Making Photos Black-and-White or Sepia

Although digital cameras take photos in color by default, some photos are improved by conversion to black-and-white. That's often true of portraits of people, since switching to black-and-white smooths out skin coloration and blemishes. Some landscapes also benefit tremendously from conversion to black-and-white, since eliminating color helps the viewer focus on the composition and lighting. Think Ansel Adams.

To make a photo black-and-white or sepia:

  • In one of the editing modes, -click the photo and choose B & W or Sepia from the contextual menu.

  • Click the Effects button to open the Effects panel, then click the B & W or Sepia button in the Effects panel (for more details about the Effects panel, see page 78).


  • To decide whether you like the color or black-and-white/sepia version of a photo better, press and release a few times to toggle instantly between the "before" (Figure 4.26) and "after" (Figure 4.27) views of your photo. If you don't like the change, choose Undo Convert to B &W/Sepia () from the Edit menu.

    Figure 4.26. To convert a photo to black-and-white, switch to edit mode and click the B & W button. Here I'm converting a picture of my grandfather reading the newspaper to avoid a few distracting color elements from the cover photo and his shirt.

    Figure 4.27. I like it a bit better in black-and-white; sepia also works well for this photo, since it gives it a more old-time feel.

  • The Effects panel shows small previews comparing black-and-white and sepia versions of the photo as well.

  • Another way to compare color and black-and-white/sepia versions of the same photo is to open it twice in separate editing windows (this works best if you have multiple monitors attached to your Mac).

iPhoto 6 for Mac OS X. Visual QuickStart Guide
iPhoto 6 for Mac OS X
ISBN: 0321423313
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 225
Authors: Adam Engst

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