One thing that I am finding so useful about only doing black and white is contrast – white against black, shape against shape. I am not a particularly analytical person so it takes awhile for what I see to make intellectual sense, such as the visual evidence of light and dark working to create shapes.
Black and white can be very difficult if not done properly – contrast has to be there, whether long scale (lots of grey between the blackest black and whitest white) or short scale (little grey between black and white). Long scale images may never reach black or white, and may not work at all. Certain colors work better in b&w with a filter. So much more stuff, it seems to me, needs to be learned when shooting in b&w! I struggle with it. Above is longer scale; below is shorter scale. The red leaves were really difficult to render.
I am going through some older photos, looking at color and deciding if they might be good in black and white. This one caught my eye because it has some obvious contrast in color, but also a variety of textures. Contrast and texture are some of the things which, so I read, help make a black and white image worthwhile. I am trying to train my eyes to see this – for me, this is especially hard as color is always my first observation. Oh, what a beautiful red! Texture and tones are not something I find easy to discern, either because of my magpie mind, or maybe because my eye is untrained this way. Since I am using some black and white film in an old camera, I want to see if I can do it without taking a lot of sludgy pictures.