Defining Sepia

Here’s an interesting little sidebar by photo guru Chase Jarvis. He poses the question on his blog, "What the hell is sepia?" He makes a good point, because to many photographers sepia is just an effect achieved by clicking the appropriate preset or filter in a given photo editing application. But as Chase points out, sepia actually has a long and rich tradition in the photo world. When I was just a young pup, I made actual sepia prints in an actual darkroom. Sepia, you see, is a photographic toning technique from the silver darkroom. Sepia became popular in the 19th century, and remains so still today. Read a little more about the origins and history of sepia at Chase’s site, then think about how to apply its effects to make your black and white photos look even better.

Leave a Comment