I love a beautiful black and white photo. In my scrapping, I like to use them in two main ways. First, I like to use great black and white photos as the focal points on my layouts. The striking contrast of a black and white photo can make a wonderfully bold statement on a scrapbook page. Second, I like to convert photos to black and white when I’m having a hard time matching the colors in a kit. Black and white goes with everything, right?
In this tutorial, I will show a really quick and easy way to convert your photos to black and white using a Gradient Map adjustment. You’ll notice that the initial conversion results in a photo with a lot of gray in it. But, adding just a few more more adjustment layers enables you to brighten the whites and darken the blacks, leaving you with a stunning black and white photo in no time. I love this method so much that I’ve even created my own action so I can convert my photos with just one click of the mouse.
Want to see how I do it? Let’s get started!
Step One: Open a Photo
- Open a photo of your choice (File > Open).
- In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate and click OK. (PS: Choose Image > Duplicate.)
- Close the original photo.
Step Two: Apply a Gradient Map
- Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
- Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the photo layer.
- In the Layers panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and choose Gradient Map.
- Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the Gradient Map layer with the duplicated photo layer.
Step Three: Make Adjustments
- In the Layers panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and choose Levels.
- In the Properties panel or Adjustment panel, move the Black Point, Gray Point, and White Point sliders to achieve the desired effect.
- Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the Levels layer with the photo layer.
- In the Layers panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and choose Brightness/Contrast.
- In the Properties panel or Adjustment panel, move the Brightness and Contrast sliders to achieve the desired effect.
- Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the Brightness/Contrast layer with the photo layer.
And, here’s the layout I created using the converted photo. I’d love to see what you can do with this tutorial! I’ll be looking for your layouts in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery.
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Gradient Map Black and Whites by Lydia Tarbox
Layout: Fifth Birthday Take Two by Lydia Tarbox
Kit: Celebrate by Julie Billingsley; September 2013 Premier kit
Font: DJB Bailey