A complete guide to creating striking black-&-white images in Photoshop. Work step-by-step through the four essential techniques for adding class by removing colour. Part 1 - Desaturation

Black-&-white photography is as powerful today as it was when colour photography was just a distant dream. A different set of skills is required when working with B&W, as the absence of colour means the interplay of shape and contrast must work harder to tell the story or set the mood.

When it works, it can be very effective. Some cameras have a dedicated B&W mode, but even if yours doesn’t, you can still work in B&W.

In fact, it often works better to shoot in colour and convert later on. Photoshop offers an array of techniques for converting colour to B&W (or more correctly, greyscale), and these enable you to control the process with a degree of finesse that would be difficult to match in the field.

Method 1: Desaturation

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This shot was taken early one winter’s morning in New York. The sky had a dramatic quality and there was a fine haze rising to meet the colder air at higher altitudes. The image works well in colour, but it also has potential for a striking B&W impression of the city. 
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