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If you want to improve your photographic skills try limiting yourself to only taking pictures specifically for B&W. I am not saying only do this but for an outing or two it could really change your perspective. Remember that if you are photographing a bright blue sky then it will be just as gray as a cloudy day. This gives you a reason to go out and shoot B&W images when the weather is bad because the sky becomes interesting during a storm (that applies to color too).
Sometimes I like both the color and the B&W versions... Why not have both?!?!... That is the beauty of technology because it is a matter of a few clicks and a couple of sliders.
I really don't miss that much about the traditional dark room but I am so glad that is where I started. I am a better photographer because of my roots.