Always wondered how people get those cool looking sepia tone photos? Do you have sepia envy? Well, wait no longer, you have the recipe! At least in Photoshop that is. It’s time to have fun with sepia!
It doesn’t matter how colorful your images are as long as they have some darks and lights, you will be fine. It isn’t difficult to find an image that will look good in sepial. If you have a black and white image, you can do the same effects as well. We started with images that were in CMYK. You really don’t need to convert them to RGB, but we did because we were going to use them for the web. So, we took our image, converted it to RGB (IMAGE-MODE-RGB) and took the image size down to 72 dpi and about 4 inches in height (IMAGE-IMAGE SIZE). If you plan on using your image for print, you will need a much higher resolution. Check with your printer to find out what dpi you will need to be at if you are unsure.
Make sure you are at 100% so you can see how big your image is, if you are using this for the web. If you plan on doing print with your image, make sure you are aware of the size you have it set at. You may want to scale down to something smaller such as 33%. If the image is a little “choppy” scale back or forward one(USE THE ZOOM TOOL-hit z on the keyboard, hold down your ALT key,or open apple key on a Mac, to toggle back and forth between zoom in and out), and most likely it will smooth out. It works…really.
Once you have the image to the size you want it to be, then you can really start with the fun stuff. It is easier to work on the color first, and then adjust your lights and darks to get what you want. You will first change the Hues of your image. (IMAGE-ADJUST-HUE/SATURATION) will bring up that screen. You want to check the box that says colorize and preview(may be checked by default). You then can either adjust the top bar to the color you want your image to be, or type in numbers. The Saturation is how much of that hue you are using on your image. The lightness slider adjusts the lightness. Don’t go crazy on this last bar(lightness), you will be doing things with light next. We used 31,35,-11 for our settings. If you are doing multiple photos, like we were, we wrote our numbers down, so we could apply the same effects to our next image.
Now, we will adjust the darks and lights. Even if you think your image is so great that you wouldn’t possibly want to mess with it, try this first. Select (IMAGE-ADJUST-LEVELS). You will see three sliders. One will make the image lighter, one will make it darker, and one adjusts the midtones. We pulled the light and the dark bars in slightly so they were touching the black areas. We moved our midtone bar to the right slightly, but this is something you need to adjust according to your own image. After you are done, Hit CONTROL-Z or EDIT-UNDO MOVE to see the before image. It will switch back to the original image. If you hit CTRL-Z or EDIT-UNDO MOVE again, it will toggle back to the image with the level adjustment applied. You can do this again and again if you feel like it, but it gets pretty boring.
You don’t have to stop there, oh no! You can do different types of hues, such as this lovely maroon image below. The great thing about doing these types of images for the web, is that you can save them as a GIF, and it looks wonderful. Since you are using less colors, it really can save on the file sizes! Have fun!
Author: Gina Hutchings
Copyright Lunar Media Inc
Chicago Web Design