As a former black and white photo enthusiast I truly miss my darkroom and the joy of watching a print appear from nothing within the developer tray. And, most of all, I miss the purity of an elegant black and white print.
Since I now only use digital cameras there is no longer any need for a darkroom; nowadays the only way I can satisfy my craving for black and white images is to alter my color images to black and white using Photoshop Elements.
The simplest way is to change your picture from color to black and white is to change the mode in Elements from RGB to Grayscale. To accomplish this you can just open the picture, go to ‘Image’ option in the Menu Bar and then choose ‘Mode’ then ‘Grayscale’ from the drop down menu. This will bring up a dialog box asking if you want to discard all color information. Click ‘OK’ and the job is done. From here you can adjust the monochrome image to your liking. It is truly very simple.
So, to recap, with your image open, go to ‘Image>Mode>Grayscale’ then ‘Discard color information’.
A second way to achieve the same goal is by using the ‘Desaturate’ command. With your original picture open, go to Enhance menu and select ‘Adjust color’ and Remove Color from the drop down menu.