The sepia-toned portraits of early ancestors in tune with the romance of history perhaps held a certain attraction. But, the black- and-white photo stories of my parents' coming of age surely seemed stark after everyone began shooting with colour film. Imagine the excitement of being able to take a picture that actually showed the roses in a child's cheek. The idea that people would ever want to go back would have seemed ludicrous then.
However, as we all discover in this life, things do like to come full circle. Today there is a shift back to the old as people are taking those realistic colour images with digital cameras, then with the help of technology transforming them to dramatic black and whites. How to get shots with the kind of striking elements needed for beautiful black-and-white photography is explained very well in this article by Scott Bourne in photofocus:
photofocus Black and White Photograhy Tips
And now that you've learned how, here are some inspiring examples for your viewing pleasure:
Smashing Magazine Beautiful Black and White Photography
phototuts Awe-Inspiring Black and White Photographs
iCLIPART.com Black and White Photo Collection
National Geographic Black and White Photos