Photography is usually a compulsory topic in many a design school. Black and white photography is one of the main photography type learnt.
Black and white photography involves creating images without colours. Black and white photos often exude a nostalgic or historic feel. Interestingly, when using lower-end compact cameras, Black and white mode often creates a more pleasing range of tones than when using the color modes.
For better control, it is ideal to shoot the image in colour mode first. We can always do the conversion to greyscale or black and white later. With digital photography, one can now easily convert a colour photo to black and white. However, it is not as simple as just using the desaturation tool on the image editing program.
It is always a good idea to use low ISO setting for the camera. This is to prevent the result from being overly grainy.
If possible, shoot using RAW format. This will allow better control over the black and white manipulation. Not all image editor can process RAW format though. Photoshop and photoshop alternative such as Photoplus can.