Just finished reading the following excellent book on Black and White images.
'Black and White - From Snapshots to Great Shots - John Batdorff'
The book is focused around understanding tonal range and ensuring you get the correct exposure/aperture/composition for your images so that they can then be converted successfully to B&W.
The second part of the book is more about the tools of choice.
Focusing on two tools Adobe Lightroom, and Nik Software SilverPro Efex
Having used Lightroom for a long time all of the tips and tricks within the book were features that I had used in the past. Silver Efex Pro (SFX) is something that I had never used. I had however heard it referred to in many blogs etc, and always associated with some of the very best B&W images.
I have therefore downloaded the trial version (15 Days of use) and will try and get the most out of it before deciding if it is worth $149.00 of my hard earned cash.
I very quickly ran through some of the presets, and had a play with Control Points (to retain settings, and to adjust settings).
The UI is very simple, and anyone familiar with Lightroom will find it pretty easy to find their way around and improve images.
Beneath I have placed two images pre/post SFX. Let me know what you think, over time I think that this will be my tool of choice to develop my own unique style.