A lot of people don’t have a clear understanding of how black-and-white images are done with modern digital cameras. It’s not like with film, where you choose to use either b&w or color film. Even if your digital camera has a black-and-white setting, it takes a color picture inside the camera and then converts it to black and white. With the nicer cameras, you take your pictures in a raw color format and then adjust and do what you want with an image later in the software. There is no such thing as taking a black-and-white image anymore, so in any picture you see that I have in black and white, there is always a color original to choose from.
Now, if you just let the camera do the black-and-white conversion or use basic software that removes the color, you can end up with a pretty flat and boring image. Doing a good black and white is much more than just removing the color. A big difference between a good and bad photographer is their investment in really good equipment and software.
I’ve always used actions in Photoshop that allow for soft and glowing, sharp and high contrast, and other b&w image conversions. Recently I just started using new software called Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. This takes the black-and-white conversions to a whole new level. I’m just getting started using this software, but I’m already getting results I love. As I work with it, I’m sure I will get better, keep an eye out here and on my Facebook page for more variety in black-and-white styles. I will post a few of these black-and-white images below. I hope you enjoy them.