When I decide to convert an image to monotone, it’s usually because I want to change what the image is about. What does that mean exactly? Well, take a look at this example.
Here’s a photograph of a wave off the coast of California. The color is pretty intense, and it helps to define the photograph. But what happens when I take those colors away?
Below is a monochrome version of the same photograph. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro to convert the image to black and white, adjust the contrast and add a smooth blue tone. The image is no longer defined by its color… at least not in the same way the first one is. Instead, this image is about texture, form, and contrast. All those elements are present in the first image, but the color is so intense that it really grabs your attention.
So, if I want my viewer to notice the beautiful textures in my photograph, converting to monotone removes color as a distracting element. What do you think?