Desaturation is the process of reducing the colour saturation to zero. There are several ways to desaturate your image, but the results will be the same.
Step 1 – The quickest way to desaturate your image is to use the “Desaturate” menu option, which you’ll find in the Image > Adjustments menu. This instantly reduces the colour saturation of the image to zero.
Step 2 – Another slightly more complicated way to desaturate your image (but one which will work in other photo editors than Photoshop) is to use the Hue/Saturation control, which you’ll also find in the Image > Adjustments menu.
Step 3 – In the control window that opens, you’ll see three slider controls for hue, saturation and lightness. Slide the middle one (saturation) all the way to the left. This produces exactly the same effect as the Desaturate menu option.
Step 4 – The main problem with the previous two methods is that they are permanent, so you’ll need to work on a copy of your picture if you want to preserve the original. To desaturate your image nondestructively, you could use a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer.
Step 5 – The adjustment layer works in the same way as the Hue/Saturation/Lightness menu option. To desaturate your image, move the saturation slider (the middle one) all the way to the left, leaving the other two in their default positions.
Step 6 – The result you’ll get from desaturation differs slightly from the greyscale mode change on the previous page. It has even less contrast and appears a little lighter, but it does have more detail in the shadows and highlights. It’s still rather flat and lifeless though.
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