This book is almost square, a fine format for displaying the well chosen images. It says "Black & White" but it also says "Complete Guide", and that's so true. Here you find a very methodic approach to this subject. Starting with simple straight forward color to B&W conversion and showing clearly that the simple way is quick and so dirty, Michael soon leads us into the world of creatively making what we want and how to tweak the image to get that result. Michael shows us (using Photoshop as main tool) step by step how to tackle the issues, from the color image itself via the conversion (tools) to processing the converted result. Other conversions (like duotones, InfraRed, solarization) are very well explained, in completely worked out examples. Likeable is that he really shows the different possiblities, sometimes to show that some ways are not producing top quality work, sometimes to show the choices, creative decisions you have to make for yourself. Plug-ins and other specialistic tools (for making digital look like film, for noise-reduction etc.) are nicely introduced, showing where, if and when they are needed.
The images are beautiful and to the point. The examples show that seeing in color is so different from seeing in B&W. Michael makes us aware of thinking beforehand in B&W, shown also in work made by the masters (Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and more). The Zone system is not left untouched in this book. If you think: B&W? Easy: desaturate, done. Then think again, from what you see here, you know this conversion can be done so much better. The displaying, mounting, presenting of the work are also covered. This really is a complete guide!
When you pick this up you have a very attractive book in your hands. Written for easy reference, no lengthy chapters, but concise and direct 2, 3 pages on each subject. And believe me, you want to pick up this book, time and time again, to become a master yourself, at least in the processing and finishing department.