Create Stunning High Contrast Black & White Images With Photoshop

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Black and White

There are many different ways to convert your colour photo into black and white, some good, some not so good. The following is a simple but effective way to convert your colour photos into stunning, high contrast, black & white images.

For this conversion I’m using Photoshop CS5

Step 1

Start by opening the colour photo you want to convert in the editor. Press ‘D’ to set your foreground colour to black.

Step 2

In the adjustments panel,click on the Gradient Map icon (circled in red).

Step 3

Once you’ve done that simple task, your photo should look pretty good already. (see below). But to get a better conversion  you’ll need to tweak it a little more.

Step 4

Go to the adjustments panel and click directly on the gradient to bring up the gradient editor dialog. Once it appears, click directly below the the center of the gradient. This will add a colour stop to your gradient (black), doing this is going to greatly darken your photo but we can fix that in the next step.

Step 5

Now double click on the colour stop you created (just below the gradient in the center; the black square with an upward triangle on top).

Step 6

Photoshops colour picker appears (below).

Click-and-drag your cursor all the way over to the left side of the colour picker right up against the edge and pick a grey colour. As you slide the cursor across you’ll see the midtones changing. Now check your photo, if it’s not quite right just move your cursor  up or down and then release it until it looks about right to you. Once it does, click OK to close the colour picker and then close the gradient editor by clicking OK.

And that’s it!, you should now have a stunning high contrast black & white photo.

Before conversion….

….and after conversion