On the other hand, Atget's sepia street scenes of Paris seem fleeting. The umber/ochre and sometimes madder colored pigments of sepia photography appear less permanent or tangible than would black/gray/white tones. The soft, often yellowish lights of sepia are hazier, more downy than even the most luminescent of diffused whites. Many of the very early photographs are sepia-toned. These seem vintage. Their "yellowed" coloration from a distinctly different age, while the very early black and whites might be current. A little more "noise," different clothes and hair styles, antiquated vehicles, but I have an ability to picture myself in the black and whites of C. R. Savage, which feel more substantial in their concreteness than his sepia images. In all, sepia is also timeless, but its seemingly malleability to accommodate an enormous spectrum of yellow-brown tones is far lass discernible than the equally or even greater abundance of grays between the darkest blacks and most radiant whites. Sepia is a monochrome like black and white, but its ephemeral qualities create an added component of pigmentation that gives sepia photography its distinctive uniqueness.
Here are three examples of monochromatic photography, taken in India and remastered in my studio. The first is a black and white photograph. The second a type of "negative" effect of the first black and white architectural photograph. The third is the same image translated into sepia. The place is Mumbai, India and through the waves of heat, rising out of tropical vegetation are the spires and arches of Mumbai's architecturally elegant University.
|Black and White Photography: Mumbai University, India|
|Black and White "Negative" Photography : Mumbai University, India|
|Sepia Photography: Mumbai University, India|