Most photo viewing/editing programs that come with your computer will
offer the function of turning your color photos into black and white
images. While this may be convenient, you can easily create sharp black and white photos using Adobe Photoshop.
First, open your image in Photoshop. Even if your aren’t very familiar
with using Photoshop, this process is pretty simple! Once your image
is open, you should see a panel titled “Layers” on the right hand side
of your screen. If not, go to the “Windows” menu, at the top, and
choose “Layers.” If the layer is locked, unlock it by double clicking
on the layer, and hit “okay.”
With the layer selected, go to the “Adjustments” menu, at the top, and
choose “Desaturate.” Now, right click the layer, and choose “Duplicate
Layer.” You will have two layers containing the same image. With the
top layer selected, go to the “Filter” menu, at the top, go down to
the “Other” option and choose “High Pass.” This will look weird at
first, but don’t worry!
In the layers panel, you will see a drop-down menu with the word
“Normal” in it. Click the menu and select “Overlay.” Next to the drop
down menu, is a control for opacity. Experiment with different
percentages of opacity until you find a setting that you think looks
Finally, go to the “Adjustments” menu, again, and choose “Levels.” In
the dialouge box that appears, click the “Auto” button, and hit
“okay.” Now, you should have a sharp black and white photo with
beautiful contrast. If you’re satisfied, you can go to the “Layers”
menu at the top, and flatten the image. This will make the changes
you’ve made permanent.
The image on the left was done in Photoshop, on the right, in Preview.