Step by step
Pheasant shoot Go a step beyond removing the colours – boost them!
01 Open the image
Open Pheasant.jpg. Choose Image> Adjustments> Desaturate. This creates a black-and-white print, but it’s a drab wash of greyscale tones in which nothing stands out. Go to Edit>Undo Desaturate. You can produce a much more effective mono image based on the subject’s colours.
02 Create an adjustment layer
Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Black & White. Click OK. The Properties panel displays six coloured sliders. These will initially be set automatically to lighten or darken specific colours in the image. Lighten the bird’s yellow plumage by dragging Yellows to 124.
03 Adjust the image directly
Instead of dragging sliders, you can drag on the image to lighten or darken specific colours. Click the Targeted Adjustment button. Go to the Options bar and set the Sample Size to 3 by 3 average. Click and drag right on the bird’s belly to lighten the red feathers.
04 See your changes
You can see the original colours of the image by toggling the adjustment layer on and off. This helps you decide which colours you’d like to lighten or darken. Here we’ve sampled and darkened the bird’s cyan feathers for more tonal variety in the monochrome conversion.
05 Try a preset
Alternatively, you could speed things up by using one of the Black & White adjustment layer’s presets. The High Contrast Red Filter preset makes the cyans and greens darker. It darkens the background as well as the cyan feathers, which helps the lighter parts of the bird stand out.
06 To the max!
The Infrared preset pushes the yellows to 235 so that they feature no texture detail. The Maximum White preset, which we’ve used here, sets all of the six colour sliders to a value of 100, which produces brighter versions of each colour without causing clipping.