Here’s the fly in the ointment: the history of chemical/mechanical devices used to create images and the history of photography are not one and the same. Photography -the recording of a trace of light on a surface- began way before man inhabited the earth and always involves a yin yang existence. There’s the trace and the perception of the trace. It’s a limit of western thought, I guess, that “enables” us to think of these as separate things: they aren’t.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, so I’ll just throw it out here:
It’s inconceivable to me that there will ever be a point in time that artists, as they learn their craft, will ever stop producing sketches or fully modeled, shaded drawings in black and white. There will also also be artists who produce amazing work this way as ends in themselves and not as a stepping stone to more complex color work. Form, line, shading, volume, etc… are independent of color.
Why should photography be any different? It makes perfect sense to me that some photographers should and will choose to work exclusively in black and white, analog or monochrome digital.