Pixlr Challenge: Warm Sepia

Who’s up for another photo challenge? We’ve been seriously enjoying seeing the things people made for our recent challenges. We want to keep the momentum going and offer up another opportunity to stretch your creative muscles. This time around, we want you to make #warmsepia photos.
We’ve really been digging sepia lately. In ancient times, sepia described the ink from a cuttlefish, but its photographic history is less natural and more chemical. Photographers in the 1800s added sepia inks to warm up their stark black-and-white images and lengthen the age of their photographs. Of course, adding a sepia effect now is way easier than putting photos through baths of chemicals. It’s simply a matter of pushing a button. Or two. Or four. Or ten. Using apps like Pixlr you can layer on lots of sepia effects, be they subtle or bold. In Pixlr for desktop or mobile, you’ll find all kinds of options to get sepia toned images. Many of these are located in the “Effect” tile. The options get “older” looking with each pack: Default, Soft, Subtle, Unicolor, Too Old, Vintage. All of them contain options to turn your photos into sepia-toned masterpieces. A few tips:

  • It’s not always about being bold. There can be a lot of subtlety to sepia-toned images. Check out Susan Tuttle’s video (below) to see how small changes are sometimes preferable to stark ones.
  • Sepia doesn’t have to be boring brown. You can use some of the colored effects to add a red or yellow hue. Dial them down in strength to add just a hint of a colored filter.
  • Sharpening can help age your photo. Use the auto contrast or sharpen options to bring out blemishes, cracks, or seams in your photo. It’s easy to over-sharpen, so start with a small amount of sharpening and see how it goes.
  • Vignetting is the most old-school way to go. All physical photographs get damaged by light over time, and adding a small amount of vignetting will help mimic that effect.

Share what you edit for this challenge with the hashtag #warmsepia on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. We’ll be on the lookout across our social feeds for these hashtags all week long. The reward? Pure glory. We’ll be featuring our favorites on our feeds through Sunday.

Never made something like this before? Check out the latest video from Susan Tuttle. She shows you how she makes Warm Sepia photos using Pixlr Desktop. The overlays and effects she uses are also located in Pixlr mobile apps, so you can do this in whatever way feels comfortable to you.