Black and white photography may be regarded as abstract photography as the image is not a true representarion of the original scene. A good black and white image will be expected to contain the full range of tones from complete black to complete white.
There are two methods of getting a black and white image. Firstly through the process of capturing the image in camera from a black and white film, this method has proven itself over many years of development. Secondly an image can be captured digitally and then processed to discard all the color information.
In general, excellent black and white images can be produced when there is strong shadow detail presented in the image and in particular when there is strong side lighting. In black and white images, contrast can be created by carefull selection of the camera angla and the angle of the lighting.
The effect of color on the black and white film can be changed by the use of colored filters. A red filter may give more contrast in a landscape. In fact many different colored filters can be used with black and white films.
This image of a Yellow Winged Honeyeater above was produced directly from a black and white negative.
The image of Straw Man on the right was created from a digital image file, with the color information discarded in Photoshop to leave the black and white content.