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The Many Faces of Black & White

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Desaturation (Remove Colors)
Desaturation looks a lot like grayscale

Desaturation looks a lot like grayscale

Image by Jacci Howard Bear
Another option for going from color to shades of gray is desaturation. In some image editing programs there is a desaturation option. Others call it color removal or require that you use the saturation controls to achieve this effect.

If the RGB values of an image are desaturated (color removed) the values of each are the same or nearly the same for each color, resulting in a neutral gray shade.

Desaturation pushes the Red, Green, and Blue hues towards gray. The image is still in the RGB colorspace but the colors turn gray.While desaturation results in an image that appears to be grayscale, it's not.

Corel Photo-Paint: Image > Adjust > Desaturate
Adobe Photoshop: Image > Adjust > Desaturate
Adobe Photoshop Elements: Enhance > Adjust Color > Remove Color
Jasc Paint Shop Pro: Hue/Saturation > Set Lightness to "0" > Set Saturation to "-100"

Related Video
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Convert Color Photos to Black and White in Photoshop

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