Thursday, December 17, 2015

Going B/W in Photoshop using the Channel mixer adjustment

There's a ton of options to convert an image into B/W: use Lightroom or a plugin like Tonality pro. But:

You can also convert your images to B/W in Photoshop. There are quite a few options in Photoshop to do this. For example: y
ou can simply desaturate your image (Cmd/Ctrl U) or use a black and white adjustment layer.

But this blog is about the Channel Mixer adjustment. I love the way that this method gives you the possibility to add so much contrast to B/W images.

It all starts with opening Photoshop and selecting your image. This time we're using one of our own images:  

Before adding a new adjustment layer, I cropped the picture to a more landscape look and feel (horizontal). Thereafter I added a Channel mixer adjustment layer.
This will give you this panel: 

Turn on the checkbox Monochrome to turn the image B/W. I like to drag the Constant slider to the left to make the image dark(er) and then drag the red slider to the right to make parts of it brighter.

Ofcourse you also can drag the green and blue slider to see the effect on your image. The red has a lot of impact on the skin colors.

This adjustment layer is a good starting point for some more editing, if you feel you want to do more.
This is the result of my processing in Photoshop: 

And here's a step by step overview of what I did in postprocessing: 

Channel mixer 1: make the image black and white and give it a little more contrast
Channel mixer 2: make the top part of the image darker
Layer 1: add some gradient filters.
Layer 1: stamp visible layer: Added more contrast to the (wet) ground

Have fun experimenting with this! 

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