Photography has no end to experimentation. While inimitable styles of lens men often elicit laughter or a quirky feeling amongst most of us, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that we cannot help but praise them. Thanks to their creative streaks that a number of apps have been devised (and few are on their way), owing to which we have become seasoned in clicking and infusing special effects to pictures! It’s fascinating to see how sepia button can change the final look of an image.

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Sepia photos are marvelous for the toning creates a warmer print in comparison to many others known for bringing out cooler shades to the fore. This burnt color tone filter can be availed in most photo editing apps and programs. So much so, that traditional photo assumes an elegant look right after this tone is injected. To reach someones heart you photographs should have good quality and composition for example Waterscape photography, it has the ability to soothe one’s soul and excite one’s heart.

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What is the sepia toner actually? This is a specialized treatment that can render any black-and-white photographic print to assume a warmer shade and enhance the look altogether. It was during the 1880’s that the idea of bettering a photograph gained widespread popularity. As a result of infusing sepia tone, the ageing process of a photo was slowed and preserving it became way easier. Few chemicals are used for transforming conventional metallic silver in the print to something of a sulfide-based compound. The mixture can be in varying degrees of intensity, depending on the ‘warmth’ or desired effect of the tone. The effect is not easy to bring and several other compounds are also juxtaposed to get the exact hue. Along with the color shift, sulfide compounds make for better ‘shields’ of sorts compared to traditional metallic silver. Most importantly, it prevents environmental pollutants to wreak havoc on the print. Since silver sulfide is about 50% more stable than silver, the longevity of the prints are thus guaranteed. What is the type of sepia toning used at present? In modern use, three types of sepia toning are used:

  • Sodium sulfide toners: Better known as the ‘rotten egg’ toner
  • Thiourea (‘thiocarbamide’) toners: Odorless and one can vary the tone as per the requirements but keeping the chemical mixture in mind
  • Polysulfide: Called ‘direct’ toners, these require no bleaching stage

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It will be interesting to note that barring the polysulfide tone, the other two has sepia toning in three stages. Firstly, potassium ferricyanide bleach is used to soak the print and re-convert metallic silver to silver halide. In washing the print, excess potassium ferricyanide gets removed. Later it is immersed into a toner bath for converting silver halides to silver sulfide. Sometimes, a multi-tied image having sepia highlights with gray mid-tones and shadows make appealing images. This is the phenomenon called ‘split toning’, whereby the un-toned silver in the print is mixed with a toner as gold or selenium. How to get the sepia toning? To obtain proper sepia toning, the print undergoes slight bleaching prior to getting toned. This is actually important for partial toning increment; something similar to multi tone image (duotone) used in printing industries. However, it will prove useful taking a look at the stepwise toning procedure:

  • Wash the completed black and white print
  • Soak it in a dilute bleach solution while rubbing gently
  • When the silver is converted a bit, you can take off the print and wash it
  • Tone the print in sepia toner till bleached silver gets toned
  • Dry the print faster by washing it properly

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Often, tritones and quadtones can be achieved after accomplishing this process. To an extent, the procedure is time consuming and complex. What is digital sepia toning? Nowadays, digital imaging techniques are used to get the sepia toning. With software products and apps like Adobe Photoshop for Mac or PC, a variation in sepia toning is possible within a few minutes. Most importantly, this process is consistent and involves no usage of ecologically toxic chemicals that conventional toning processes use. Why the need for sepia photography examples? For modern day shutterbugs, stepwise toned versions of sepia can be too jittery.
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SONY DSC

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No wonder, they resort to digital toning techniques and reality told, some of the best photos in sepia can be derived by this method. It is fairly easy and flexible after one reaches a useful set of toning parameters and gets the options right. Hue, contrast, brightness of black and white images before and after toning is few aspects that must be adjusted to produce some of the most beautiful sepia photography examples. To summarize, sepia has both form and function. Of course, you get this wonderful option in your favorite photo editor, but it is vital to remember how gradual the process  has been for this 130-year old creative toning process to assume the proportion it currently has, Not only does photo sepia contain the unique ‘color’ statement but also enhances the archival features of printed photos.