Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Let's Talk Sepia

This week's assignment in the "Beautiful People" class I'm taking with Cheryl Johnson is to photograph babies and/or young children. Although I take lots of pictures of middle school and high school aged kids (11 years and up), I rarely take pictures of little ones. I called a friend who has a 7  month old, and she happily agreed to let me take pictures.  This is one of my favorites from the session. I turned it to sepia before I read a comment from Cheryl on another post that she generally doesn't care for sepia, as it feels too much like you're coloring the photograph (Cheryl gives lots of really useful comments on photographs, by the way.  It's one of the best things about the class so far). I hadn't thought about that before, and I was wondering what your thoughts were.  Here's what the original photograph looked like:
And here's what the photograph looks like in black and white:
So, which do you prefer?  And what do you think about sepia, in general?

14 comments:

Mary B said...

The sepia one is my choice such a lovely soft colour and perfect for hanging on the wall.
It is a gorgeous photo well composed

helena said...

beautiful photos - love the soft background and focus. I like all three versions. I generally prefer sepia to black and white but often alter the colour within the sepia.

scrappyjacky said...

I love all 3 photos...but the original is my favourite as I really love how the background works in colour.
I rarely use sepia unless it is a vintage photo....usually prefering black and white.
I also find sepia can be quite hard to scrap....as it often feels 'wrong' against other colours.

Amy said...

For starters, it is a great shot! I'm with Jacky regarding the colours, sepia is not a favourite tone I like to use unless the shot is vintage or I am after a vintage feel. I like b&w conversions quite often but the colour/original in this case is just lovely. I suppose, like all things photography and art related, it really depends on what you want to achieve and what mood you are trying to create.

Cheri said...

I'm betting it's a very subjective "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" kind of thing. In this particular case I prefer the sepia shot - the baby really comes to the forefront of the photo. In the color shot, the background (which is gorgeous) kind of takes over and in the b&w, the baby just blends into the background.

Sian said...

Ooh, that's too hard! I just don't know which one I prefer, honestly. Maybe the coloured one? Though I think I might be going against the crowd there

Maria Ontiveros said...

Cheri,
I think you captured a lot of what I saw when I looked at the various choices - thanks for putting it into words for me.
Rinda

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

It's all in the artistic interpretation and the feeling it evokes. The sepia evokes a feeling of warmth and the focus is on the baby and what the baby is doing.
The color photo is more predictable and the focus is on the baby, not necessarily what he is doing. You also notice the blurry background, while in the sepia you don't. The black and white just blends everything together and doesn't present the baby as well as the other two. I think in this photo, I would prefer the sepia or the color photo.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

First of all, I LOVE this photo! Secondly, I don't usually go sepia just because I think of it as an old-photo-type of feel. However, I absolutely love it on this baby picture. You've inspired me to give it a try a lot more often!

Karen said...

I'm another one who generally leaves sepia for vintage photos or landscapes. Cheri got it just right in her comment, I think.

Alison said...

Yep...I think the sepia works well on this one!
Alison xx

TiaraHelen said...

First, a fab photo, you have given the baby's parents something to treasure - what a gift! I think I like the black and white best. Although I do love the colour background, I like the nostalgic feeling of the b&w and it feels more authentic than the sepia.

Irene said...

There is no way you could take a bad picture with such a cute baby. I like all three but I just love the color picture because it shows the baby's red cheeks and nose.

Louise said...

gorgeous photo and normally i'd opt for B&W against Sepia, but with this photo i like the sepia. It adds such colour and warmth.