Sepia Canvas Prints = Instant Nostalgia

by Laura McPherson | August 20, 2014

sepia canvas prints

Sepia tone brings a feeling of instant nostalgia to nearly any photograph. Its rich tones are known to put the focus on the subject and composition of a photograph while subtly adding warmth and complimenting skin tones in portraits. Paired with canvas prints, sepia can create a photo that feels at once modern and timeless.

Why Sepia Tone Works

In the early days of photography, sepia tone and black and white were the only options available for film developing. Sepia was more popular with some photographers because it was believed to give photos of people a more lifelike appearance, and the materials used could promote longer lasting final prints. Many of these longer lasting prints have survived to today, so we continue to associate sepia with an earlier era and that feeling of nostalgia.

Modern day mimics of early sepia photographs using sepia canvas prints work well with all types of dcor because of the fairly neutral tonal range. The recognizable theme of nostalgia that these prints carry also add to the prints’ impact with viewers. You can use sepia canvas prints with your existing dcor to compliment eclectic styles or found antiques and help other items in your dcor scheme act cohesively together.

sepia canvas prints

Achieving the Nostalgic Sepia Toned Look

Although many cameras today have a sepia setting you can often get better results for your sepia canvas prints by doing the edits on your own. This is because the sepia setting on cameras tends to have less of a tonal range than you can obtain by taking a picture in true color and making the needed adjustments with that range in mind. Photoshop Atoms provides a great basic tutorial for doing this in Photoshop. On the more advanced end, selective focus with tools like Lens Blur can mimic the range of focus of early era cameras. You can learn how to do this through Photoshop Essentials. To boost the nostalgic look, you can do additional edits like:

  • Fading the edges of the photo or using ragged edges that will continue to the edges of your canvas print.
  • Add silhouette effects that simulate the light fall off of early, large-format cameras while throwing the focus squarely on the photo’s action.
  • Use deliberate added "noise" to give the illusion of antiquity with techniques such as layering with textures or using the "Dust and Scratches" tool. Just be sure to use these tools sparingly; too much additional editing may become distracting.

If you are worried about converting images to sepia tone on your own, you don’t need to panic. Canvas Press offers conversion to sepia tones for our canvas prints free of charge for any order! Simply select "Sepia" under "Color Options" during Step 3 of the easy ordering process. For more advanced edits, the photography experts at Canvas Press can provide a custom quote through our free image consultation to help you achieve your vision.

sepia canvas prints

Photos by Eric Von Lehmden

This article is written for Canvas Press. To find out more about Canvas Press’products visit www.canvaspress.com.

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Tips-n-Tricks #81

You can make prints from your iPhone as big as 20"x30". Be sure to save the highest resolution version when you are downloading the photo from your phone to ensure the best quality.


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