Adventures in Laptop Black and White

As I mentioned, I be gots me a new laptop. A laptop I’m still trying to tune. And by tune, I mean the display. 

I done did me some calibration and in a previous post, I gots me decent feedback for the color quality. At least, decent enough for what I’m doing.  

Things are seldom Black and White . . . but, occasionally, they are. This post has a few B&W conversions done using On1 Raw, Nik Collection Silver Efx Pro, and Lightroom.

To my tired eyes, these all seem to have a slight tinge of . . . I’m not going to say as I don’t want to predispose anyone’s opinion. Not that anyone ever agrees with me on anything, but some might be tempted (as many often are) to go opposite of what I say just to mess with me. 

So, like, here’s the deal . . . I’ll post a gallery of photos and anyone who has any kind of opinion as to the quality of the conversions (expert or not) is encouraged to express said opinion (expert or not) in the comments section below the post. 

Here we go. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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19 Responses to Adventures in Laptop Black and White

  1. A touch of sepia perhaps?
    I would probably be looking for a touch more contrast.


    • disperser says:

      On all of them?

      Per the tools I’m using, these should be B&W. Meaning, the tools themselves remove all color saturation. By definition, they can’t have a color cast unless I add it in there.

      And, that’s how they show up on my desktop monitor; B&W. That’s also how they show up on my phone; B&W. But, not quite on the laptop.

      Our cheap chrome laptop shows them with a slight bluish cast (probably, the brightness is a bit high and I’ll play with that). On this laptop, like with whatever you’re using, they show up slightly tinted in the sepia family (yellow or browns) but only slightly. If I look at them long enough, they then look B&W.

      I’m thinking the grays and black on this monitor are not as pure as they should be but I wanted another opinion before I recalibrate it. It could also be the screen has a coating on it (it’s anti-reflective).

      What’s bothering me is that if I go to one of my old B&W posts (for instance, this post: the photos have a definite sepia, almost tan look. I’m fairly sure those are B&W because when I look at previous Monochrome Madness posts (like, for instance, all of those show up as having a sepia tint and I don’t think everyone who submitted decided to do sepia.

      While the contrast is not an issue (that’s a matter of preference) the color cast on a B&W photo can significantly change how they are appreciated (or not appreciated).

      It also makes it difficult to process photos in B&W because I can’t trust what I’m looking at and, by extension, I can’t trust the colors I’m looking at.

      How do the photos in those two links look to you?

      The thinking is that I maybe adjust the screen to force those photos into being gray-scale only, without any tint. That might, however, mess up the colors.


      • They both seem sharper to me. I like my black and white to have sharp lines and contrast and to be brittle. At the extremes I like black to be black and white to be white.


      • disperser says:

        That could be a function of my settings. I process to a certain “look” and if my current settings are off, then what I think I’m adjusting might not be what others perceive.


  2. I don’t see any sepia in any of the photos, including those two links.


    • disperser says:

      Good to hear. I’m going to take the approach of “making” what I “know’ to be B&W show B&W. I’ll then have to recheck the colors and do another comparison to previously processed photos.


  3. AnnMarie says:

    The photos on this post and those in the links all look B&W to me, no hint of sepia or blue.


  4. Wheres a picture of the new laptop?


  5. Looks like B&W to me.
    Amazing photos, Emilio!
    Yay for turtles, owls, lizards (dead or alive), cows, moons, cat-clocks, and Jasons! :-D
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, Carolyn. They now look B&W to me as well. Jason was seen at the gym a few days before Halloween. He was kind enough to pose for me. The poor guy was drenched because it was a particularly hot and humid day. He had to take off the mask every few minutes to wipe off.

      Good effect, though. He looked the part . . . except for the smile and good nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Terri says:

    Well, viewing on my Pixel phone and through my transition lenses (which I’m still deciding whether or not I like, leaning more on the side of, “Can I return them?”:)), Is there a slight green in them?


    • disperser says:

      As far as I can tell, that’s a function of the screen (and possibly, the calibration).

      If you see a green cast to it, it’s probably the color/display settings for your device.

      Since I wrote this, I’ve tweaked the display to make sure white, gray, and black all appear as such.

      Here’s a link to a page with primary colors so you can check what they look like. The Black, gray, and white should all appear without a color-cast to them. If they are not “clean”, look for settings on your phone to choose different display options.

      My Samsung Note 8 has a number of settings for color:

      Adaptive Display
      AMOLED cinema
      AMOLED photo

      I use “basic” and I also have the Blue Light Filter switched on.

      LED screens don’t have a contrast setting, but they have a brightness setting. The combination of brightness and the color scheme you pick can result in drastic changes in appearance.

      Choose combinations that give you deep blacks, clean whites, and neutral grays.

      Most people tend to have a higher brightness than I’m likely to have and that in itself would skew what you see . . . not to mention the ambiance lighting (outdoor versus indoor, natural versus artificial light, LED, fluorescent, incandescent, tungsten, etc. etc. All those options affect how and what your eyes see. .


  7. Robert Norbury says:

    I use Apple MacBook pros an iPad Lightroom and an Epson printer and my black and white looks black and white to me and my customers without any tweaking. I shoot in raw and convert in LR as the images are imported. I can’t see any noticeable colour cast in your shots.


    • disperser says:

      Actually, now they don’t to me either. But, perhaps I’ve become accustomed to the look. Or, I finally tweaked the laptop to a semi-accurate color profile.



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