Monochrome from Colour


Reproduced by kind permission of Chelmsford Camera Club.

Colour to Monochrome - by Bruce Gray (ARPS, DPAGB)

Colour to Mono David Rowley method

Said by David Rowley to be his preferred method allowing experimentation with toning.


1. With the image open as the 1st layer or background select channels

2. Place the curser over the RGB channel icon hold down Control and click the RGB icon. Note a marching ant selection appears which is white to mid grey tones

3. Select>Inverse to make the selection mid grey to black

4. Create a new blank layer

5. Click on the layer mask icon. This will paste the selection into the new layer mask

6. Make a copy of the first layer or background. Shortcut control J and rename 'Black & White'

7. Desaturate the named layer Image>Adjustments>Desaturate

8. Go to layer mask layer and click on left layer icon

9. With the layer mask layer still active fill using the paint bucket and black

10. Experiment with blend modes and opacity to achieve the best effect. Note for mono images, using a soft light blend mode is likely to work the best

11. Check the effect in colour by switching off the 'Black & White' layer.

12. Try the effect of toning by switching the 'Black & White' layer back on and refilling the layer mask layer with shades of brown. Again experiment with blend modes and opacity

13. For an accent colour on mono effect, convert the black and white layer into a layer mask and paint out in black areas where you wish colour to show through.

Colour to Mono Infra Red


1. Open image

2. Select Layer>Adjustment layer>Channel mixer

3. Adjust RGB channels to achieve IR effect Best results increase green reduce red and blue from default 100% Red.

4. Create a new layer for future glow effect.

5. Hold down Alt-Layer Merge visible to place all on the new layer

6. Select Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur> amount around 7-8 pixels

7. Select Filter>Add Noise>Uniform>Monochromatic value around 5-6 pixels.

8. Select Screen blend mode and adjust opacity for best effect

9. Fine tune the channel mixer layer

Colour to Mono using Hue & Saturation


1. Open image

2. Open a new adjustment layer 'Hue & Saturation/

3. Open a second adjustment layer 'Hue & Saturation'

4. On top adjustment layer set the blending mode to colour and the saturation to zero

5. On the second adjustment layer experiment with both hue and saturation sliders to achieve the required effect

6. Experiment with opacity on second layer to fine tune

7. Merge visible to a new layer when satisfied

Colour to Mono using LAB


1. With image as the background, select Image>Mode>LAB

2. Select Channels>Lightness

3. Select Image>Mode>Greyscale>Discard other channels>OK

4. Select Channels>Grey icon. Hold down Control and click on grey Icon

5. Select>Inverse

6. Create a new layer Shortcut Open layers and hit symbol next to the dustbin

7. Convert to a layer mask

8. Click layer icon in colour mask layer [left icon]

9. Select Image>Mode>RGB>No to flatten image

10. Edit>Fill>Colour>Select black or colour tone

11. Adjust blending mode to achieve best effect