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Photography Question 
Jo Jones

How to get brown toned photo

Can anyone tell me how to get the milk chocolate brown color w/ white rather than black and white? I don't want sepia tone either.

Any help would be appreciated!

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11/19/2008 5:39:10 PM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Jo,

Take a look at this link, maybe his method will work for you.

Meanwhile a little history: If you bore easily, stop reading and go about your business of life.

Photography was born in the peak of the industrial revolution. The air of that era was ominous; the scorched smell of coal smoke was heavy with sulfur (this condition continues to exist in some places). Up until the digital era, all photographers relied on a silver based chemical process for both the film and the print. The images you see are comprised of the metal silver held onto the paper or the film by a binder made of unflavored gelatin. Now silver is an inactive metal, that is inert most of the time. However silver is helpless against sulfur. Silver that has come in contact with sulfur takes on tarnish. That keeps the silver polish industry in business.

Old silver based films and prints are likely to display some tarnish, over time. Usually the tarnish is a blotchy brown stain. The tarnish is likely due to airborne sulfur however sulfur is one of the chief ingredient in the chemicals used to develop film and prints. The final stage of the process is a vigorous wash to remove residual chemicals. If the wash is not comprehensive, brown stain will result.

To increase the life expectancy of the print and sometimes the film, photographers toned them. This is a process whereby the material was bathed in a solution of sulfur to pre-tarnish in a uniform manor. The silver is changed to silver-sulfide one of the most inert compounds known. The print is archrival and takes on a warm brown tone. Many other methods of toning followed. Many loved the warm colors, this was followed by methods that produced cold tones as well.

The chocolate brown you admire is sepia whereby the finished black and white is placed in a bath of sulfur and selenium. Different shades are produced by adding mercury and gold.

Alan Marcus (truly marginal technical gobbledygook)

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11/19/2008 9:07:35 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hello Jo,
Are you using Photoshop CS3 ? If so, when you select B&W there is a button at the bottom of that window to select tone and it is adjustable for color and opacity.

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11/19/2008 9:43:40 PM

In CS3, under Image > Adjustments > Photo filter you will find a sepia filter that can be applied at any pervasiness, from 1 to 100%.

To get that early 20th century atmosphere you first desaturate the image and THEN you apply the sepia filter.

Have fun!

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11/19/2008 10:10:31 PM

Jo Jones   Thanks every one for your help. Yes I am using CS3 so I will take a look at those options.

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11/20/2008 6:21:07 PM

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