Prior to digital cameras, Black and White (B&W) photography was as simple a process as dropping a roll of B&W film into your camera and you could just start snapping.
The issue you had then was that you then had to get the roll of film developed, which was ok if you had your own darkroom, but without one you then had to go to the lab that could develop it.
That it really isn’t an issue anymore with the introduction of digital, as you can turn any photo into a black and white or monochrome image.
While there are many digital cameras that have a B&W mode built in as an option, which can handy if you want to test the situation and see how it would look as a B&W, but in reality you should always take you images in full colour and then change them to B&W later as more detail is recorded as a colour image.
Programs such as Adobe Lightroom make creating a B&W image so much easier, now as you can make adjustments and changes very easily in a non-destructive way, which means you can come back at a later date and change your settings if needed.
But what about if you liked the look of film and in particular the look film grain used to give you in photos?
Well there are a lot of plug in’s available that you can use as part of Photoshop or Lightroom to help to replicate these looks.
We list a couple of these below...
One of the most popular examples is Silver Efex Pro by Nik Software.
Silver Efex allows you to choose from 20 popular film types, you can also apply things like a Holga and Pinhole camera style effects to your image.
It will also allow you to tone your image, which enables you to give your images an all over colour tint similar to sepia toning in a B&W dark room.
At the heart of this program are very complex black and white conversion algorithms that are designed to give the most accurate rendition of what B&W film would give.
Here are a couple of other options for B&W conversion