I’ve raved on about the NIK software (I’ve use every product they sell including the new HDR Efex Pro) but one I don’t use enough is Silver Efex Pro which is their black and white software package.
So why not just desaturate your colour image? Well IMHO you can realize as good a black and white image in Silver Efex Pro as I could get shooting TRI-X and processing in a wet darkroom.
BTW don’t blame me for the flaky piano in the background but if you can stand it, this video will show you just how powerful a program Silver Efex Pro is and how it can make your images look really wonderful in black and white.
The shot below is from my 2010 Toronto Zombie Walk series and I quickly banged out a black and white using a Silver Efex preset. Cool IMHO.