Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Sepia Scenes: Studies of a Girl

study of a girl
Inspired by some emails from Robin, I decided to play with a photo of my daughter. I selected the background of the original with the magic wand in Photoshop (I also used clone stamp, which mimics one part of the image in another section). Then I duplicated the layer, so I wouldn’t be changing the original. I desaturated the background and slid the color scale, increasing the magenta and yellow, same as I usually do to create sepia. I also decided to add a slight gradient to the background.

In this version I duplicated the above layer. I then desaturated that layer and changed its opacity to 55%. That way, one could still see some of layer below and the color still appears, but it is not as vivid as in the original.

girl in sepia
I decided the previous version was too gray. I slid the magenta and yellow color sliders, increasing those two colors, especially the yellow.

girl on porch
Here’s the original photo, minus something on the bottom that I cropped out of the photo. As you can see, the original background was the siding of our house, which I didn’t really care to be a focus of the photo.

For more sepia photos, visit Sepia Scenes.

Annie says

Nice technique. I especially like the third one down. Reminds me of a handpainted photo.

The Jewish Side says

omg, she looks just like you in this picture!
she's adorable!

I like how you removed the original background with those slats, so that it doesn't take away from the focus of the picture.

I also like the 3rd one, makes it look like an old fashioned picture.

Rose says

It would be a hard choice to have to choose just one as a favorite. I like that you took the time to show us all the variations.

Shinade says

oh wow this one is fantastic this week. I love what you did to the photo. but, I too have a hard time choosing. I think #3 is my favorite but they're all really really good!!

Happy Wednesday:-)

Dot says

Beautiful child and you did a great job on the picture!

East Gwillimbury WOW! says

Isn't it fun to play with photos? I think I need to learn how to use the magic wand!

Jennie/Kahshe Cottager says

I think that you made a positive change to the original photo as now the siding is not distracting the viewer from that pretty face!

Michelle says

She looks just like you and is beautiful. I really have to experiment with PS elements...

Vicki says

Sounds like you had a great time exploring the process. Your girl is lovely.

Carletta says

Precious little girl!
Nice job Leora - a don't have photoshop but it sure seems to have some really nice things to play with.
Thanks for giving us the value of your experience.

Ilana-Davita says

Interesting how each photo produces a slightly different effect. Nicely done.And thanks for your explanations.

Nita says

Nice photos. My entry is up as well. Have a great day!


naturegirl says

A beautiful w/ photo shop!

Robin says

Ooh, I'm a muse LOL! I agree with Shinade, I love the softness of the third photo.

It's great the way you put this one through its iterations and explained all the steps. I'll definitely have to do some more playing myself.

Yen says

She is beautiful:) Great photo conversion!

Mine is here. Happy SS!

Mojo says

I usually leave the magenta out of it and tweak the yellows and reds when I'm toning. But then, I go down a different path to get to sepia than you do. It's interesting to see how other people do it. (I'm planning a post on how I go from original to finished, but I didn't get quite as detailed about the steps I took because not everybody uses Photoshop and I wanted to make it as conceptual as possible.)

Nice layering on this. I've never been a huge fan of the magic wand -- too often it selects things I don't want selected -- but in cases when you're dealing with indistinct outlines like her hair, it's just about the only real option you have.

Leora says

Mojo, I would love to hear more about how you use Photoshop. So many tools it has, but I tend to use the familiar ones a lot. I'm often clicking on clone stamp.

Dianne says

I'm so impressed with all you did and the wonderful outcome

Photoshop comfuses me beyond comprehension ;)

beautiful girl, I love the sweet expression on her face

Jientje says

Nice work!! I love it!

maryt/theteach says

I know it's time for the Dec 10 Sepia Scenes post but Leora, isn't it fun playing with sliders and such to made these marvelous Sepia photos? I await your Dec 10 post! :)

Leora says

Mary, maybe next week I'll have a new Sepia Scenes... I'm taking a break this week.


Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.