The black and white landscape: make a mono masterpiece

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 18/04/2012 13:04pm

    Photo Editing: how to make a perfect black and white landscape in Photoshop

    Turning your colour photos into a black and white landscape is a great way to add impact, drama and emotion to your scenes. Landscape photographers (read The 10 Commandments of Landscape Photography – and how to break them) have traditionally gravitated to mono using the traditional darkroom.

    However, today it’s a lot less hassle and relatively easy to get great results quickly in the digital darkroom using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop CS and Elements.

    Our Photoshop tutorial below will show you how to use the numerous sliders within the Photoshop black and white conversion palette so you can learn how to fine tune your black and white landscape when photo editing (find out the 6 photo editing steps every photographer should know).

    The Black and White tool works by enabling you to vary the luminance levels of eight individual colour ranges independently. Here’s how…

    How to use the Photoshop Black and White tool for mono landscapes

    Photo Editing: the Photoshop black and white conversion - step 1

    Step 1: Use the sliders
    Drag a colour slider to make the grey tones of that colour range darker or brighter. The strip above shows how light the tone will be.

    Photo Editing: the Photoshop black and white conversion - step 2

    Step 2: Be more precise
    Click within your image and drag to the right or left to lighten or darken those tones. Click Preset Options to save your greyscale mix.

    Black and White Photo Editing Tip!
    Be cautious when making mono conversions as radical shifts can quickly lead to serious quality issues, such as halos, blocking, noise and banding.

    For this reason it’s crucial to keep an eye on your image at 100% magnification when you make changes.

    Black and White conversion palette explained


    Photo Editing: the Photoshop black and white conversion palette explained

    NOTE: If you found this chart above helpful, simply drag and drop it on to your desktop to save a larger version of this infographic as a handy reference the next time you’re editing photos. We have a lot more photography cheat sheets like this one, as well.


    Photo Editing: the Photoshop Elements black and white conversion palette

    Photoshop Elements’ Black and White tool
    As with CS, Elements has an in-built Black and White tool, and while it’s lite in comparison and doesn’t have an Adjustment Layer option, it’s still a powerful asset. To access it, go to Enhance>


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    Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at 1:04 pm under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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