Good question. But in the spirit of different strokes for different folks I tried Monochrome for Mac. As the name suggests, Monochrome rips the color from photographs. If you ever wanted to see the world in blazing black and white, this is the app to use.
If you think that all Monochrome does is remove the color then you’d be half right. The other half is even better. There’s batch mode to remove color from dozens or hundreds of photos, but as the screenshot shows, there are many ways to remove color from a photo.
For example, Monochrome removes color by using an RGB or HSL-based color mixer (your choice, but each is different). You can also use tools for simple desaturation, re-map color, and add effects– x-rays, blurring, vintage processing– all rendered almost instantly.
Monochrome is social, too, and uploads to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others, and plays nice with iPhoto and Aperture (as long as they last; both are heading to the dump heap of abandoned Apple apps).
Using the app is straightforward and the tools are mostly self explanatory. Settings slider bars means you’ll be in trial and error mode for awhile but each can be controlled numerically, too. Click to move between Conversion mode, Tones mode, and Effects mode. Click again and see the results side by side.
Photos can also be stacked in multiple ways for previews and printing. So, there’s more than meets the eye than just simple removal of color from a photo. But is it worth the price? If you can see the difference when using the advanced tools, yes. Otherwise, one man’s hamburger is another man’s black and white photo.