Black & White & Color
Many digital SLRs offer built-in black & white or sepia capture modes and some even offer options (Canon’s Nostalgia Picture Style, for example) that let you enhance gray tones while making the rest of the colors less vibrant producing an old-fashioned hand-colored look. Sure, you can always make these kinds of adjustments after the fact using Adobe Photoshop or your favorite digital imaging software but shooting directly in black and white impacts how you see while making the image and getting instant feedback helps focus your vision.
Tip #1: I’m not afraid of losing the color image for future use because I can always capture color and monochrome image files at the same time and so can you! Almost all digital SLRs offer the ability to simultaneously capture RAW+JPEG files and these same cameras also allow you to capture monochrome only images as JPEG files. If you set your SLR for RAW+JPEG capture then select the monochrome effect you want, you’ll end up with two files: one in color (RAW) and the other in black and white (JPEG.)
Tip #2: Many Canon and Nikon SLRs that have dual memory card slots let you capture RAW files on one memory card and JPEG image files on the other. Yup, that means you can put all your color RAW files on one card and monochromes on the other. Give it a try.