You know the saying about not putting the cart before the horse? Rather than deliberately making a range of Photoshop presets, a more organic approach is probably best. The more presets you have, the more time goes into trying out different Photoshop effects one after another. Below we’ll show you a simple way of doing this.
If you’re at all serious about your photography, an Instagram-style workflow won’t help you learn or develop your own creative senses.
In fact, you already have as many presets as you need.
Photoshop’s Black and White Adjustment Layer has a Preset drop-down menu, and there’s an equivalent selection in Lightroom’s Develop workspace, too. There’s enough variety for you here to choose a starting point and decide which direction the picture should take.
When you’ve edited a photo and you like the results enough that you’d like to apply it to other pictures, that’s when you should save a preset. Let your range of presets accumulate from your successes.
How to make black and white Photoshop presets
01 Black & White Adjustment Layer
From the Layers Panel, click the circular Adjustment Layer icon and choose Black & White. Apply an existing preset from the Presets drop-down menu and study the effect on the image.
02 Add tone
Your own preset can include a coloured tone. In the Black & White adjustment’s properties panel, click the swatch and choose a colour from the Color Picker dialog box. Or if you prefer, sample it from another picture.
03 Save your preset
Save your own preset in the Black & White properties panel. At its top right is a small pop-up menu – the lines with an arrow. Your preset will now be available in the panel’s Presets list.
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