I love black-and-white photos for many reasons. Sometimes, a little less color helps to capture the mood of the moment better. Plus, some full color pictures are full of distractions. Removing the color helps us to focus on the expressions on the faces, the lines in the photo, etc. In this tutorial we’ll explore how to use the gradient map in Photoshop to get the perfect black-and-white photos.
There are about a million different ways to change a photo from color to black and white in Photoshop Elements (okay, maybe not quite that many, but there are a lot!). My favorite method uses the gradient map Adjustment Layers feature. I like Adjustment Layers because they don’t actually change the photo layer; they just alter how it looks. This makes it easy to add and remove effects and tweak colors until you get the exact combination you are looking for. Here’s how to use it:
Step One: Create a new 12×12-inch document. Place a picture on it.
Step Three: Click anywhere on the color bar in the Adjustments Layer Palette. This will open the Gradient Editor window.
Step Four: Double-click on the Color Stop on the far left. A window will open that allows you to select the Stop color.