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Back in Black: from color to grayscale > “Ansel Adams-Style” Extreme Grayscale ...

“Ansel Adams-Style” Extreme Grayscale Conversion

Got a great shot of a mountainous landscape and want to convert it to grayscale with an Ansel Adams-style conversion (one with intense contrast and depth)? Try Jim DiVitale’s great trick for an instant Ansel-like effect using the Channel Mixer.

Step One.
Open the color photo you want to convert into a high-contrast Ansel Adams-style black-and-white image.


Step Two.
Go to the Layers palette, and from the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette, choose Channel Mixer. When the Channel Mixer appears, first, click on the Monochrome check box in the bottom left-hand corner (this changes your output channel to gray, giving you a black-and-white photo). Then, drag the Red slider to the right until it reads +160. (Note: This is just a starting point, but to add extreme contrast, it takes extreme measures.)

Step Three.
Drag the Green channel slider to the right until it reads around +190 (as shown). This pretty much blows out the photo (giving you extreme highlights) but the next step brings the detail back, and creates extreme shadows.

Step Four.
Last, drag the Blue slider all the way to the left until it reads -200%. When you click OK, you’ll have the extreme black-and-white conversion shown below right. Again, these are just starting points—depending on the photo, you might try bringing the Green channel down to +140, or moving the Constant slider up 3 or 4% to add some brightness.

Regular grayscale conversion.

Extreme grayscale conversion.



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