With the introduction of color film, photography took a giant leap forward. Despite this, many photographers continue to gravitate to black-and-white photos because they can conjure up a feeling that is both ageless and nostalgic. Converting a color photograph into a black-and-white one is an excellent method for improving the composition, contrast, and atmosphere.

However, individuals who are unfamiliar with the procedure may find it to be intimidating. This article will explain how to convert a color photograph into a black-and-white image using conventional and modern digital techniques. These images will last the test of time, regardless of whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur.

In this article
how to black and white a photo

Part 1. Three Powerful Black-and-White Photo Editors on Your Desktop

After you have learned how to convert color images to black and white, you will need a capable photo editor to fine-tune the details. Fortunately, there are various desktop solutions accessible. We'll introduce you to three popular black-and-white picture editors in this section: Photoshop, Microsoft Photos, and Lightroom.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a capable and commonly used picture editing program. It provides a complete set of tools and functions for color and black-and-white picture editing, including exposure, contrast, tonality, and color balance modifications. Photoshop allows you to add creative effects like split-toning, noise reduction, and grain. The ability to work with layers is one of the primary benefits of utilizing Photoshop for black-and-white picture editing.

photoshop interface


Key features:

  • It allows you to go back and amend your changes afterward.
  • Layers also allow you to apply various effects to select portions of your image, giving you greater control over the outcome.
  • Photoshop's capacity to handle enormous files and support various file types is another virtue.
  • An excellent option for professional photographers and designers that want high-resolution photographs.

Pros and cons


. Helps with skillful procedures, such as designing posters, banners, and brochures

. A wide variety of tools and functions are available

. Can handle large files

. Layers allow for nondestructive editing


. The learning curve is steep

. The subscription model is pricey

. It might be expensive in terms of resources

. A strong computer may be required to operate smoothly


Microsoft Photos

Microsoft Photos is a free photo editing program accessible on Windows 10 devices. It provides basic editing tools for color and black-and-white photographs, including exposure, contrast, saturation, and temperature changes. It can also crop, rotate, and straighten your photographs. You can move through the various editing tools using the menu bar and examine the changes in real-time.

microsoft photos interface


Key features:

  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Minimal alterations to their photographs.
  • Microsoft Photos has built-in organizing capabilities for managing your photo collection.
  • You may tag and review your images, make albums, and search for photos by place or date.

Pros and cons:


. The UI is simple

. Basic picture editing tools for color and black-and-white images

. Integrated organizing tools

. Users of Windows 10 may get it for free


. Limited editing capabilities

. No support for layers or advanced features

. It may not be suitable for professional use

. Only available on Windows 10



Lightroom is made exclusively for photographers and is another potent application for altering black and white photos. It is possible to improve your black-and-white photographs' tonality, contrast, and sharpness using Lightroom's many tools and presets.

lightroom interface


Key features:

  • Nondestructive editing features, you may play with the settings and make adjustments.
  • The Black & White Mix panel and the black-and-white presets make it easy to convert any color shot to monochrome.
  • Improve the overall quality of your picture
  • Features tools to modify and restore pictures

Pros and cons


. Multiple filters to adjust the sharpness and contrast of black-and-white images

. Full-featured tools for modifying pictures in black and white

. Virtual copying and editing for nondestructive revisions

. Consistency using Adobe Photoshop


. The cost of a subscription may be high

. It can need a lot of time or money

. Runs best on a strong computer

. Difficulty in getting started


Part 2. Three Convenient Online Tools To Create Striking Black-and-White

Several internet tools help you make spectacular black-and-white images without installing additional software on your computer. You may use these programs to make beautiful black-and-white photographs without wasting time. Here, we'll analyze three of the best black-and-white picture editing websites.


Canva is a web-based graphic design application with many features and options for producing professional-quality artwork. Canva's intuitive interface and drag-and-drop capabilities make it simple to create monochrome images and include text and other design components. It has several tools and resources for making beautiful black-and-white graphics, whether you're working on a social media post, a business card, or a billboard.

canva interface


Key features:

  • Canva has a built-in black-and-white filter to turn any uploaded picture into a monochrome version.
  • Canva's abundance of black-and-white picture editing templates and other creative assets is a significant selling point.
  • To convert a color image to black and white, you may use a filter and get control over aspects like the image's tone, contrast, and texture.

Pros and cons


. Quick and simple to use interface and tools

. Various formats and visual components

. Easy cooperation and sharing

. Budget-friendly plans


. Desktop editing is limited

. Advanced options like tweaking and saturation are restricted

. Designers and photographers may not like it due to the limited basic features

. File size and resolution constraints like 740 fps and 1080 fps



Imageonline.co is an online picture editing program that provides its users with various options for altering photographs, including converting color photos to black and white. Any web browser may be used to access the tool, which does not cost anything. When utilizing Imageonline.co, you only need to upload the picture you want to convert and then choose the black-and-white filter option from the list of available filters.

image online interface


Key features:

  • co supports various file types, including JPEG, PNG, and BMP.
  • You can upload and edit your images regardless of the file format.
  • Easily convert photos into black and white.
  • Multiple filters available

Pros and cons:


. Makes black-and-white picture editing finish within a few clicks

. The simple interface lets anybody convert photographs to black and white in a few clicks

. Enables cropping, resizing, and rotating

. Sharpens black-and-white photographs


. Limited customization

. Lacks virtual copying feature

. Limited file formats support

. Unstable internet connections



Pixelied is a web-based graphic editor that provides several tools for making and modifying images, including converting color photographs to black and white. The tool's accessibility across browsers and user-friendly design makes it ideal for wide dissemination. You can use Pixelied to make a color photo look like it was taken in black and white by uploading it to the site, going to the "Effects" menu, and picking the "black and white" filter.

pixelied interface


Key features:

  • Tweak exposure, contrast, and saturation using Pixelied's many available choices.
  • Pixelied's adaptability is a significant plus when converting photos to black and white.
  • You may use the tool's additional functions, such as text editing, picture cropping, and color correction.
  • To make your black-and-white photographs seem even better, or create new graphics.

Pros and cons:


. Easy drag-and-drop interface

. Adjust and fine-tune the black-and-white conversion

. Provides multiple templates and effects

. Use online without downloading or installing


. Higher-resolution exports need a subscription

. Fewer file formats than desktop applications

. Not as customizable as comparable online or desktop applications

. Requires reliable internet connection


Part 3. Comparison of These Six tools 

You may use a variety of approaches to convert your color photos into stunning black-and-white masterpieces. No matter if you're a professional photographer or enjoy snapping pictures for fun. Every software, from complex desktop tools like Photoshop and Lightroom to simple web tools like Canva, and ImageOnline.co, has its own unique features for its users. We'll go through their applications, compatibilities, ease of use, editing features, and other aspects below:



Microsoft Photos





Best For

Professional photographers, graphic designers, and advanced users

Casual users who want basic editing capabilities without the need for additional software

Photographers who want a comprehensive suite of tools for organizing and editing photos

Casual users who want to create social media graphics and simple designs quickly

Casual users who need to make basic edits to images online

Casual users who wish for a simple, user-friendly tool for creating black-and-white photos online


Windows, Mac

Windows, Xbox

Windows, Mac




Ease of Use

The advanced, steep learning curve

Easy to use, intuitive interface

Intermediate requires some learning

Very user-friendly, simple drag-and-drop functionality

Very user-friendly, simple interface

User-friendly, simple drag-and-drop functionality

Editing Features

Comprehensive, advanced editing capabilities for photos and graphics

Essential photo editing tools include crop, rotate, and color adjustments

A complete suite of photo editing tools, including RAW image processing

Basic design tools include text and graphics overlays and limited photo editing capabilities

Essential photo editing tools, including crop, resize, and basic filters

Customizable black-and-white conversion tools, including brightness, contrast, and saturation adjustments



In sum, black-and-white photography has always been and will continue to be widely appreciated. Changing a color shot to black and white may make you feel something, improve the atmosphere, and show off your most significant composition. There's never been a better moment to learn about black-and-white photography than now when so many software possibilities exist. So go ahead and try out black-and-white photography. You never know, you could find a new hobby you love.

Manuel Gonzalez
Manuel Gonzalez Oct 31, 23
Share article:

ai video generator
AI video enhancer