July 19, 2011 Author: Techniques
Here’s a technique I learned at Photoshop World a few years ago but it’s still one of my favorites. It was part of a workshop taught by Scott Kelby…the grand poobah of all things Photoshop.
I use it consistently and it never fails to produce sharper color to black & white conversions than any other technique I’ve tried. Here’s the technique along with my results. The steps and screenshots below were captured in Photoshop CS5, but they work just as well for Photoshop Elements.
|Step 1. Open a color photo and make sure the Foreground and Background color boxes are set to black and white.||
|Step 2. Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Select Gradient Map.||
|Step 3. The settings options for the Gradient Map will appear in the Adjustments panel. Check the Dither option to avoid banding. Then, click anywhere inside the gradient bar to open the Gradient Editor.||
|Step 4. Now you need to choose a shade of gray for the midtones in your photo. In the Gradient Editor, click once in the center just below the gradient bar to establish a color stop.||
|Step 5. It defaults to the black that was located at that stop in the gradient. Here’s what your photo will look like at this point because Photoshop thinks you want to use this color for your midtones.||
|Step 6. All you need to do is adjust the color of the stop to a shade of gray to correct the midtones in your photo. To do that, double-click the color stop you added to open the Color Picker. Now, just choose an appropriate shade of gray. If you watch your image, you’ll see the effects of different shades of gray as you choose them.||
And that’s it. Here’s my converted photo. Cool, huh? Thanks, Scott, for sharing your knowledge!