How to Create a Black and White Portrait in Photoshop Using Adjustment Layers

On this video tutorial by Aaron Nace from Phlearn we take a look at how to create a great looking black and white image using  adjustment layers using Adobe Photoshop.

There are a lot of methods to convert color images into black and white using Photoshop but in this video we are going to concentrate on adjustment layers and working with some advanced tools.

The first thing that you will need is to go to adjustment layers and choose Black & White. You now have a black and white image – if this is enough for you – you are done, but in this video we look at some more advanced adjustments so we move on. You can now play with specific colors either by moving the sliders or using the color picker and selecting them on the image. There is no right or wrong here – it is all a matter of what you are trying to achieve (although there are things that will definitely look more natural).

The next step that Nace shows is adding a little bit of tint (typically just a little bit of tint will look better than too much). Next Nace shows you how you can save this adjustment layer as a present so you can very quickly use it on other images and get a similar look.

We have covered many other techniques for converting color images to Black and white as well as retouching B&W images in Photoshop – you can find all of the on our Black and White section here on LensVid.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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