Recipe 2.3. Creative black and white

To achieve a black and white effect in Photoshop, we can always take the route of simple desaturation or conversion to grayscale mode. However, both of these methods can lead to rather dull and uninspiring black and white images. The best monochromes have real impact, with sparkling highlights and rich, velvety dark tones. This type of monochrome image is easily created with the new Black & White command in Photoshop CS3. This command gives you the ability to alter and mix the tones in an RGB image to create truly jaw-dropping black and white images that have impact and clarity. Things may not always be as black and white as they seem!

1 When you desaturate an image or convert it to grayscale, Photoshop averages out the tones. This produces a very flat grayscale image with too little tonal latitude and a lack of contrast and visual impact.

2 It's always best to use the new Black & White command via an adjustment layer. This allows more flexibility by allowing you to modify your adjustments later. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White. Click OK in the New Layer dialog. In the Black & White dialog that opens, you'll see six sliders, ...

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