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How to create a Black and White from a Color Picture

22 ways to make a BW 070314 CVR email

About 20 years ago, a co-worker told me, “There’s only one way to make a Black and White in Photoshop.” Well, I could think of at least 3 and told him so. But that got me thinking. Just how many ways were there to create a grayscale image in Photoshop? I soon had the remarkable total of 8… and an ongoing project that has lasted to this very day.

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote (3 or 4 website iterations ago) related 11 methods of B&W conversion. A couple years later it was up to 16, then 18. When I got to 20 I decided to publish an eBook. As I wrote, I realized I needed to talk a little about some of the underlying features and issues, What are Color Settings? How does Color Management work? What’s an ICC Profile? Can I use Camera Raw on a tif or jpg file? The book got longer. Another method was discovered… that made 21.

When all was said and done there were 22 methods of creating a Black and White (greyscale) from a color picture.
And we explained the basics of:
  • Scanning and how scanners decide the values to use when making a B&W
  • Layers
  • Color Management
  • Blending Modes
  • ICC Profiles (and how to make your own!)
  • Adobe Camera Raw
  • Color Settings Menu - setting default values
  • Many of the Adjustment commands
  • Adjustment Layers
  • and many other features of Photoshop

I hope you will pick up a copy. It costs less than a latte, and can be read on your tablet, smart phone, or computer! Thanks!