There are approximately 2,374,890 (and counting) ways to create a black and white image. However, this technique stood out to me a bit for its ability to isolate the subject and create a very eye-catching look. Here's how to accomplish it using Photoshop.
Coming to you from Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid, this helpful tutorial will show you how to combine selective brightening and focus for a black and white image that truly makes your subject pop. As with most advanced techniques that involve a number of adjustments, it's a wise idea to work with Smart Objects, leaving you the ability to go back and tweak settings to achieve the final look as you add more and more adjustments. The cool thing about this technique is that it's not just about selectively brightening your subject and adding some blur around it: you'll learn how to sculpt the light to create a look that really pops. It should work equally well on people and inanimate objects. Just be sure to make a really precise selection, as you'll be doing some pretty extreme adjustments, and you don't want them bleeding onto the wrong areas. Take 15 minutes and try it out for yourself!