Why it matters to you If you’re looking for a way to turn a Photoshop image from black and white to color, you don’t need a developer. Adobe has you covered.
If you’re looking to use a template for black and white photos, but want to go the manual route, Photoshop has you covered.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 and later lets you convert any type of image to black and white, as long as the file doesn’t contain any color data in the metadata. The process requires some complicated technical knowledge, but not a lot of time. It’s a unique feature that other designers may find very helpful.
Adobe describes the Clone Stamp Tool in the Photoshop Color Module as follows:
This tool takes an already existing (e.g. RGB) file and converts it into a black and white one. By adding an extra step to your image processing, you have the possibility to completely replace any black and white photo in your workbook, while preserving the original colors. It only works when Photoshop detects that the original file has no color information (at the end of the import), so it makes sense to use the Clone Stamp Tool if you need to process your photos with no or only part color information (even in the crop view).
This tool is somewhat limited when used on RGB files — a photograph that has a lot of color data in the RGB flag does not work with the Clone Stamp Tool. Therefore, you’ll need to convert your photos to black and white before the tool works, which isn’t a bad idea because having a black and white image helps to make more precise edits. For example, a spot color on a photo may not work with a white background, but the reverse may be true — black backgrounds can easily absorb color to look like a color photograph.
To use the Clone Stamp Tool, you first need to create a template that you can convert your files into. Photoshop allows you to open a predefined black and white image (see the previous photo) and then use the Clone Stamp Tool to convert it into black and white. Once you’ve opened the template in Photoshop, just start working with your photo, and the tool will analyze it and convert it automatically. This is how you can use the tool to do simple adjustments. However, if you need more advanced customization, you’ll have to start using the tool manually.
The tool can take multiple steps when converting a photo to black and white. Each step will automatically run in a new layer, so you can see the results before doing more editing. By default, the tool starts converting the file by opening the black and white adjustment layer, which applies its adjustments to the top part of your image. Then, the tool will use the black and white selection tool to make minor adjustments. Finally, you can go back to the white and color tools and make more adjustments. The tool can also use a range of tools and masks to adjust colors or intensity, as well as depth, saturation, and brightness.
However, you can use a menu to make minor adjustments like increasing or decreasing the size of an area and choosing from a wide variety of different shapes, such as circles, squares, ellipses, and rectangles. Other options include turning the effect on and off. Another way to make the most of this tool is to look for the option to perform some local adjustments and apply them to your photo. This will let you make small adjustments on a specific part of the photo. You can select the area, then make your adjustment. If you apply some adjustments without applying them to all parts of the image, Photoshop will only apply a small part of the effect and not the whole thing. You’ll have to perform the rest of the adjustment on your own.
Other options in the Adjustment panel let you choose from multiple presets. If you’re used to working with templates, you can apply the changes quickly and easily. If you’re looking to make more precise adjustments, though, you may want to start working with the tool manually.
You can convert RGB files into black and white just by changing the image mode into gray scale. It will convert all the layers in your image in black and white.
Video tutorial for Clone stamp tool.