Through my work I have access to Photoshop, but with no training I have had to fumble through the application myself and have not accomplished much more than simple cropping. Recently I found out how to change a colored photograph into a Sepia toned picture, something I had been trying to do for some time. So I thought I would share...
Here is the original picture taken by my digital SLR camera:
Firstthing to do once you open your picture in Photoshop is to adjust the 'levels' (I don't know why). From menu, select Image -> Adjust -> Auto Levels. I have been amazed by the results from this simple little action that takes no thought from the end user. Here is the outcome from the auto level adjustment, the picture becomes much more vivid than the original:
Second, remove the color from the picture: select Image -> Adjust -> Desaturate. All color is removed from the picture and you are left with a black and white photo:
Third , add back a little color to get the Sepia tone you desire. There are two ways to achieve this outcome. Method A: select Image -> Adjust -> Variations. There is a Fine/Coarse slider bar that I like to slide to the left towards Fine (at elast two clicks) and then make my color selection. After you make your variation select, then adjust the Brightness/Contrast as you see fit (Image -> Adjust -> Brightness/Contrast).
Method B produces a more subtle color change. Instead of selecting the desired variation this method sets the color balance...choose Image -> Adjust -> Color Balance. Set the following values: 18, -5, -30 (make sure to include negative signs where appropriate). Here are the results...love it! To me it looks very professional and a little more rich than just B+W.
I also figured out how to keep a little color in the picture. After step 1, Auto Adjusting the color picture, use the lasso tool to select the object(s) that you want to stay colored. You can hold down the shift key and lasso more than one object. Once you have selected all the objects you want to stay colorized, then from the menu choose Select -> Inverse. Finally, follow the steps above to turn the picture to a Sepia (or B+W) color.