Genuine sepia

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    My great-great-great grandmother, Mary Susan Gough, born in the 1840s. No filters: the sepia tone is real; the image is scanned from family albums.

    Sunil Sohanta., metzalx, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. CreekBedThreads 33 months ago | reply

      This is beautiful. It amazes me how they were able to do this at the time. Enjoyed your article.

      (Found you through MCP!)

    2. Kate Bevan 33 months ago | reply

      thank you :) It's a wonderful pic, isn't it?

    3. themexican 33 months ago | reply

      Responding to your article: What does "real" mean. The sepia tone is end result of a chemical process. Is it less "real" than colors/tones that come as the end result of a digital process? I mainly shoot film because I like the limits it imposes on my photography. If I shoot tri-x I know it will end up looking a certain way.

      I generally don't like highly processed photography (regardless of whether the processing is digital or chemical), but I see the various popular instagram filters as a fight against a kind of photography monoculture. In my mind a filter choice is no different than the film choices we used to have and increasingly don't any more. Digital photography is largely bland and similar. The vast majority of images in the world are being created by a very small number of cameras with identical lenses and identical chips. iPhone pictures tend to look alike with similar tone/saturation etc. Those are choices Apple imposed. It seems to me that instagram, hipstamatic, and so on are an attempt to break that boring sameness. Where the people making the filters go wrong is that they often go too far. The engineers at Kodak, Agfa, Fuji, Polaroid etc all had a certain taste. They gave us films that were warm, or cold, or saturated, but all within a certain range. Many of the pre canned filters seem to always take the filtering one step too far. People have always done this (back in the film era a certain subclass of people would add physical filters to there cameras), but now it's just become easier to display bad taste.

    4. pete_e 33 months ago | reply

      I think the essence of all these smartphone apps is 'fun'. People don't use them to fool, misdirect or anything like that. They don't know the complexities of the real world version of their filter/FX choice or how it was used historically. They take a picture, they play with it, they like it, they share it. THAT is what photography is about to the masses.

      Most people who have this app don't care about the technical aspects described above. This is a far too deep an examination. They want to take a picture, frame a memory or record something they see and like and then they like the extended creativity these applications give them. I think that is the extent of it. I really do.

    5. PeteRiley 33 months ago | reply

      do you expect everyone to achieve sepia like tones using methods used 100 years ago? get real, get with the times and improve your own technique and photography before you start writing articles like that, its just a bit silly really, meaningless, irrelevant. Looking at your pictures here it shows me nothing but a couple of old snaps, and an old portrait, plus some rather drab photographs that I think you have taken. feels shit realising you been told you are wrong eh? thats exactly what you are saying to everyone out there, having fun, using their cameras.... I mean, get real Kate, ave a word wi yerself ;)

    6. priscillakaroo 32 months ago | reply

      hate, hate, hate Instagram and Hipstamatic. I agree with every word in the Guardian article. I'm sick to death of seeing the same old, same old on Facebook. And if my daughter posts another fuzzy black-rimmed picture of my beautiful grandchildren on FB I'll screaaaaam! It's as easy to photo-share using many other methods than Instagram. I'm a very keen digital photographer (graduated from a wonderful old Nikon FM - the newspaper pro's camera of choice) to digital, years and years ago - I'm now on my fifth digital camera and love it. I can do all the editing I want on PhotoShop or any of many other free and for-sale image editing programmes. I also get absolutely beautiful results with my Blackberry 9780 camera - often better than with my Olympus digital. Without filters or any fancy tricks. I compose my pictures through the lens and seldom even have to crop - and if I have to add a little contrast or saturation occasionally, that's all I do. Pfffft to everybody who thinks they're great photographers - and SO creative!!! - with instant filters and edits on their iPhones. And yes, yes, yes, they all look the same, no matter what frayed edges, borders or filters are applied. I can spot an Instagram shot a mile off - so can anyone else for that matter. I love the ethics and honesty of REAL photography.

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