Jean-Claude Grégoire tells us how to convert a regular grayscale photo into a sepia toned photo.
"For this tutorial I used Adobe Photoshop and the AKVIS Coloriage plug-in."
If you start with a color photo, go to Step 1.
If you start with a black and white photo, go to Step 4.
Starting AKVIS Coloriage on the color photo is certainly possible too, but it's more difficult to get a good final result.
For getting an excellent black and white photo I'll explain what I consider the best method, because you remain the master of every parameter. Actually, with the following methods, which are the simplest, you cannot control anything:
As already explained in the AKVIS Coloriage Userguide, chapter "Selective Desaturation", you can get a black and white photo with the plugin. You just have not to use the Keep Color Pencil. The result will be exactly the same as choosing Image -> Mode -> Grayscale from the main menu (incidentally, the methods Hue/Saturation don't give the same black and white result as both these ones).
Another method consists in choosing a Channel (e.g. the red channel, or the green one, etc.) and to eliminate the other ones, but this isn't a quick and easy method and you cannot modify what's in this channel.
So I prefer to use the following method.
I start looking at every possible channel in RGB, Lab and CMYK color modes - by going in the channel palette and successively clicking on each channel (fig. 2 and 3):
And I notice that some elements are better on the red layer, other ones on the Cyan one, etc. So I'll try to make a mixing of several channels. I now have an idea which channels will be the best ones for the mixing.
But it is also possible to work in CMYK mode. Then you'll have 4 channels to mix.
Choosing Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves in the main menu (fig. 5) is the best method, because it permits to act on the 256 levels of the grayscale. In general, a curve in "S" gives the best result.
Here are the settings I've choosen for the control points (these will be different for each photo):
what corresponds to:
Should you prefer another sepia shade, you could easily modify this setting. Here the Hue number is 37° (fig. 6). For a more yellow shade you'll have to raise this number (e.g. up to 50° or something), and to reduce it for a more red shade (e.g. down to 25° or something).
Applying steps 6 to 10 to a color photo (fig. 10), will often give a drab result (as shown on fig. 11), unless you have managed to get a excessive contrast of the color photo. But this is very difficult to estimate correctly, because for a good sepia result this color photo will become ugly (fig. 12). Nevertheless, it is possible to get a good result in some cases with this method too (fig. 13).
It should be noted that applying the same Adjustment Layer -> Curves (with the same settings as described above, but only on the RGB channel) after colorizing the black and white photo in sepia with AKVIS Coloriage will give a totally different result: much more saturated (fig. 14).