There’s something about a black and white photograph that speaks to me. The highlights, details and drama in a black and white photograph can really work to tell your story. This photography tutorial will teach you how to convert your color photographs into black and white using PicMonkey. If you missed my PicMonkey 101 tutorial, you can read it here. And to further show you what you can do in PicMonkey, here are 10 photographs edited in PicMonkey.

So how do I know when to convert to black and white?

Honestly, it’s hard to explain. It’s a moment. It’s a feeling. You know when you see it.

After you decide which photo to convert, it’s time to start editing. But how? Here are several options.

1. You can shoot in black and white. Most dSLR and Point and Shoots have an option to change the camera filter. Consult your manual to find out how. This is a quick and easy way to shoot black and white but you are limited. You have to either shoot everything in black and white or switch back and forth. Also, you can’t change the contrast and pictures tend to be flat.

2. You can convert the colors in a photograph in Photoshop. When converting in Photoshop, you have control over your levels, your brightness, and your contrasts.

3.  You can convert the colors in a photograph in PicMonkey. Not everyone has access to Photoshop or other pricey software, so today I am going to focus on one of my favorite free photo editing tools called PicMonkey. You can make a beautiful black and white photographs in PicMonkey.

converting images to black and white using picmonkey

Here is my before picture:

converting images to black and white using picmonkey

After you upload your photo to PicMonkey, click on the Effects tab. There you will see a Black and White button. Once your picture has been converted, you will have something like this.

converting images to black and white with picmonkey

Not bad, but here’s where the art comes in. This photo could use some improvement. It’s a tad dark and too gray.

Next, I switch over to the Basics Edit menu and select Exposure.

converting images to black and white using picmonkey

Here I will adjust the highlights, shadows and, most importantly, the contrast. This is what I ended up with.

converting images to black and white with picmonkey

You don’t have to just stop at black and white. You can also use the above tips when converting images with a Sepia process {also available in PicMonkey}.

Your challenge this week is find an image you feel should be black and white. When you see it, you’ll know it! Then, convert the colors using PicMonkey or your preferred editing system. Finally, post those photos on our Facebook page. I’d love to see the Before and After.


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