No two photos are the same, and no two monochrome conversions are the same. But I follow a similar path each time.

Step 1:

Like every starry-eyed Dad, I think daughter is the cutest thing in the world ­čÖé This shot is nice in colour, but a bit bland and flat … I’d like to make a nice black-and-white out of it.


Step 2:

For the best mono conversion possible, it helps to have a nice colour image. So I use Levels to improve the contrast.


Step 3:

I convert it using my action (here). It’s nice and clean, but still needs work, of course.


Step 4:

Using Levels, I first add some overall contrast …


Step 5:

… then some further adjustments in selected areas.


Step 6:

I use Curves to add a little more sparkle to her eyes.


Step 7:

Almost there! Time to add a vignette for emphasis.


Step 8:

Then some sharpening to finish it off.

Use the slider to compare original to final: