Undoubtedly, Black and White Photography
has its uses, and will look much better for a large number of themes
than ordinary colored snapshot
However, due to some factors inherent to our large
scale economy, the costs for B&W film and it's processing
may have become prohibitive for average home use. At least
were I live, all the enlargements of a B&W picture
have to be done manually, as opposed to a minilab's
automatic color film processing.
There are three ways of getting through it, and have
your B&W photos cheaper, or at the same cost than
its colored counterparts.
- If you had gone digital for photographing, just bring the photo to your favorite image manipulation program, and reduce saturation to zero. It' quite simple, although I have not seen anyone doing it.
- There is a Kodak, the KODAK T400 CN film that although is Black and White,is made to be handled in the normal C-41 color film processing. This will leverage its handling costs to those of color negative printings. However, my only experience with this film was not quite satisfactory -the minilab guys failed to correctly calibrate their machine,so all my photos got a pinkish hue
on them. They didn't look bad,but didn't look quite B&W either.
- Use a home made darkroom and process your own photos. You will have to spend a little time, and arrange an enlarger, but this is by far the cheapest way of making printed B&W photos (even digital will become more expensive, if you intend to put them in print). Besides, there is the unique experience of doing it yourself - having an option to choose zoom factor, contrast, framing for each photo, and them using any of many darkroom techniques.