vivid black & white

posted by Sarej, Aug 31, 2006 6:16 PM — 45 comments

Step 1

convert your picture to B&W


Step 2
add a litel light use Levels

input levels from 255 to 215-200 depends how much you want to light it


Step 3
open curves

use curves to vivid and sharp the b&w efect on your photo

make 3 points and strech the line with them (see the blue arrows)

Step 4
save your work and upload on sxc. well done :)

Comments | RSS

1. posted by binlee, Oct 23, 2009 10:02 AM

This may or may not be the 'best' way, and the results may be one person's ideal and not another's, but it takes guts to put something out there in front of THIS crowd. Thank you Sarej for the tutorial! Keep 'em coming!

2. posted by bjornbr, Sep 1, 2006 2:23 AM

nice tutorial

3. posted by frencenz, Sep 2, 2006 10:44 AM

you didnt use the right way to make black&white pic in ps cs2

i prefer and most of advanced users prefer image>adjustments>match color> neutralize and color intencity 0.

nice try:)

4. posted by wisnialand, Sep 2, 2006 9:16 PM

No prosze dobre podoba mi sie

5. posted by mello-n, Sep 3, 2006 7:56 AM

thanks alooot


6. posted by Sarej, Sep 3, 2006 8:11 PM

frencenz your way only lead to step 3 in my tut... well in ps cs 2 you can do things in many ways... :) thx for the comment

7. posted by angiers, Sep 6, 2006 6:30 PM

Uhm You get much better results by using the Color Mixer.....

8. posted by angiers, Sep 6, 2006 6:31 PM

plus that's way to contrasty

9. posted by nulus, Sep 7, 2006 1:40 AM

Well I think it is quite useful!.... Thank You...

10. posted by angiers, Sep 7, 2006 8:59 PM -black-and-white/#more-132
Use this turoial instead!

11. posted by boost06, Sep 15, 2006 12:04 PM


12. posted by shokk, Sep 17, 2006 11:28 PM

i'm not a photographer but a graphic designer, i've been using photoshop for about 12 years and i have to say i agree with sarej, there are many ways to achieve the same result in photoshop. the method in his tutorial is the quickest and the one that i use most; provided you are able to read the levels graph well, you can use it to make almost any image 'vivid' - black and white or colour.

13. posted by Sarej, Sep 18, 2006 8:44 PM

thx for the support shokk :)

14. posted by CoolChris, Sep 19, 2006 2:41 AM


15. posted by yoduffy, Sep 20, 2006 11:09 PM

no no kulturka!

16. posted by Cerium, Sep 21, 2006 2:13 AM

There is a nice plugin avalible for photoshop that makes images black and white simulateing film. Also it has the adjustments this tutorial uses right in one spot..

17. posted by yixiazi, Sep 22, 2006 6:58 PM

I'm not sure what is meant by 'vivid'? This seems like an undesirable effect? Is it supposed to be blown out? To me vivid means clear and strong. It is darker, but definitely loses way too much dynamic range to be effective unless you are creating a punkish poster or something.

18. posted by WzzW, Sep 23, 2006 9:31 PM

polak :)

19. posted by reneau0010, Sep 27, 2006 3:28 AM

You did this correctly, however trying using levels, or curves in the layers adjustment. This sets levels or curves on its own layer and leaves you with the option of adjusting those levels or curves at a later date.

Incidently, you would also use the layers adjustment to colourize your photos. This as well is totally adjustable at anytime, provide you don't flatten the image.

Try using other adjustment layers to create some cool effects.

20. posted by hamaka, Sep 27, 2006 3:19 PM

Open image > cmd+shift+U > cmd+SHIFT+L

works in any photoshop and its indeed THE fastest way.

21. posted by mits79, Sep 29, 2006 9:10 AM

Takie sobie ...

22. posted by duziek, Oct 1, 2006 10:26 PM


23. posted by skibek, Oct 2, 2006 11:31 AM

No, ale czemu zmieni?e? krzywe tonalne, skoro ten sam efekt (a mo?e nawet lepszy) mog?e? uzyska? w kroku nr 2, czyli regulacja poziomów + gammy.
A nie lepiej zrobi? tak: Ctrl+Shift+U, potem Ctrl+L i regulacja poziomów (najcz??ciej ciemne tony trzeba podnie??), a czesem wystarczy Ctrl+Shift+L i jest wystarczaqj?co.

