Q& a: Black & white
Q Should I shoot in black & white mode? it’s personal preference, but you don't need to unless you’re adverse to editing. for the best black & white images, you want to set image quality to raw+ Jpeg. a raw file is the equivalent to a film negative, containing all the colour information needed to process your b& w image. a Jpeg, on the other hand, has already been converted and the colour information discarded after the camera process your picture. shooting in raw + Jpeg gives you the best of both worlds: the chance to preview your monochrome image in- camera as well as retain the raw colour data to create a compelling final picture.
Q What can help me visualise in mono if you shoot in raw+ Jpeg and select the monochrome Picture style, activating liveview will set the screen to show images in b& w. it's the easiest way to previsualise the scene in mono. or you could take a shot with your smartphone. you can use smartphone apps, such as lenka, simply b& w and hueless to do a quick analysis of a scene before you compose your photograph.
Q When should I convert to mono? the simple answer is: whenever you want. there are no hard and fast rules, but it is worth noting not all scenes suit the style. you want to look for scenes that have a wide tonal range for contrast and strong lines and shapes for interest as these tend to make the best black & whites. there are certain situations, however, that call for conversion: bad weather and long exposures ( see p72), dramatically- lit portraits ( p74) and graphic abstracts ( p76). a black & white image can also save a not- so- successful colour image if, for instance, you’re struggling with an awkward white balance and need to neutralize mixed lighting, colour casts from nd filters or noise from shooting with a high iso rating.