Photography Tip#19. How to achieve Sepia Effect in Photoshop in 9 steps

HOW TO ACHIEVE SEPIA EFFECT IN PHOTOSHOP IN 9 STEPS

HOW TO ACHIEVE SEPIA EFFECT IN PHOTOSHOP IN 9 STEPS

Sepia filter can be used when you want to give a timeless feeling to your pictures. A touch of sepia vintage can be easily achieved in Photoshop in 9 easy steps:

1. Open the photo in Photoshop:

original-picture-SOOC-without-sepia-color-effect

original-picture-SOOC-without-sepia-color-effect

2. Apply a BW adjustment layer:

apply-BW-color-adjustment

apply-BW-color-adjustment

3. Add a Color Balance adjustment layer:

apply-Color-Balance-color-adjustment

apply-Color-Balance-color-adjustment

4. Add yellow and red colors in Midtones & Shadows and a little yellow in Highlights. How much color you add is up to you; try experimenting until you achieve an effect you are happy with.

add-Yellow-and-Red-in-Midtones---Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

add-Yellow-and-Red-in-Midtones---Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

add-Yellow-and-Red-in-Shadows--Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

add-Yellow-and-Red-in-Shadows--Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

add-Yellow-in-Highlights--Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

add-Yellow-in-Highlights--Color-Balance-Adjustment-Layer

5. Copy the previous adjustment layer (shortcut Ctrl+J for Windows and Cmd+J for Mac).
6. Change its blending mode from Normal to Soft Light to boost contrast; and change opacity (to about 25-45%, depending on the photo).

copy-the-Color-Balance-Layer,-Change-Blending-Mode-to-Soft-Light

copy-the-Color-Balance-Layer,-Change-Blending-Mode-to-Soft-Light

7. A layer in Soft Light Blending Mode can burn out detail in highlights and shadows. As you can see in our photo, the shadows are ok, but there isn’t much detail in the highlights on the swans. We can fix that easily. First, we need to create a new layer on top of all of the existing layers. The shortcut is long, but very practical: Shift+Cntl+Alt+n+e (on Windows). You will see that a new layer is been created that shows all modifications done so far. Rename the layer “Highlights”.

create-a-new-layer-with-all-modifications

create-a-new-layer-with-all-modifications

8. To bring back details in Highlights (or Shadows), go to Image/Adjustments/Shadows and Highlights. This adjustment allows you to easily correct Highlights and Shadows, as you can see in the print screen below.

Correct-Highlights

Correct-Highlights

9. Do not forget to add a bit of noise to complete the vintage sepia effect. So let’s merge again on the layers on top by using the shortcut Shift+Cntl+Alt+n+e. Then go to Filters/ Add Noise, and Choose amount of grain (1-7% usually), Check Gaussian Monochromatic options, then click on OK.

Add-grain-for-vintage-feeling

Add-grain-for-vintage-feeling

And here’s our final picture with a vintage sepia effect:

Final-picture-with-sepia-effect

Final-picture-with-sepia-effect


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