Brown-Toned Black and White Conversion Tutorial

I decided to do a tutorial for that brown-toned black and white conversion I did on the pictures of Payson eating in this post.

This is what I’m going to show you how to do:
Take a color image:

Convert it to a brown-toned black and white image:

You don’t need the full version of photoshop to do this. I use elements for everything I do.

Step 1.
Open the picture you want to convert.
Step 2.
Go to Filter > Adjustments > Gradient Map

Closer view of where gradient map is in elements.

Step 3.
Once the gradient map box is open you’ll choose the black and white gradient- the one that has black in the top left corner and white in the bottom right corner.

Closer View

Don’t click ok yet.
This is where you add the brown tone in.

Step 4.
There is a long narrow box of gradiation from black to white. You want to double click on a point near the black end.

Closer view of where to double click:

When you double click the select color box will pop up (label 2)

Step 5.
You want to be in the orange color family.

Once you’re in the oranges you want to choose a nice deep brown color.

Step 6.
Once you have selected the right color of brown, click ok on all the boxes.
Your image will be a nice, brown-toned black and white image!
Step 7. (optional)
Add some contrast to your image. I always add contrast to my black and white images.
To add contrast you can go to
Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Brightness/Contrast.
Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Levels

Step 8. (optional)
I also sharpen my images.
Enhance > Unsharp Mask > and values 60/2/0

Feel free to ask questions.
Good luck and happy converting 🙂

5 thoughts on “Brown-Toned Black and White Conversion Tutorial

  • Thanks for the info! I didn't know about this way. My daughter's picture looked great using this method, except there were portions of the shadows that were all black. It was like it had black paint on it and it looked like the Dissolve blending mode… I didn't adjust levels or curves or anything on the image (since I was practicing). Do you think that was why?

  • You are so smart. What great timing you have. I am doing Chris and Tiffany's wedding album in black/white so this'll totally help!

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