How to Make a Sepia on Adobe Photoshop CS3

by Steve Heap

Although all digital photographs are exposed in the camera as color, some images are more powerful if the photo is edited in Photoshop and given an overall sepia tone. This reddish-brown tint allows the underlying structure of the image to become dominant, and prints take on an antique look. Sepia toning is best for pictures with strong lines, such as portraits and pictures of ruined buildings or churches.

Add a Sepia Tone as a Filter

1

Open your image in Photoshop using "File," then "Open." Select "Image," "Adjustments" and "Desaturate" to remove the color from the image.

2

Add the sepia tint as a layer adjustment, which will enable you to alter it. Select "Layer," "New Adjustment Layer" and "Photo Filter," then click "OK." In the Filter panel, select "Sepia" from the drop-down list. Adjust the density slider to around 50 percent, and make sure "Preserve Luminosity" is checked. Click "OK" to apply the filter.

3

Flatten the image using "Layer," then "Flatten Image," and save using "Save As," choosing a different file name to keep the original image intact.

Add a Sepia Tint as a Duotone

1

Open your image. Convert to black and white using "Image," "Mode" and "Grayscale," then click on "Discard color information?" in the pop-up warning box.

2

Select "Image," "Mode" and "Duotone." The "Duotone Options" window will open, letting you choose the colors. Choose "Duotone" from the drop-down box named Type. Click in the black square alongside "Ink 1" and enter "e38b2b" in the text box marked "#" inside the Color Picker panel. Click "OK" to accept this color. Name the color "Color1."

3

Click in the second ink shade and select the "Color Picker" panel again. Click in the bottom right corner of the color shades to select a black color, then click "OK." Name this color "Color2." Click "OK" in the Duotone Options window to complete the process.

4

Save your image using "Save As" and a different file name.

Tips

  • check Apply other Photoshop adjustments, such as Levels or Curves, to improve the final picture.
  • check Try other colors for "Color1" to get different effects.

About the Author

Steve Heap is an expert in telecommunications and has been speaking at industry conferences and writing articles in key telecoms publications such as "Capacity" and "IP Business Weekly" since 1998. He writes about photography online at BackyardSilver. Heap has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of London.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera sepia barn image by andreaschneider from Fotolia.com