Of course, I'm not talking about the quality you used to get decades ago with film and your good old Brownie. And certainly not talking either about the level of expertise that went along with that particular camera. I remember Mom and Dad standing miles away from their subject to take a photo, with little thought to anything other than taking a picture. There was certainly no time given to such considerations as lighting or framing. People quite simply just captured the moment.
Today's digital technology, and the ability to let you see instantly what you've taken, has given birth to an entirely new kind of amateur photographer, one who is taking great pictures and generally trying to improve. But, it also means you can shoot black and white or convert your coloured shots with ease. And if you care about the results, there are ways to guarantee you get the best.
These links will take you to several sources with expert advice, including one who explains why black and white has seen a resurgence in popularity.
DPS Why Black and White Photography?
photo tuts+ Mastering the Art of Black and White Photography
DPS Tips for Black and White Photography
Improve Photography Tips for Stunning Black and Whites
Picture Correct Black and White Photography
ePHOTOzine Black and White Photography Tips