Fix It In Photoshop | How To Convert A Photograph To Monochrome

David Coultham

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You can quickly and easily use Adobe Photoshop to create a classic monochrome photograph. This article teaches you how.

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Video | How To Convert A Photograph To Monotone

STEP 1: With your image opened in Adobe Photoshop, head across to the Layers Tab and then make a copy of your Background Layer. Rename this new Layer to “Monotone Layer”.

STEP 2: Now convert the Monotone Layer into a Smart Object by heading up to the Application Bar and ‘Layer > Smart Objects > Convert To Smart Object’. Alternatively, you can right-click directly on the Monotone Layer, and Convert To Smart Object is one of the options in the pop-up window. 

STEP 3: Head up to the Application Bar again, and ‘Image > Adjustments > Black & White’. This desaturates your image and presents you with a Black & White Panel with a set of sliders to help you adjust the contrast (illustrated below-left). These work by filtering the colors in the visible spectrum to either enhance them or filter them out. You can therefore dive straight in and adjust these to get the effect that you are looking for. However, a useful starting point is to use the Presets at the top of the Black & White panel. Just click on the word Default, and select one of the preset options. When you are happy, select the OK button to commit the change. 

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