Adobe Photoshop/Converting a Color Image to Black & White

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A Black and White photograph is not a grayscale photograph, or a desaturated photograph.

In order to convert a color digital image to Black and White each color channel (red, blue and green) Must be converted individually. In Adobe Photoshop CS4 and above there is an automated process for this, using other editing software a Black and White image must first be made for each color channel (RGB) and layered together to form a true B&W photograph. Citation Citation

Below are Methods for creating a grayscale image.

Method #1[edit]

  1. Open the photo you want to convert.
  2. Choose Image > Mode > Grayscale
  3. When asked if you want to discard color info, click OK. Photoshop converts the colors in the image to black, white, and shades of gray.
    (this is called a grayscale image)

Method #2[edit]

Use Photoshop's Desaturate command.

A color image is considered saturated with color. When you desaturate an entire image you remove the color and create a grayscale image.

  1. Open the photo you want to convert.
  2. Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut: "Shift+Ctrl+U" to Desaturate the image.

One advantage of the Desaturate command is the ability to perform this command on a specific area of the image. For instance, you can use the Marquee Tool to select the part of the image to be desaturated (grayscale) while leaving the rest of the image in color (or whatever the original was).