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OPR Workshop Information Exchange => General Techniques => Topic started by: Ptollemy on July 03, 2006, 08:05:26 AM

Title: Sepia or BW?
Post by: Ptollemy on July 03, 2006, 08:05:26 AM
Hi All,

I'm stil waiting to get started on my first image, but I have a general question about Sepia Vs BW.

Following the threads on all the wonderful restorations, I notice that sometimes a photo that to me looks sepia in the damaged version, is coverted to BW for the final image. (Or is it just my lack of experience showing?)

How do you know when to make that call?  How can we know if the owner wants the photo restored to it's original condition (most times BW) or to the way they remember it? (Spepia).

All feedback greatly appreciated :)

Kind regards
Ptollemy
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: KaDi on July 06, 2006, 09:23:23 AM
I've received 2 that were probably sepia originally. They both came with the instruction, "Feel free to grayscale it as you're working (that's how this one will be printed)."
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: Mark Wilson on July 06, 2006, 09:29:34 AM
If you ARE changing a sepia image to B&W I strongly suggest that you NOT change the Image Mode to Greyscale. You throw away two thirds of the tonal information in the photo by doing that. Leave it in RGB.

I usually throw a black Solid Colour layer on top of the photo with the Layer Mode set to Colour. Does the Job and you can change the black to brown in an instant if you want to try out sepia tints.

-Mark.
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: KaDi on July 06, 2006, 09:33:34 AM
If you ARE changing a sepia image to B&W I strongly suggest that you NOT change the Image Mode to Greyscale. You throw away two thirds of the tonal information in the photo by doing that. Leave it in RGB.

I usually throw a black Solid Colour layer on top of the photo with the Layer Mode set to Colour. Does the Job and you can change the black to brown in an instant if you want to try out sepia tints.

-Mark.

I'll try your suggestion. I've been duping the original layer and using "remove color" is that comparable?
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: Mark Wilson on July 06, 2006, 10:00:38 AM
Probably, I just like to be able to tweak things quickly on layers.  :D

-Mark.
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: KaDi on July 06, 2006, 10:09:28 AM
Probably, I just like to be able to tweak things quickly on layers.  :D

-Mark.

I guess I wasn't clear. I dupe the layer and remove color only on that layer. Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: Mark Wilson on July 06, 2006, 10:48:33 AM
No, you were clear enough. I was me who was fuzzy.

I find it much easier to work on a sepia image when it's displayed in black and white. But I don't like to make the decision about whether it should be black and white until the end of the process. By using Solid Colour layers I can have a black one active while I'm working, but I can also have a brown/sepia one as the topmost layer that I can turn on and off if I want to see what it looks like in sepia.

Also, if the original image has variations of the sepia hue across the image, a brown layer evens them out.

It's not a better way, just different.

-Mark.
Title: Re: Sepia or BW?
Post by: Quoin on July 17, 2006, 06:10:27 AM
Hey Mark - I just tried your solid black layer - > blend mode to colour effect, wow! Another amazing Photoshop trick! Thank-you for sharing this tip. Might I suggest that you do a point form list of your top tips in the OPR University thread?? I feel your advice is invaluable, clever and could help others! (Like me...)  :up: