Not if they are living in the past (film). I have been instructed by one of the nation's leading landscape photographers as to how to properly take professional quality photographs, always shoot in color RAW then convert as needed. Also, these articles are written by leading photographers, not someone who does it as a hobby. Their response is shot in color and convert as needed. Go with the majority vote, shoot in color. If you want to still apply the old rules, be my guest, but if you want to do digital correctly, listen to those who are the leaders in the field, and those whose pay check depends on doing it correctly.
FYI. I work equally in film and digital. There's an old saying, "Never argue with an idiot; it annoys the idiot and folks looking on can't tell the difference". I've stated the reasons for using black and white digital, if digital is the choice. All the young lady was looking for was input My question for you is this. I don't know who your source of instruction (one of the leading landscape photographers) is so as far as I'm concerned your argument is suspect. I'm done with this discussion since you obviously know more than anyone else and have an argument for anything.
Well put Chris, however I don't think anyone is wrong. Ultimately it makes no difference. But when I'm in the studio going for a very artistic bw image I always change my camera, I just see the way the light is going to fall on the subject better.
If you are shooting in RAW, at least on my 50d, it does not matter if you shoot in B&W or in color because the file holds the information of the color. I just did a quick test and shot in monochrome, transferred it to the computer opened it with both Photoshop Raw and DPP and in both cases the black and white images pop up, but you can change the setting to any of the color settings and the image changes to color.
Now as far as converting a jpg to b&w from color I couldn't tell you if it would be better to start in b&w or color then convert. I would think that since a jpg is an 8bit image, I am thinking starting in color would be the better method because of the compression method of jpgs. Two pixels a blue and a green may have the same luminosity so in black and white 8 bit may combine them as the same, where as in color you would be able to change the two pixels separately due to the hue. No test to prove it but it seems that would be the logical conclusion.
My point was that whether you shoot in color or black and white it does not matter. The "quality" (technically) will be the same. As far as the technique and style I know that they are different, but I saw the argument that starting off with a B&W image was "Better" than converting which as I see it from a technical stand point incorrect.
Thanks, this is exactly what I have been trying to say. The bare bones image stored by the camera is nothing but a series of numbers. The detector itself knows zippo about color or gray scale. It is how the information is read by software that determines whether the image will be displayed as color or b/w. Since the eye does not have this capability to see in both modes, most digital photographers say capture the image as the eye sees it (color) and use one of many dedicated conversion applications to create a b/w (not gray scale as in the old days) image, then apply the appropriate filters to fine tune. The ability do create b/w images has evolved orders of magnitude over the last few years. Maybe it has removed some of the artistry at the view finder, but it is now much simplier, and flexible at the key board end. Try both ways and see for yourself.
First off referring to me as an idiot will lead to serious problems.
Second the feb10 issue of OP has an article by Adam Baker. The first line is converting your images to black and white. In the article, he goes into detail of converting the image. Guess he is just another idiot like me who knows squart about photography.
I hope you have not been put off by the arguments that have followed your question. I applaud those who have provided straightforward answers; the others should have started a seperate discussion.
I suggest that you try the B&W setting on your camera as most digital cameras have that option. You will probably find this as a menu choice along with other shooting modes like outdoor/sunny, night, portrait, etc. Failing that, some cameras allow changes to the saturation; by adjusting this downward you will progressively move towards B&W.
Many digital cameras come with software that helps a photographer convert RAW files into (usually) JPEG or TIFF files. In converting, the software gives you another opportunity to adjust saturation.
Adjusting the saturation alone will not always produce the result you may be looking for. Quite often B&W images need higher contrast or some aspects of the photograph darkened or lightened for a more dramatic effect. Again, conversion (i.e. Sony's Image Data Converter) and editing (i.e. Photoshop) software give you the opportunity to adjust the tone of specific parts of the photograph. These parts could be what was red,or blue, or green etc. in the scene you photographed.
Anyway, let us know how you make out. I'm sure if you provide the camera make and model somebody in this group will probably be able to give you the step-by-step procedure for shooting beautiful black and white images with your camera.