Digital cameras have made photography far more accessible to millions of people. Colour photography in the day of rolls of film was either for point and shoot snaps developed and printed by the local chemist or used by professional photographers using sophisticated film studios mainly catering for advertising and glossy publications. For photographers wishing to develop and print their own photographs the standard was black and white. In the days when I had my trusty Nikon FM I used to develop and print all my own black and white negatives and if colour was a necessity for a painting I would get the processing done commercially. Occasionally if an image needed to be printed in reverse and cropped (as in the case of it being used for an etching) I would print on black and white paper from the colour negative.
With digital cameras and computers giving even the most amateur photographer an almost infinite amount of control most will of course go for colour - it seems almost wilful to want to recreate the effect of yesterday's technology with what we have available today.
A growing number of photographers are however using their digital cameras to shoot in Raw and then processing the image in Black and White. concentrating on the composition and tonal range rather than being distracted by colour.
This group of photographs came about after my partner created quite a stir at a film star themed fancy dress party dressed as Marilyn Monroe. We later decided to do some photographs and were disappointed in the colour results. After setting the camera to black and white we were much happier with the retro feel of our photographs and decided to carry on with the Hollywood film inspired style and movie glamour look. Along the way we ended up with large portfolio including many nudes - quite a few of which have been used for paintings.