OK, so here is where I compare my real (not so great shots) with what they look like after I have fiddled about in PSE. I have probably done more to them than I normally would, but I am pleased with the overall effects!
The shot is of my DD sunbathing on the beach, since she was tiny she has had downy hair on the back of her neck, and I love it! I wanted to get close up to her to capture this so I used my new 50 mm lens, set to manual, f5.0 1/500, ISO 100.
Looking at it in Photoshop I felt that the contrast between her costume and skin was not great enough for a good B&W conversion. After cropping slightly and using unsharp mask, I used enhance, adjust colour/hue, and I used the blue and cyan sliders to increase the lightness to maximum. this had the effect of turning her costume almost white. Then when I converted to B&W using the portrait setting, I felt the contrast was enough for the edited shot. Not sure whether I should have cropped in closer, but when i tried this the shot just looked weird, I still wanted to be able to recognise what it was a picture of!