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Change Color Images To Black & White Or Sepia

Have a color image you’d prefer in black and white? Perhaps you’d like to make an image appear more vintage with sepia tone? With GIMP you can easily change the color of your photos. Below are basic step-by-step instructions on how to change an image to black & white and how to change an image to sepia-tone using GIMP.

How To Change Color Images To Black & White

  1. Grayscale
    • First duplicate the original image.
    • Right-click on the duplicated copy.
    • Select Image > Colors > Grayscale.
  2. Decompose RGB decompose_RGB
    • First right-click the image and select Image > Mode > Decompose.
    • Now select the RGB option and click OK.
    • You will see the 3 channels: red, green and blue.
    • Usually the green channel will produce the best-looking black & white version of the image. If not, try a different method.
  3. Desaturate
    • First duplicate the original image.
    • Right-click on the duplicated copy.
    • Select Image > Colors > Desaturate.

How To Change Color Images To Sepia-Tone

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Filters
    • Open your image and click Filters > Décor > Old Photo

    The downside to using a filter is that you won’t have as much control over the final product. If you find that the “Old Photo” filter isn’t working for your image, try the method below:

  2. Desaturate
    • In the menu bar select Colors and choose Desaturate. A dialog box will pop up with 3 different options for desaturating. The options are Lightness, Luminosity, and Average.
    • Now try all 3 options to see which one produces the best effect on your image.
    • Sometimes there’s not enough contrast in your image. If this is the case you can return to Colors and choose Levels.
    • Use the sliders to get more or less contrast.
    • In the menu bar select Color > Colorize. Use the top slider to scroll through the color spectrum and stop somewhere between red and yellow to achieve a sepia-tone color.

For more methods on how to convert color images to black and white using GIMP click here: http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Color2BW/#grayscale

For a detailed tutorial on how to add color to black and white images click here: http://EmptyEasel.com/2008/04/29/how-to-add-color-to-black-and-white-photos-in-photoshop/

For a detailed tutorial on how to digitally add color to a black and white photograph click here: http://EmptyEasel.com/2008/10/24/how-to-digitally-color-a-black-white-photograph-in-gimp/

For a video tutorial on how to change color photos to black and white or sepia-tone with GIMP click here:

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