Adjusting Image Brightness And Contrast


Grayscale: Making images black and white

Before we get on, let me quickly show how to turn your color images into black and white. Please note that you can (and should) use all the tools below for color images too, it’s just that in the several first exercises in this semester I will ask you to create black and white images, so here’s how to do it.

It’s actually so simple I don’t even need a video to explain. Just select a following option from the menu: Image > Mode > Grayscale


… and you will turn your color photo in to a black and white one:


Now we can play around with this photo to improve it’s brightness and contrast.

Using Brightness And Contrast Tool

Most straightforward way to change brightness and contrast is to use the tool that’s called exactly like that! You will find it in Image Menu > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast…

You see how I played around the settings to change the image, but in the end I actually ended up with a very similar image because the original photo already had pretty good quality. So in the next example, I will chose another photo with worse quality.

More Control? Use Levels!

Levels tool provide us with the better way to adjust brightness and contrast, offering more options. You will find Levels in Image Menu > Adjustment > Levels, and let’s see how they work:

levlesClick the image if you can’t read the text.

Don’t be scared of so many things to do. Working with Levels is actually quite straightforward, just give it a try:

Define Black and White Point Using Levels

Very often you want to adjust the image in such way that can be described as:
I want this part of the image to become exactly white, and this part of the image exactly black“. You do this using level interface, either by dragging Black and White points (as in the previous video), or by explicitly picking black and white point from the image. You do this by clicking on a black and white eyedroppers icons in Levels interface, and then picking what part of the image you want to become black and white.

After you pick black/white point, levels will automatically adjust everything in between. Here’s the original photo on the left, and photo with adjusted black and white point:



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