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Back in Black: from color to grayscale > Custom Grayscale Using Channel Mixer

Custom Grayscale Using Channel Mixer

This has become the favorite of many professionals (and some argue that this is the absolute best way to create grayscale photos from color photos) because it lets you blend all three RGB channels to create a custom grayscale image, and it’s easier to use (and more intuitive) than using the Calculations feature that I’ll show you later in this chapter. Here’s how it works.

Step One.
Open the color photo you want to convert to grayscale. Choose Channel Mixer from the Adjustment Layers pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette (as shown here). Channel mixer is also found under the Image menu, under Adjustments; however, by choosing it as an Adjustment layer, you have the added flexibility of being able to edit your grayscale conversion later in your creative process, or to change your mind altogether and instantly return to a full-color photo.


Step Two.
By default, the Channel Mixer is set to blend color RGB channels. When you’re using this tool to create a grayscale image, you have to turn on the Monochrome check box at the bottom of the dialog to enable the blending of these channels as grayscale.

Step Three.
Now that you’re blending the channels as grayscale, you can use the three sliders to combine percentages of eachchannel to create your grayscale photo. When blending channels, a rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever your percentages are, they add up to a total of no more than 100% (as shown here). You can tweak the overall brightness of your grayscale image using the Constant slider at the bottom of the dialog.

Step Four.
Click OK and the Channel Mixer is applied to your photo to create a grayscale image.

Regular grayscale conversion.

Channel Mixer grayscale conversion.



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