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Converting to mono using LAB mode
Presented by Pixalo - Submitted by Rob Barron
This is one of my favourite methods of converting to black and white and I know a few others I have shared this with have said they now use it a lot so maybe it will be helpful to some others. This has been covered by Steve before but I have added an extra step so felt it worth adding here. I hope the screenshots included will help clarify anything if I have not been clear in the text.
The beauty of this method is that it gives you lots of control to get it just how you want it, The reason it works so well is that the LAB mode adjust luminance or light levels rather than levels of RGB.
This is dead easy so just follow the steps and I assure you this will prove very useful.
I am using CS2 but CS1 and below will work fine.
Step 1: Open picture you want to convert (ok, I know that was obvious but hey!)
Screenshot shows colour picture in normal RGB mode with RGB channels.
Screenshot shows here to find Lab Mode:
Screenshot shows the new channels: Lightness, A and B
Screenshot shows image now, a bit too light!
On the layers pallete, select the (only) background layer. Press Ctrl+J to duplicate this layer.
Step 6: With the duplicate layer selected, change the blending mode to 'Multiply'.
Screenshot shows duplicate layer added and blend mode changed:
Screenshot shows opacity adjustment:
Here is the final shot duly adjusted:
There you go, I hope you find it as useful as I have. As you know there are loads of ways of going mono but I found this method in Scott Kelby's superb book called 'The Photoshop Book for Digital photographers' and if you haven't got it, get it! It's brilliant and written beautifully so that even the most difficult of tasks seems easy.