These days, with colour photography long having been the default for cameras, why would you want to go back to those old, retro type images?! Simple.

Style, effects and art! Many cameras have a setting called monochrome, which can take black and white, sepia and often also blue images, but this is not very precise. Sometimes, images do succeed in looking stunning, but the control photoshop elements offers is much more reliable, because in camera conversion tends to be flat in tone, with poor contrast.

A more concise guide can be found here…

How to go about it;

  1. Choose an image; this can be a portrait, a landscape or a macro shot but (flowers generally do NOT look good in black and white)  generally looks best with a landscape.
  2. Open the image in Photoshop Elements 7.
  3. Go to window, layers to show the layers palette
  4. Go to the top of the layers palette where you will find the symbol for Create Adjustment Layer (half black half white circle)
  5. Click on it and go down to Hue/Saturation
  6. Take the saturation slider down to -100. Your image is now black and white, but it is rather plain, showing only poor grey mid tones. Return slider to 0.
  7. Use the contrast slider to select a rich, inviting, fitting contrast.
  8.  Click OK
  9. Go to Enhance and select convert to black and white or press alt+ctrl+B
  10. Your image will be desaturated and displayed before and after. You can use the drop down menu to select a preset, or use the sliders to adjust what would have been red, green and blue. There is also a slider for contrast. Darken the shadows, tweak the highlights, increase red to brighten the image.
  11. Once the image has been satisfactorily adjusted, you can either save and close the image, or use more advanced features to change the sky, the background, and spray high- and low lights for an extra striking effect.

EXTRA!! If you think the sky is too washed out when the image is converted, revert to original and up contrast, and tone. You can then use the magnetic lasso tool to select the sky, then go to create adjustments layer – levels, and up the blacks for more striking contrast. Then convert back to B&W. If it is still not satisfactory, repeat process, remembering to fine-tune things more effectively.