Before I start explaining what I do to create my Black and White photography, let me tell you that Photoshop has no rules you have to follow.
My photography is heavily based on vision. I see myself more as a painter or an artist than a photographer.
Don’t lose yourself in the technicalities on how Photoshop works. Instead follow your heart. There are a million different ways to get to the same end result. None of which are more correct than the other. They are all correct. Follow the path that is easiest for you and your photographic vision.
How do I make my images?
I have one camera (Canon 5DmkII) and one lens (24-105mm). That is it.
I believe that too much gear will get in the way of your vision. Keep your gear simple. Too many gadgets may hinder you in the field.
On top of that I have a polarizer and one ND 2 stop soft Grad and one 10 stop ND filter (and a tripod of course).
I have a dedicated Black & White mode setup in my camera. In that mode I shoot in RAW and I have set my preview on Black & White with a red filter effect and heavy contrast.
I also use a WB-shift towards the blue area. This way, I have more blues in my shots which get more affected by the red filter in my preview. When the light is right I can end up with almost perfect black skies.
When it is time to start “Photoshopping” I know I have a good base image to start working from. Again this base file is based on my vision. It is based on what I like to see in the end. Maybe not something you of course would like or love seeing. But that’s ok.