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How does one make a photo into a silhouette?

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Before giving up on adjusting color....

I would us the Effects-Color-Extract Channel - Blue (Grayscale checked)

Now I would use levels.....move the left bottom up and the gamma (center right) to the top....in any case you can set the black level and intensity using these two controls.........

Now clean-up the finqal details...

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I got these results by doing something similar to willgoss (working with the blue channel).

First I used Ed Harvey's Filtered B&W (instead of Ed Harvey's Channel Extract. either works) to get the blue channels greyscale information.

Then I added a new layer and filled it with white.

I used the Lasso to select and cut away and area on the white layer so that I could see the running guy. You want to have about a 5px buffer on all sides of the guy.

Then I Gaussian blurred the white layer 10 px. I didn't think the white was strong enough at this point so I duplicated the layer and then flattened the image.

Now I used Tanel's new Local Contrast Enhancement twice(2x) with the following settings:

Amout: 50

Radius: 60

Smoothing: 10(max)

That gave me these results:


From here I used Brightness / Contrast with the following settings:

Brightness: 100

Contrast: 100

Then I magic Wand Selected the white and deleted it.

Then I used Basic Anti-alias to clean up the edges.

I put it back on a white background and this is what it looked like:


These are the best results you'll get without doing the intricate cutout...

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