Why Sepia Tone in Photography?

You may be familiar with the moodiness and starkness of black and white photography, but I also have a special soft spot for Sepia tones

In researching this post, (which I have been wanting to write for a while), I did the usual google searches and loved this question to yahoo – “Why do people like sepia-tone pictures” , then I was really curious myself to know the answer

The most popular answer had elements that I agreed with, that sometimes monochrome pictures can be too stark for what you are trying to portray

Sepia still has the interpretive view of monochrome but with a certain warmth of an emotional element

Historically, sepia tone was added to photographs in the 1880s to help preserve the photograph from ageing by converting the traditional metallic silver print to a sulfide-based compound

Nowadays, you can add this tone in post processing on a computer without getting your hands dirty 🙂

Here are some of my own favourites from my project – The Bronzed Country

Fine Art_Blow Away

I have been using this tone since I have started in photography, a lot of my early photographs have it

It helped me catch the fog on the trees in the photo below

Eerie Country Lane2 wm

Another tip is that I find that sepia can bring back elements of a photo that have been overexposed

The photo below was taken on a very bright day so the sepia helped bring some contrast and warmth to the over exposed parts of the sky

Badgery's Spur

Sepia to me has more warmth and maintains the depth of the mood that I want the viewer to feel

Such as the tension in the rider’s face surrounded by moody clouds and defining the muscles of the powerful horse kicking

The Rider full wm

 I personally like the sepia tone, as it brings out the dust, rust and grit of the Australian country, it’s just earthy! 🙂

tanked sml

Sepia can also make a seemingly normal house on an island, dark and sinister!

island of dr moreau

So if you are looking at your photo in post processing and thinking it’s just missing some depth, interpretation or you would like to try something new …. throw a sepia tone on it and warm it up!

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Justine King
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Justine King

Fine Art Photographer at Justine King Photography
I am a Fine Art photographer in Sydney, Australia. I am passionate about using artistic expression in photography to convey a message
Justine King
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Justine King

I am a Fine Art photographer in Sydney, Australia. I am passionate about using artistic expression in photography to convey a message

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