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Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Chapter 10. Removing and Adding Color

If you love classic black-and-white photography, or if you yearn to be the next Ansel Adams, you’ll be over the moon with the high-quality black-and-white conversions Elements can do. If you can’t imagine why anyone would willingly abandon color, consider that in a world crammed with eye-popping colors, black and white really stands out. Or you may need to have something printed where you can’t use color illustrations. And for artistic photography, there’s nothing like black and white, where tone and contrast make or break the photo, without colors to distract you from its underlying structure.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to make a color photo black and white, and how to create images that are partly in color and partly black and white. You’ll also learn how to colorize black-and-white images and, along the way, how to use and edit layer masks, an important technique for advanced Elements work.

Method One: Making Color Photos Black and White

A stunning black-and-white image is so much more than just a color photo without color. Generally, just removing the color from a photo produces a flat-looking, uninteresting image. A good black-and-white photo usually needs more contrast. You can create different effects and moods in your photo, depending on what you decide to emphasize in the black-and-white version.

Black-and-white conversion has traditionally been a pretty complicated process. If you do a Google search, you’ll find literally dozens ...

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