To tylko moja sugestia. Twój Tutorial niejednemu pomo?e (ale ja i tak po swojemu to zrobi? ;) )

24. posted by skibek, Oct 2, 2006 11:33 AM

O.. Dopiero zauwa?y?em, ?e "hamaka" ju? mia? taki sposób ;) To jest 2:1 ;)

25. posted by ariuss, Oct 3, 2006 8:53 AM

A ja osobo?cie wol? u?ywa? Hue/Saturation + Levels. Nie trzeba wtedy konwertowa? na Grayscale. Tutek przeci?tny.

26. posted by ohbrutha, Oct 3, 2006 9:32 PM

This may or may not be the 'best' way, and the results may be one person's ideal and not another's, but it takes guts to put something out there in front of THIS crowd. Thank you Sarej for the tutorial! Keep 'em coming!

27. posted by WWWlad, Oct 20, 2006 4:26 PM

a mnie zmienia aparat:)

28. posted by dreambent, Oct 21, 2006 1:45 PM

I think everyone should be greatful that the tutorial is here and stop flapping your jaws, regardless is you are a begginer or a graphic designer for 12 years.



29. posted by dreambent, Oct 21, 2006 1:47 PM

By the way thanks for the very, very, very useful TIP (tutorial) Sarej.


30. posted by MarkBowen, Oct 23, 2006 12:50 PM

Very nice of you to take the time to show another way to create something. Whilst there are countless ways of creating the same effect there are some people out there that don't even know one way and I believe that if you even help out just one person in a lifetime then that is something to be proud of so thank you for a great tutorial and taking the time to post it up here.

Best wishes,


31. posted by mouid, Oct 26, 2006 11:22 AM

thanks for you :)

32. posted by peces, Oct 27, 2006 5:51 PM


33. posted by koko_m, Oct 28, 2006 3:40 PM

szczerze to ?adnych rewelacji - za bardzo kontrastowe i nie czytelne czego? mi tam brakuje lub czego? jest za du?o

34. posted by kanodesign, Nov 4, 2006 4:01 AM

Boleh la jugak...

35. posted by marcello99, Nov 16, 2006 11:01 AM

I can't see any reason for doing that. If you need nice B&W picture, just switch to LAB colours and take brightness channel. Than you have picture with good contrast, lot of details. What you did - is just burned everything out. Finall picture is bad - nothing more

36. posted by excelsium, Dec 3, 2006 12:29 PM

not very useful, to be honest. maybe to create a facsimile feel, but even so a simple Brightness & Contrast work should do the trick.

37. posted by marglamp, Dec 21, 2006 1:29 AM

I'm with you marcello99 I learned a system in B&W photograph 30 years ago called the zone system which Ansell Adams pioneered and that final picture is rubbish throw it on the heap. Nice try no cigar!

38. posted by Sarej, Dec 29, 2006 9:26 AM

thx all for the comments I'm glad that I could help the novice users of sxc. I use PS2 for 2 years :p

39. posted by kuralka, Jan 24, 2007 8:38 AM

by using levels, you lose a part of the image info. use first "layer">"new adaption layer" (or something like that, i use a dutch version, its underneath fill-layer)
put a marker next 'monochrome'. now you can still change your contrast, but this time on each single color channel. still not satisfied? put the marker next to monochrome out, give a bit more red, green of blue (or in CMYK , cyan etc) en put the marker again next to monochrome. after this you can use curves or levels. this way is very fast, but need a good eye ;)
have fun,


40. posted by fsphotos, May 3, 2007 9:09 AM

Here's another 'Techniques for Turning Color Photos into B&W' tutorial might be useful for some of you.. hniques-for-turning-color-into-bw/

41. posted by shahoor, Jun 27, 2007 1:43 PM

Its cool, easy steps and gud results..

gud luck

42. posted by patjevdb, Aug 22, 2007 4:23 PM

nice and easy.
Gives good results.
Maybe add "auto levels" as first step

43. posted by sxchuman, Sep 20, 2007 2:10 PM


44. posted by softener, May 31, 2013 7:04 AM

Any good examples to look at. I am not as technical of a blogger as your post describes

45. posted by carlislekm, Jul 29, 2013 4:45 AM

Very interesting

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