How-To: Easily Convert Your Photo to Grayscale Using Photoshop LAB Mode

Following is an excerpt from a new how-to article by our Photoshop Master instructor, Jeannette Smith...

There are several methods for creating a grayscale photo in Photoshop. One way is not necessarily better than another, it's simply a matter of personal preference and your comfort level with Photoshop. To name a few methods, you could use the RAW Converter, various adjustment layers such as Hue/Saturation, Channel Mixer or Black & White, or the method I've chosen for this tutorial -- the LAB Color Mode.

This "additive" method, as opposed to an editing or corrective method, takes advantage of the Luminance Channel in the LAB Color Mode. I particularly like this method because
  • it is non-destructive to your original photo, which is always the best way to go when making any kind of adjustments or changes to your photographs;
  • it uses a Blending Mode that gracefully combines areas of overlying pixels, adding richer color effects;
  • and adds saturation, unlike many other methods. 
With this process, we can utilize the native light contained in the image, which is always a good idea for getting the most natural results, because it captures the subtle light-to-dark transitional tones that keep the photo looking alive and fresh, not altered and dull.

Ready to get started? Click here for the easy step-by-step instructions and photo examples...

(To see more of our instructor's how-to articles, click here!)

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