How to Apply a Sepia Tone to a Photo in Corel Photo-Paint

Old-Fashioned Sepia Tinted Image
Old-Fashioned Sepia Tinted Image.

A sepia tone is a reddish brown monochrome tint that is applied to a digital photo. It can also be a pigment that is applied to the print during the print developing process in the dark room. When applied to a photo, the tint gives the picture a warm, antique feeling. It's easy to do in Corel Photo-Paint!.

Before we get started, it is important that you understand how the sepia process works. It is not the application or manipulation of the hues in a greyscale photo.

There is a history behind the technique.

Advances in modern film processing are such that prints do not suffer from such a severe discoloration effect over time, but if you take a photograph from 20-30 years ago, you will likely find that the color has faded. This can be due to the dyes used in the ink or the way the photograph was processed.

Sepia images get their characteristic brown nature in the dark room and are the result of a chemical reaction that occurs during processing. They are actually more colorfast than normal color prints, and should not fade much over time.

Sepia Used Today

The Sepia effect is just as desirable nowadays as it always has been and is a common color technique or filter used by photo apps on a smartphone. The original sepia toning process involved adding a pigment made from the inky secretion of a Cuttlefish to the photograph during development, but other methods have since been devised using artificial toners.

For those of you a with more scientific inclination, the word ‘Sepia’ comes from the genus of Cephalopod, which is a group of creatures including the cuttlefish. This is also why it has a capital letter.

If an image is truly Sepia toned, (by a strict Sepia definition), it must technically be completely monochrome.

This does not mean it is a Black and White or Greyscale photo that has had a filter or effect applied to it. This means that it only contains shades of brown, much like a black and white photograph only contains shades of gray.

The advent of personal computers and digital home photography has created a way for almost anyone to achieve Sepia image toning. Digital photos can be edited with programs like Photoshop and Corel Photo-Paint to give them a Sepia effect.

Creating a Sepia Effect in Corel Photo-Paint

  1. Open the image in Photo-Paint.
  2. If the image is in color, go to Image > Adjust > Desaturate and skip to step 4.
  3. If the image is in grayscale go to Image > Mode > RGB Color.
  4. Go to Image > Adjust > Color Hue.
  5. Enter a step value of 15.
  6. Click on More Yellow once.
  7. Click on More Red once.
  8. Click OK.

Tips and Suggestions

  1. Experiment in the Color Hue dialog to apply other color tints to your photos.
  2. Try overlaying a color over a photo and using opacity to blend it into the photo.
  3. Place the photo over a solid brownish color and use a blending mode to mix the colors in the two images.
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Your Citation
Chastain, Sue. "How to Apply a Sepia Tone to a Photo in Corel Photo-Paint." ThoughtCo, Aug. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/apply-sepia-tone-corel-photo-paint-1700198. Chastain, Sue. (2017, August 3). How to Apply a Sepia Tone to a Photo in Corel Photo-Paint. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/apply-sepia-tone-corel-photo-paint-1700198 Chastain, Sue. "How to Apply a Sepia Tone to a Photo in Corel Photo-Paint." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/apply-sepia-tone-corel-photo-paint-1700198 (accessed November 18, 2017).