When making a black and white image start with a processed color image. Color neutralize the image. Have good highlights and shadow detail.
Explore the B&W Adjustment Layer in Photoshop
Download these 4 images http://www.pixelnrg.com/p244938920#ha18c129f
Once you click the icon your image turns to black and white. Simple, but from here you have total control. This is an adjustment layer so you will have a layer mask. You can create multiple B&W adjustment layers, building a file with multiple adjustments pinpointing specific areas to add contrast, lower contrast, make darker or lighter. Remember you can also use levels and curve layers to pinpoint localized corrections - Master the Layer Masks for total control.
Try clicking the Auto Button in the Properties Panel. Sometimes this is all you need, sometimes not much of a change.
See what happens when you Manually Adjust the sliders. Click on a color you want to control and drag the slider. Dragging left darkens, dragging right lightens. How do you know what the color is? A sky is blue or cyan, you know that. Grass is green or yellow. You got this! Explore, if you don’t like what you have done you can do a reset of the Panel.
Now for the super control. Use the Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) to pinpoint color values. With the TAT selected, click on the part of the image you want to alter. When looking at the panel you will see the color being effected. Move the TAT and see what happens.
You also have Presets to explore from the drop down menu in the adjustment panel, click through and see what happens. Try the presets on a few different types of images, people, landscape, cityscape, still life. Explore and see what you like.
There is also a Tint option in the Properties Panel. When you click the tint on whatever color you chose last will be the tint for your image. To change the tint click on the Color Swatch and the Color Picker will open. From here you can choose any color you would like. Remember you can also access the Color Libraries here as well. Have fun and explore! Personally I like a subtle tint. A tint is reminiscent of a duotone.
•4 Black and White Files.
2 Images must have a Black and White Adjustment Layer.
Explore the Auto Button, Manually Adjusting the Sliders, Targeted Adjustment Tool, Presets and even add a Tint.
You can have more than 1 adjustment layer. Add Levels or Curves Adjustment Layers or even additional B&W layers. Use those layer masks to pinpoint areas. (Localized corrections/adjustments)
•Save As .psd.
•Keep all layers, do not flatten
•2160 pixels, longest side
•Adobe RGB 1998
•8 bit file
2 images must be converted using Adobe Camera RAW. Type a detailed description of your settings.
•Submit your RAW file.
•No sizing needed here
•TITLE INFO: please name files: Last name_First initial_project_image #.extension
Example: Smith_M_bw_1.PSD, Smith_M_bw_2.PSD, Smith_M_bw_3.PSD, Smith_M_bw_4.PSD
There are many options that work for making Black and White images. You may find another technique/method you prefer. Explore and experiment. Remember to keep notes so you can reproduce the results you like.