Exposure Compensation Black N White.
I set my camera to show blinkies, so I know what area of a photo will record no detail. If the area is important then I go minus on the exposure compenstation, until the blinkie goes away. You really need to shoot raw, if you are not already doing that. I no longer use CS, but have moved to Light Room and you can play with the exposure using sliders in the program. As far as conversion, I use Nik software, silver efex pro 2. you can do a search on this site to see how others are using it. I come from a background in film, and many of the tools that we used with our film cameras can be copied using this software, such as many different types of b&w film and using colored filters.