The History of Sepia Tones in Photography

Photography is capable of capturing the world as we see it. Unlike an artist, who captures the world as they see and interpret it, photography offers a view that everyone sees and understands. Unlike painting, however, photography is a relatively new invention. Although photography has come a long way in two hundred years, remnants of the old techniques remain. One example is the persistent use of sepia tones by many people today.

The French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, trying to find improvements for a new technique of printmaking called lithography, found that he could create engravings on glass and pewter plates using a chemical called bitumen. He then shared his findings with an artist by the name of Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Daguerre, two years after the death of Niépce, would discover a new way to create images. This new process solved the problem of images darkening over time. This new process came to be called the daguerreotype.

Soon photography took the world by storm and now it’s common for every household to have some sort of camera. Indeed, every smartphone on the planet has a camera. Now that we have color photography, there is still that interest to see ourselves in black and white or even in sepia tones. Black and white photos give pictures a romantic quality but sepia tones give a more softer appearance that anything in grayscale. Some viewers feel that sepia photographs feel more alive and at times elegant often provoking images of a bygone era that still captivates our imaginations, an era that was more simplistic and focused on finding the beauty in everything.

Sepia is really brown but can also be associated with yellow or red tinge. Over time as a photograph fades, the sepia color leaks fading the image. These fresh images would have appeared in shades of bold brown but over time, depending on what they have been exposed, would either “yellow out” or stronger red tones would develop. Originally, sepia ink extracted from cuttlefish was used to develop pictures. To create a sepia toned photograph physically, a photographer would develop the print as he normally would then bleach the paper, to remove the silver from it and then soak the print in a sepia bath.

With digital photography there are many image editing software that can create the sepia look you want by a click of a button. Comments of those who enjoy sepia toned photographs comment how the tone “captures the mood of the picture rather than highlighting a specific point” of an image. Today we are so used to seeing photography in color, that seeing it in these sepia tones is like a breath of fresh air. It’s a whole new experience for us living in the age of color photography which is why it continues to be used long after its utility (i.e. aiding in the development of film) has passed.

What I find especially interesting is that sepia survives even with the advent of superior glass technology. Those cameras in your phone are protected by Gorilla or Corning glass (here’s a handy touchscreen glass guide that explains those terms). As much as we advance into a high-tech future, there’s something in our souls that make us yearn for the old days, and that’s where cutting edge technology meets Instagram filters that tinge everything with a faux-aged warmth we call sepia.

DIY: Install a Kitchen Faucet

Saving Money on Home Projects

How to install a kitchen faucet with confidence is really not hard at all. Saving money is what drives us to do things like car repair and home repair. Putting in a kitchen faucet is a task that is really not hard to do and requires little skill or knowledge most of the time. Replacing a faucet requires a new faucet this can be purchased at a local hardware store along with the tools to install it.

Basic tools needed are a strong flat head screw driver, a Phillips screw driver, two pair of channel lock pliers, a faucet wrench, plumber’s putty, a putty knife. Having the ability to lie on your back for an extended period of time and a helper does make the job easier.

First thing you want to do is turn on water hot and cold in sink then reach up under sink and turn water valves clockwise closing both hot and cold until water flow stops. The shut offs are located on the lines that are connected to the faucet. If the water does not shut off go to the main located in the basement or garage and shut that valve off. If this does not work shut the valve off at the street, with a tool you can buy from your local hardware store.

After shutting off the water climb under sink looking up you will see two stems coming from the top of the sink with two water lines attached. Turn the two nuts on the water lines counter clockwise until they are removed. After doing this you see two more nuts holding the facet in place these could also be screws. Try to turn the nuts counter clockwise using the faucet wrench, this will take a little effort, of course if it uses screws turn those counter clockwise as well removing them. If this does not come free easily if a person has mechanical skills try to break away metal O-Rings behind the nut after this is done faucet and nuts attached will go through top of sink easily. Now the faucet should be ready to remove.

After removing the faucet put your new faucet together and install it, having someone on the top line it up while it is tightened underneath. Putting plumbers putty around the holes between the top of sink and bottom of the faucet will help keep it water tight. After seating the faucet turn your nuts and or screws this time clockwise to tighten them. If the old faucet had a sprayer arm and the new one does not cover the whole with a metal plate that is made for the size whole on your sink, this can be purchased at a hardware or plumbing store.

After everything is tight turn on water slowly and retighten as needed to stop any water leaks this can be tricky so use a paper towel to dry everything off and a flash light to see with. This should rap up the technique on how to install a faucet.