Tutorial: How To Create A Black and White Photograph in Photoshop

August 20, 2014

There are quite a few different ways that you can create a black and white photo in Photoshop. Here is a short tutorial that explains three of these techniques. All of these techniques are quick and easy. Have fun with them!

Final black & white image Final black & white image
Original image for Photoshop Original image


Technique #1: Convert to Grayscale

This is a great technique for quickly converting one of your color photos into black and white. The only problem with this technique though is that it is permanent and you can’t re-adjust afterwards. For some of your projects, this might be all that you need whereas for others, this might not be the best black and white photo conversion technique, as you need more control over the finished product.


1. Go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. Click ‘Discard’ and that’s it.

grayscale black and white photos in Photoshop

There you have it. You instantly have your new black and white image.


Technique #2: Use the Hue/Saturation Tool for B&W photos

This technique is also quick and easy and in a lot of ways it is better than the technique above because it is a layer adjustment. What this means is that the changes that you make to your photo are stored in a layer above your photo and the original photo remains undamaged underneath. I prefer this technique as it leaves me a lot of room to play in the future.


1. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation.

2. Move the saturation slider all the way to -100 and click OK.

hue saturation black and white photos in Photoshop


Technique #3: Use Gradient Map for B&W photos

The gradient map tool is very useful and it may or may not be a tool that you have discovered before. Before you use this tool, make sure that you reset your foreground/background colors so that the foreground color is black and the background color is white.


gradient map

1. Double check that your foreground/background colors are black/white.

2. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map and click OK.

This technique is also great because like technique #2, it leaves your original photo untouched.

** All of the above Photoshop techniques can be used to convert photos and even logos into b&w.

** For more awesome free tutorials by Pixellogo, please click here.



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