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Hour 14. Repairing Black-and-White Pictu... > Preparing an Old Photo for Repair by...

Preparing an Old Photo for Repair by Removing Sepia

One of the characteristics that really distinguish old photos is the brownish tone they have. It’s called sepia, and it comes from dipping the finished print in a bath of squid ink and water. Sepia toning was done to give the print a rich, warm quality rather than the original drab gray. This process also had the effect of stabilizing the print, making it last longer.

I find it harder to work on sepia-colored pictures, so I always remove the color before I start editing them. It’s easy to replace it afterward. You’ll learn how later in this hour, when we talk about duotones.


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