Photoshop black and white conversion tips: the best ways to make mono images

Photoshop black and white conversion: contrast control

Photoshop black and white conversion: use the hand

Photoshop black and white conversion: use the hand

Just below the Preset drop-down box in the Black & White Adjustment Layer Panel is a hand icon with two arrows above it. If you click this you’ll notice that the cursor turns into an ink-dropper.

Clicking and holding this on the image turns the dropper into the hand and arrows. When the hand is revealed, sliding it to the right brightens the tone that you’ve clicked, while sliding to the left darkens it.

This is a convenient way of adjusting the image as you look at it, enabling you to decide which areas need to be brighter or darker without having to remember what the underlying colour is.

As you slide the cursor left or right you can see the appropriate colour control adjusting as well, so you can always switch to these to tweak the image further.

Make targeted adjustments
If you prefer the immediacy of adjusting specific areas of an image using the cursor, you’ll be glad to know that you can do the same in  Adobe Camera Raw using the Targeted Adjustment tool.

If you’ve already selected Convert to Grayscale in the HSL/Grayscale Panel, select the tool and click the part of the image that needs adjusting, then slide left to darken that colour or right to brighten it.

Alternatively, select the tool and hold down Cmd/Ctrl while holding down the mouse button, then choose Grayscale Mix to make the basic conversion and start editing.

PAGE 1 – Photoshop black and white conversion: use a black and white Adjustment Layer
PAGE 2 – Photoshop black and white conversion: use the hand
PAGE 3 – Photoshop black and white conversion: contrast control
PAGE 4 – Photoshop black and white conversion: toning with a Gradient Map

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