Our version of this image (left) uses all five tips, but you can choose the ones that suit your picture.
Want to go monochrome? We prefer to use plug-ins, such as Nik’s Silver Efex Pro or AlienSkin’s Exposure, for the conversion process. But if you don’t make black-and-white images often enough to warrant buying special software, you can still get a nice result using tools built into both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw.
The trick is to start with a great color image and use its wealth of tonal information to make choices about which hues should go bright and which dark.
What follows are five tips to help you create beautiful b&w images and then add some finishing touches to make them stand out from the rest.
FYI: When you shoot and image in RGB channel (red, green, and blue) is actually monochrome. Photoshop combines that information so we see a color picture. To check out each channel individually, go to the Channels panel, the tab usually just to the right of your Layers. Click on the eyeball next to RGB to turn them all off, then turn on each channel one by one. You’ll get a sense of three ways your b&w conversion could go.