Thank you Lance James, Narcolepsy and Kernuak for your answer, and especially to Kernuak for you very informative step by step answer. I will try this. Just a quick question.. Do you do these changes in Raw or in Photoshop? And if yes, is there a difference? The book I am trying to read on Photoshop by Martin Evening gives me the impression that 90% can be done in Raw, and that PS is for tweaking?
I like the crop you did, also by cropping the movement of the people in the shot becomes more eye stopping.
Narcolepsy: Thanks for converting the image. It looks almost like a silver print, but that can be my monitor on my laptop. Looking forward to see it on my monitor at work tomorrow.
And also sorry about the posting of a peoples shot in this thread, but I got carried away when I saw knowledgeable people in this area.
For colour, the vast majority of my processing is done in the Raw file, often with just a curves adjustment (and maybe adjustment of the shadows) in Photoshop. However, for black and white, I think you need to do alot more work in Photoshop than you would for colour (some colour images really benefit from it too). For B&W, I tend to make any adjustments to exposure (usually less than 2/3 stop for the whole image, otherwise I reshoot at the time) and do any highlight and shadow recovery that may be needed. I then play around with the highlights, lights, darks and shadows sliders in the tone curve until it looks right, both on the screen and in the histogram. I add any gradients in the Raw image if needed too, mainly to reduce the exposure in the sky (assuming it isn't blown after the highlight recovery), but sometimes to make up to a stop increase in the foreground. I tend to shoot to the right, as I'm using the 5D MkII for landscapes and the few portraits I do, which I find reacts better to highlight detail recovery than shadow detail (also it suits my workflow better). Using the grad tool in Lightroom means I don't have to worry about masks in PS. Any easy dust spots, I'll clean up in the Raw image, but it's much easier to clean up the image in Photoshop, as the spot repair tool in Lightroom is very clunky. I sometimes do some spot exposure corrections, but otherwise I export to Photoshop at that point. I then do a curves adjustment (and again adjust the shadows if needed, either in the tone curve or levels/shadows tool) and any other processing I think the image warrants, which is for a small number of images. For the colour version of Groynes, I did very little work in Photoshop, beyond curves and clean up, but I used the dodge and burn tools for the B&W to enhance the textures in the wood, sky and beach.
Btw, I agree with Jettatore about needing more whites. There aren't many snow images that work well in B&W though, but those that do, tend to be high key images, with perhaps a simple area of black, like a lone tree with nice branches. Try increasing the original exposure by around 1.5-2 stops before converting to see what you think.