And on color photography, from the Eggleston book:
"I'd already become proficient in black and white; I was a good technician, and I had a natural talent for organizing colors--not putting all the reds in one corner, for instance. That was probably because I'd studied painting--essentially what I was doing was applying intelligent painting theory to color photography."
"I'd intentionally constructed the pictures to make them look like ordinary snapshots anyone could've taken, and a lot of that had to do with the subject matter--a picture of a shopping center parking lot, for instance. Because the pictures looked so simple, a lot of people didn't notice that the color and form were worked out, that the content came and went where it ought to--that they were more than casual pictures."
That's where it's at for me too with color photography, the part about getting the color and form worked out. I have a hard time with it because when I look through the viewfinder I'm seeing the colors and I want to rearrange things in a way that I can't. I want to dress the kids in differently colored clothes, fertilize the grass, paint the car. When I get the images back I usually have thoughts about how I might have liked the picture if it weren't for the clashing colors.
Taking that image and converting it to b&w never works. At least not for me. I had the colors in mind all along, and the image was made from a viewpoint that was supposed to take advantage of the colors. After conversion I have an image that mostly looks like color-converted-to-b&w, instead of an actual b&w image that was supposed to look that way all along.
Or something like that.