Sepia interpretation of a Vulture picture from Bulgaria
Sepia is a great way to add some vintage or roughness to a picture. Sepia is not for all pictures, at least that is how I perceive it.
I normally just work in colors or black and white, from time to time. Sepia isn’t normally the first idea that comes to mind when I look at a picture at home. With that I would like to say that I got inspired by a fellow swede Gunnar Berglund, and his sepia interpretation of a Vulture and Hyena feast in Africa, to do some explorations myself.
These two scavengers are in my opinion great objects if you like to make a sepia picture.
I suppose it isn’t hard to understand what triggered me to make my own interpretation of a sepia picture of a Griffon Vulture, of course the upcoming Vulture workshop in Bulgaria next year. You can read about the workshop here: Bulgaria Vultures and Water Birds 2016
This is my sepia picture and it shows two Griffon Vultures fighting over food. This is a normal thing to see if you ever happen to witness a Vulture feast. The roughness of the sepia conversion together with the fighting is what breathes a little extra life into this picture and makes a sepia conversion so much more interesting than a normal color picture.
All the work making this color picture into a sepia picture has been done inside Adobe Camera Raw. It is actually straightforward and I hope you have the possibility to test it yourself. Most work is made in the tab “Split Toning”, but it is also essential that you first have converted the picture into grayscale and that is made by ticking the box “Convert to Grayscale” inside the “HSL/Grayscale” tab just by the “Split Toning” tab.
So what is the trick once inside the “Split Toning” tab?
Well it is quite straightforward as you work with hue and saturation for the highlights and shadows and then you adjust where you want the effect to take place with the balance slider. If you move the balance slider to the right you will mostly work with the shadows and if you move it to the left you will instead hit the midtones.
This is the settings I have in this picture, I have also added a splash of LAB color in Photoshop. You can read my blog about LAB color here: Exploring LAB color in Photoshop.
I worked with a yellow hue for the highlights, an orange hue for the shadows and then balanced it all a little towards the midtone range to get the effect I desired. This is the tricky part where you have to choose how you want your picture to look, there is no right or wrong, and I must stress that you always should hold Alt down when you work with the hue in the highlight section. If you don´t you might burn the highlights and that makes for a bad sepia conversion and that you don´t want.
I hope I have triggered your interest in testing this easy way of converting a color, or black and white, picture into a Sepia once inside Adobe Camera Raw.