Want to convert a picture to black and white? It is an easy, one-click adjustment if you know the right tricks. Even though minimal work is involved when switching a black and white picture to color, there are a few additional steps involved in switching an image from color to a black and white picture.
If you want to stand out with your monochrome shots and wish to quickly convert photos to black and white, here are some proven tips for you.
For maximum control during the editing process, photographers must make it a point to store pictures in RAW format. When you have shot the image as a RAW file, you can convert it to black and white using the Adobe Camera RAW. You need to click on the black and white tab and tick the box that says you want the picture converted to black and white.
You will also find sliders in the same panel that you can click to adjust your image. You will notice that each slider represents a different color, and as you move it, the slider’s position will adjust how dark or light the shade of gray is that color. Thanks to these sliders, it becomes easy to add contrast to pictures. You can also use them to fix errors in the images. For instance, if there’s too much redness on the skin, you can easily adjust it by customizing the red slider. It would be best if you pressed the Option or ALT key when opening the RAW editor, and then you can save your image in B&W while the original colored file remains intact.
Typically, a B&W picture must have true black and true white somewhere in the picture. You need first to achieve this and then make the adjustments. You can use the color adjustment sliders to get a true white and true black effect. You can adjust the brightness, contrast, or exposure to get a range of tones that will expand from pure white to pure black.
To guide your tonal edits, you can use the Histogram. If you are using Adobe Camera RAW, you will find the Histogram on top of the app and can use it to make informed edits. Thanks for the tone map, it will help you to touch the edges in the chart.
If you use Photoshop, you can go to Windows > click Histogram.
If you have not shot in RAW, you can still dig around in the Camera RAW application and find ways to personalize your images so that the colors can be easily converted to black and white on a JPG file. You can convert a JPG file by using the adjustment filters. If you are using Photoshop to edit your pictures, you need to click on Layer > select New Adjustment Layer > click Black & White. After that, you need to go through the adjustment options with the sliders, and the options will be similar to a RAW file. Thanks to the sliders, you will be allowed to adjust how dark or light color will convert, and you can also choose a few presets to customize the images quickly. It will not take too long to convert your colors to black and white and showcase your editing skills.
Are you editing a portrait? If so, you need to adjust the yellow channel so that the skin is smooth. Although it will largely depend on the subject, you can utilize the yellow slider to achieve smoother, softer skin in the black and white converted picture.
There’s also the red channel that is worth checking out, and it can be helpful in portraits for reducing skin redness. You can even increase the blush on the cheeks of your subjects.
Take a look at some of your favorite B&W pictures. You will notice something similar in all those photos: contrast. Since these pictures lack color, they immediately bring the viewer’s attention to tonal changes and contrast in a picture. It would be best if you capitalized on the contrast.
Focusing on what makes an image stand out when converting pictures to black and white is critical. You must bring out the elements in the image that will showcase your skills and make your picture grab attention.
These are handy black and white photography tips you can keep in mind when editing your pictures. These tips will help you stand out among others and catch your audience’s attention. All the best!