Several years ago I belonged to a photography club at Lake Tahoe. Among the members were 4 professionals, generous with their experience and advice. One man, I don’t remember his name, passed on the phrase “See the obvious, Seek the unique”.
His explanation was that when out shooting photos, you will come across frequently photographed scenes, shot by many photographers. They take the photos from the same spot, from the same perspective, same time of day, etc. Photos of southern Utah are a good example. At some sites, you can just set up your tripod in the three “tripod holes “worn into the rock, focus, and push the shutter. You will end up with the same photo thousands of people have in their portfolios.
It takes effort to learn to look at a scene and see the uniqueness in it. It is a learned behavior for most of us, although some people just naturally look at things a little differently. I wrote the phrase “See the obvious, Seek the unique “on the cover of a notebook I always carry with me when out shooting. Eventually, the phrase became a mantra in my head when trying to set up a shot.
Seeing the unique, often means looking at things from a different perspective; shooting from ground level or from a high point. This explains the current interest in drone photography. Photographing scenes from an overhead position gives a strikingly different effect and results in some very unique photos.
It may entail using back light, or side light to create an effect. It could involve capturing an unexpected reflection. It sometimes means focusing in on just a portion of an object; an example is framing in on part of a car or boat such as the dashboard instruments.
I always look at a photograph I have taken and decide if it would be more interesting in black and white, or monochrome. Occasionally, a photo is more striking, or more powerful in monochrome. I do this evaluation at the time I shoot it, or later, in processing. Your monochrome photo is a unique version of the colored scene that everyone else sees as they pass by it.