Sometimes the less color the better

Last weekend the family and I headed down to Pacific Grove, CA for a few days.  For those of you not familiar with this area, it's right down the street from Monterey.  In fact, Cannery Row and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium are pretty much right down the street.  Now as much as I love a few days of rest and relaxation, my goal for these few days was to get up at sunrise and try to make some great photos.  I got up both Saturday and Sunday at 5:00am in order to be ready for sunrise at about 5:40.  The place we were staying was only 7 or 8 blocks from the beach, so once I was up and out of bed, it was a relatively quick walk down to the beach to the location I decided I was going to take some photos after scouting out the spot the night before.  So, I got up, got dressed, put my camera bag on my back, grabbed my tripod and headed down to the beach.  Once I was there I realized that this wasn't going to be the day I had hoped for.  The weather was pretty awful for taking pics.  Overcast and cloudy.  Now as nice of a portrait as I could have taken in these conditions, this wasn't my goal.  I was trying to take some nice landscape shots, that included the beach, the city in the distance and the sunrise!  Now I was there early enough that I got some good photos, but the sky quickly turned flat and gray and very unintersting.  When I got back and looked at my photos, I liked some, but didn't like a lot. So I started thinking outside the box a little.  When the colors aren't working for you, try taking the color out.  I think it made a big difference and turned some blah photos into some that I really liked.

Boring!  The sky and the light just wasn't doing it for me in this photo.

Using Nik Software's Silver EFX, I took the color out of the photo and really like it.  Sometimes taking the color out can get you to look at an image in a totally different way.

If I'm honest, I've gotta admit, I'm not sure which way I like this photo better.  I really liked it in color, but after playing with it in black and white, I like it that way too.  You decide.  Which is better?