SHOOTING IN COLOUR OR BLACK & WHITE?
Most digital cameras let you shoot in Black & White mode by using that setting in the menu option. The biggest advantage of doing this is that you can instantly see what the scene looks like in grey tones on your LCD. This is sometimes called monotone or monochrome mode. Some cameras even let you choose various filters which have an effect on what the final image will look like (more on this a little later).
This is a great way of exploring the world in black & white and learning which subjects photograph well and which ones look better in colour. One disadvantage of using the in-camera Black & White mode (and using the Jpeg file format) is that the image cannot be converted to colour if this is what you’d later prefer. If you want to see the world in black & white on the back of your screen, but still want a colour image to edit at a later stage, then rather shoot in RAW. In this instance your camera will display a black & white image on the LCD (if the monochrome picture style has been selected), but when opening the image in RAW it will be in colour.
At the end of the day you do have more control over the end result if you have colour data to work with while converting the image on a computer. Here you’re able to control the relative tonal values of each colour with a lot of accuracy, resulting in many different B&W variations.
Some cameras also have a Sepia mode which adds a reddish/brown tint to the Black & White image. This can create an old feel in a photograph. There are a number of different ways of doing this on a programme like Adobe Photoshop®.