The Best Way to Make a Black and White Image in Photoshop

On this video Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE shows how to convert a color image to black and white in Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop allows for many ways to convert your image from full color to black and white but not all of them will give you the same results and actually as Smith states in this video – some will remove quite a bit of information from your image when doing the conversion, so if you want the full information converted you need to follow the steps of this tutorial.

Here are 3 ways that will let you convert your image to B&W but have some (bigger or smaller) disadvantages:

  1. Image>mode>greyscale (you will be loosing lots of info from your image).
  2. Image>adjustment>desaturate (no control of lighter/darker areas).
  3. Add black and white adjustment layer (pushing the sliders too far can introduce artefacts).

So non of these seems optimal – Smith’s method is different – he uses an adjustment layer and chooses a channel mixer. Be clicking on monochrome you have control of each channel of color. You need to be careful not to pass 100 to clip the colors.

If you are looking for more videos on black and white photography we have you covered with many tutorials on the subject.

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

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.