Advanced black-and-white effects in Photoshop

Advanced black-and-white effects in Photoshop

To create the most professional black-and-white conversion, turn to Photoshop. True black-and-white images in film are heavily influenced by the colors present in the original image (and are not just a desaturated clip). The Black & White adjustment in Photoshop is easiest to use as an adjustment layer. The interactive controls and On Image tool make it much easier to create a custom black-and-white conversion.

  1.  Open your video file or still with Photoshop (File > Open).
  2. Click in the Adjustments panel and apply the Black & White effect as an adjustment layer. Photoshop applies the default grayscale conversion.
  3. To jump-start the effect, click the Auto button. The Auto mix often produces excellent results and can serve as the starting point for tweaking gray values using the color sliders.
  4. Click the upward-pointing finger in the Adjustments panel to select the On Image tool.
  5. With the On Image tool, click inside an image and drag. The mouse pointer changes to an eyedropper if you move it over the image. Click and hold on an image area to highlight the strongest color for that location.
  6. Photoshop automatically selects the most influential color slider for that part of the image. Drag to adjust the emphasis of that tonal value.
  7. If a still, save the Photoshop file.  If video choose  File > Export > Render Video command.
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About the author

I'm a Beach Bum from Florida who's fascinated by the convergence of Technology, Art and Marketing. I've spent 20+ years training Content Creators on how to profit from their work through organizations like the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA), National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA), and the Computer Graphics Society (CGS).

View all articles by Rod Harlan


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