How to Selectively Sepia wih Photoshop

Applying a sepia Photoshop effect to an image using Photoshop is a great way to give it an antique look. Sepia is a reddish brown monochromatic tint. In lots of cases, it can provide more interest than a black and white effect, but still achieve a classic simple look. Sepia effect can be applied to an entire photograph or just selected elements within a photo. In this tutorial, you will learn how to selectively apply sepia effect using Photoshop. 

Step 1: Select Your Photograph

Decide what photo you would like to apply the Sepia effect to. The sepia tone will add a new dimension to portraits, but will also look great on nature photos as well. Select an Image that has bright colors that can be isolated during the process. Once you decide on an image, make a note of which colors you want to keep in the image and what areas you want to apply the sepia to.  

Step 2: Create Hue/Saturation Layer

Start by opening your image using Photoshop. Create a new Adjustments layer in the layer palette, select Hue/Saturation. To create the most natural effect, apply the sepia effect by color. In the Hue/Saturation box, change the saturation to -100 only for the colors you want to fade out of the picture. You will find this option under the Edit drop down.

Step 3: Create Black/White Adjustment Layer

In the Layers palette , click on  New Adjustment Layer icon and select Black/White; when the layer appears, click OK. You will not need to adjust the settings at this time. Next, change the Blend mode to Overlay. Now, adjust the Black/White setting to achieve the Sepia effect. You may be able to find a preset that works, but you can always customize the color. Make any final adjustments needed to the photo and you're done.

This effect is an excellent way to create more drama in your photos. It can be used to create romance, or as a dramatic feature to highlight a specific element in an image. This effect works when highlighting bright colors like red or yellow. For example, if you have an image of a woman with red lipstick, this would be a good time to use this effect. The options are unlimited--all you need is creativity.

You can always go back and undo the changes if you discover the sepia tone just isn't working for the photo.

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