How to Convert Color Photos to Black and White

How to Convert Color Photos to Black and White

How to Convert Color Photos to Black and White

In this tutorial, you’ll learn 4 different ways to convert color photos to black and white.  You’ll also learn how to add other effects to your photos to make them look aged or even add a nice color hue.

Converting color photos to black and white is a great way to convey mood or add emotional appeal to your photographs. There are several ways to convert color photos to black and white in PaintShop Pro, including:

  • Applying Instant Effects
  • Using the Adjust menu to remove saturation
  • Applying Photo Effects
  • Using Scripts


Applying Instant Effects

Open your image in the Edit tab. In this example we are using the sample image City Streets.

To open the Instant Effects palette, go to View > Palettes > Instant Effects. Click on the dropdown menu and select the Black and White category.

Click once on any effect in the category to see how it will change the way the image looks in the preview pane.

  • Double-click on the effect of your choice to add the effect to your image.
  • You can also try out some other categories such as the Film Styles or Retro categories which also include several black and white effect options.

TIP: you can apply multiple effects to the same image by double-clicking on a second effect after applying the first. This example below shows Platinum from the Film Styles category plus Retro Dark from the Retro category.

Using the Adjust Menu to Remove Saturation

In this example we are using the Portrait of a Young Woman sample image. To open the Adjust options, go to Adjust > Hue and Saturation > Colorize.

Set the Saturation level to 0 to remove all the color from your image.

  • To add a slight color cast, set the Saturation to a low level like 20.
  • Then play around with the Hue level (make sure Preview on Image is checked so you can see the different hue effects).

For more customization options, try this alternative Adjust Menu technique. Go to Adjust > Hue and Saturation > Hue/Saturation/Lightness.

  • Bring the Saturation level all the way down to convert to black and white.
  • You can also adjust the Lightness level of the image to make it lighter or darker.

  • If you move the Saturation level up a bit, you can also adjust the Hue slider to add a bit of a color cast to the image.

TIP: unclick the Preview on Image icon to toggle back and forth between your new image and your old image to see the difference in your image with the added effects.

Applying Photo Effects

PaintShop Pro also has several effects that will instantly convert color photos to black and white. In this example we are using the Mum and Baby sample image. Go to Effects > Photo Effects > Black and White Film. The photo will automatically convert to black and white.

  • You can play around with the settings by selecting one of the preset options from the drop-down menu at the right.

  • You can also adjust the Hue level by playing with the color wheel or adjust the Brightness level.

You can also use the Time Machine to convert color photos to black and white. Go to Effects > Photo Effects > Time Machine. This will open the Time Machine window, where you will find different photo styles to make your photo look aged like one from yesteryear.

  • Adjust the Intensity of each effect by dragging the slider left or right.
  • Check the Photo Edges option, to add a film style border typical of the era.

Using Scripts

PaintShop Pro comes with several scripts already installed, but there are others available to purchase from the Get More section in the Welcome Book and in the Discovery Center store. Scripts are very easy to use – just select the one you want and run it, and it will instantly transform your photo.

In this example we are using the Farm Fields sample image. The easiest way to work with scripts is to use the Script toolbar. Go to View > Toolbars > Script.

  • Click on the Category dropdown menu and select All.
  • Scroll down the list and select one you want to try.
  • Then press the Play button to run the script.

In this example, we are using the Low Key Black and White script, from the Lighting and Color Script Bundle.

And you’ll see just like that it transforms the entire image into black and white!

We hope you enjoyed learning about these 4 easy methods to convert color photos to black and white. Have fun exploring the different customization options to add your own artistic spin!

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

See what's new in PaintShop Pro 2020!

Download your FREE 30-day trial and check out the latest version of PaintShop Pro, with a new touch-ready workspace, SmartClone tool, Refine brush and enhanced text editing.

Related Tutorials

Tools You Need

PaintShop Pro 2020

Experience an all-in-one photo editor and graphic design software that will change the way you edit photos.

Photo Sketch Scripts

You don’t have to be an artist to create a professional-looking drawing, thanks to the photo sketch scripts for PaintShop Pro.

PaintShop Pro 2020 Ultimate

Get a faster, easier, more creative photo editor PLUS an exclusive bonus collection of premium software.

Lighting and Color Script Bundle

Easily create dramatic black and white or color High and Low Key images with this collection scripts.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a FREE creative pack!

Get a FREE creative pack!

Sign up for our newsletter and get a free creative pack plus the latest tips, tutorials, and special offers in your inbox each week.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for your email confirmation and free creative content pack.