I love putting black & white pictures in layouts. Whether it’s a super colorful layout or a subtle monotone layout, sometimes what I need is black & white. Take this layout I did of my mother during our visit to Keukenhof in 2017:

I really do love it, but… isn’t there always a but? I’m not sure on the blue. Or the color photo. I feel it’s a little busy. I decided I wanted to redo this layout, really the exact same layout, but change the photo to black & white. I can easily do this in photoshop without changing the actual photo at all.

Today I’m working in Photoshop CC, with my photo and the March | Anthology Flower Essence by ML Designs. The template is include in the extra’s pack (available to Anthology members for 60% savings in March only!) by Heartstrings Scrap Art.

While Photoshop Elements does have adjustment layers, I am not sure they stack. Please let me know if you have successfully tried this in Elements?

I’m going to click on my photo layer and then click on the Adjustment Layer icon in my layer palette menu. It’s the half black/half white circle. If you hover over this icon it will say “Create new fill or adjustment layer”

Once I click the adjustment layer icon, a pop-up box magically appears. I’m going to choose Black & White:

The new Black & White Adjustment Layer will appear above my photo layer. It turns everything underneath it black & white.
Note: In the Properties Tab you can adjust the black & white levels

Now even though my photo is clipped to a shape, I can stack clipping masks so that the Black & White Adjusment Layer only affects my photo.

  • Simply right-click on your Black & White Adjustment Layer
  • Choose Create Clipping Mask from the pop-up box

Now only one layer, my photo layer, is black & white. That’s what I wanted! I can now adjust the sliders in the propery tab while on my Black & White Adjustment Layer to get the black & white just right for  my photo.

My completed layout is available as a quickpage in the bonus album of the brandnew March | Anthology Flower Essence by ML Designs.

My mother at Keukenhof in Lisse, NL, 2017