What is Sepia Photo Effect and How to Apply a Nostalgic and Trendy Sepia Filter

Last Updated on November 26, 2022 by Peter Wood

Sepia is more than a reddish-brown color in photography, but is also a part of a vintage photo effect. When you want to apply some stunning and vintage effects to your photos, the sepia photo effect is one of the photo filters you can consider. What should be unique for the special photo effects? And how to apply a nostalgic and trendy sepia filter? The article shares 3 different methods to apply sepia photo effects in detail. Just read the article and choose the desired one accordingly.

What is Sepia Photo Effect

Part 1: What is sepia photo effect

Sepia photo effect is a photographic printing tone added to a black and white photograph in the darkroom to warm up. Sepia is a burnt color tone filter associated with red, yellow, and brown tones. When you apply sepia filters to enlighten the monochromatic photos, you can bring the images back to an older time.

Just as mentioned, sepia is associated tone with different colors. It is hard to define the specific color of the sepia photo effect. How to choose a desired one according to your requirement? You can learn more about the methods below.

Sepia Filter

Part 2: Best method to apply sepia photo effect

Since it is difficult to define a sepia photo effect, you cannot always find a suitable one easily. WidsMob AI Retoucher is an excellent photo editor with multiple AI algorithms. It provides vintage photo effects with sepia filters, color tones to adjust the parameters, and add textures/grains in just one click. Moreover, you can also adjust HSL enhancements, noise reduction settings, and more easily.

1. Apply the old photos filter to apply the sepia photo effect in a single click.

2. Tweak the color tones to achieve the desired sepia photo effect easily.

3. Combine analog films and sepia filters for special vintage photo effects.

4. Recover low light, reduce photo noise, remove haze and enhance quality.

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Step 1: Import photos into WidsMob AI Retoucher

Once you download and install the program, you can launch the program and click the Import button to upload the desired photo. Different from the other photo editors, you can drag-n-drop multiple photos for sepia photo effects with a batch process.

Import Image Noise Retoucher

Step 2: Apply the old photos filter with a sepia photo effect

Go to the Filter menu and choose the Old Photo option from the drop-down list to apply the sepia photo effect. It has combined more filters, including textures, noises, and more. You can further edit the color from the Adjust menu if you are not satisfied.

Old Photos Filter Retoucher Original Wedding Photo Sepia Photo Effect Sepia Gold Photo Effect Sepia Terra Photo Effect

Step 3: Adjust the sepia photo effect with settings

Whether you need to get a sepia photo effect without noises or need to further edit the photo effects, you can click the Adjust menu and tweak the different settings, especially for color adjustment, sharpness, temperature, and tint to get the desired sepia photo effect.

Sepia Adjustment Color Retoucher Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: How to add sepia photo effect with Photoshop

Photoshop is a complicated photo editor with multiple filters and effects. You can apply a desired sepia photo effect in some simple steps. Here are several ways to use sepia filters with the program.

Method 1: Adjust Variations

Step 1: Open the picture to edit in Photoshop and go to Image > Adjust > De-saturate to turn the photo to black and white.

Tip: If the picture is in gray-scale, go to Image > Mode > RGB Color.

Step 2: Locate to Image > Adjustments > Variations and change the Fine-Coarse slider down to less than the middle point.

Step 3: Press More Yellow and More Red once. Then click on the OK button to confirm the changes and add a sepia photo effect to your picture.

Adjust Variations

Method 2: Use Sepia filter

Step 1: Use the method above to convert the picture to black and white within Photoshop. Go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter. You can open a new photo filter adjustment layer.

Step 2: Choose Sepia from the Filter drop-down list on the photo filter dialog. And change the Density based on the tune of your picture. Make sure to tick the checkbox of Preserve Luminosity.

Step 3: Click OK to apply the sepia photo effect, save the changes, and export the picture to your computer.

Photoshop Sepia Filter

Method 3: Adjust Hue/saturation

Step 1: Turn your picture into a black and white photo using Photoshop. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation to open a new photo hue and saturation adjusting layer.

Step 2: On the settings window, open the Adjustments tab and tick the checkbox of Colorize. Then adjust the value of Hue to apply the sepia photo effect on your picture and make the value of Saturation lower.

Step 3: Press OK to confirm the settings. Now you can export the photo to your computer with the desired effect.

Adjust Hue/saturation

Part 4: How to use sepia photo effect online

Online photo editors are convenient tools to edit and enhance pictures. People do not need to install anything on their computers or worry about compatibility problems. Most online photo editors can apply limited sepia photo effects.

Method 1: Add sepia photo effect to photo with Pho.to

Step 1: Access funny.pho.to from your browser and find Color & Lighting Filters on the home page. Open the color and lighting filters page and search for Vintage Sepia Effect.

Step 2: On the vintage sepia effect page, upload your picture from computer, by URL or from Facebook. Then the web app will apply the photo effect on your photo automatically.

Step 3: Make sure to turn on the Remove Pho.to Watermark option and press Save & Share to export the result.


Method 2: Make sepia photo effect with Pixlr

Step 1: Input pixlr.com/editor in the address bar of any browser and press the Enter key to open the online photo editor. Then you can import the picture to edit from the hard drive, URL, or photo library in the File menu.

Step 2: After importing, unfold the Adjustment menu and press the Sepia option to apply the sepia photo effect on your picture. Then you can use the Color vibrance and Hue & Saturation tools to adjust the image tune until you are satisfied.

Step 3: Finally, go to the File menu and save the picture to a destination based on your condition.

Pixlr Portrait Editor


The article shares how to add a sepia photo effect to pictures in different situations. If you need a simple sepia photo filter, you can use some online programs. Of course, you can also find multiple effects from Photoshop, which should be a little hard to get the desired one. WidsMob Retoucher is the ultimate solution to apply the desired sepia photo effects according to your need.

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