go to the Channels Palette and click on the eye of all the different channels in order to disable them. Then click only on the Red and see how your picture changes. Deselect red and click only on the Blue…. you have the idea. When you find the one that you like, convert your picture to Grayscale and save it.

Try the different methods that I’m showing here, just to practice, since every picture is different. Also, if you know how to apply masks, create different layers using different channels and that will give your picture a more refined finish.

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