Above, I have a photo of my neighbor’s cat. I turned it into a black and white photo, but it’s not quite right. It needs a little “pop” to make it more interesting. There are a few simple ways to do this without getting too crazy.
The first way is very easy. First I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Exposure:
Here the Exposure dialog box comes up:
I grab the slider that’s called Offset and bring it slowly to the left. You can see the darks in the image getting pronounced. Then I go to the Gamma Correction and bring that to the left just a little bit. Already you should see a difference. Then I go to the Exposure slider and bring that to the right to brighten the photo. Here are the settings I used for this image:
Look at the before and after to see the difference:
Here I’ll use a different method, with a shot of my family room that I turned black and white:
First I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Selective Color:
Once the Selective Color dialog box comes up, I go to the top of the box and pick the color black:
The only slider I touch is the last one, the black slider. In this case I’ll make it a +10:
Then I’ll pick white from the color selections and again I’ll only use the black slider. The white slider I’ll bring to the left, making the whites whiter. For this I use a -8. Then I’ll click OK:
Next I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast:
With the Brightness/Contrast dialog box open, I’ll push both sliders to the right. Try not to have a heavy hand. Just a little should do it. For this image I use a +11 for both brightness and contrast. Then I’ll click OK:
Here are the before and after pictures:
Try both methods and see which one works best for you. Remember every picture is different. The numbers that work for me might be different for you. So, play around with the sliders. Have fun and keep playing with Photoshop.