Photographic art & community shared thru photography.

What Is Sepia? And Why?

crayola-crayonsWhat is Sepia? Sepia, pronounced SEE-PEE-YA (long A), is in essence brown (sometimes with a slight red) pigmentation. Many of you might be asking yourself, why didn’t he just use the name for his new site instead? Well, to the average laymen person, this would make perfect sense; however in actuality, it wouldn’t be a good fit. I have chosen not to use the word “brown” for (I think) two very good reasons. First off, in this day in age, would have been almost instantaneously perceived to be a website for people who are mostly or exclusively of color. I also dare to say even further that it is highly likely (before they even click on the link) most str8 African American males would assume it would be a site of pictorials of beautiful women of color. Then again, I suppose others could also potentially think that it’s a website about paper bags too. LOL. This is not what my blog is about, and I have to use site names that accurately depict what my blog is about.

cuttlefish_1The word “Sepia”, specifically refers to a type of photography in the 19th and early 20th century. In essence it was a chemical toning process used to preserve photos (and I think newspapers too) longer. Sepia is really a black & white photo turned to the color Sepia after it’s been chemically treated. This was also made popular by the early days of newspaper companies to add more spice to their bland black printing. Very old photos and paper would also turn “Sepia” in color as the result the natural oxidation process. However, although the actual practice of Sepia toning practically doesn’t exist anymore, many traditional photographers use software to recreate that vintage/Victorian look of the early 19th century.

The name Sepia, was taken from a very weird looking sea creature called the cuttlefish. There are many varieties of this fish, but in essence they mostly look like a half octopus half kitchen doily LOL. When these fish get scared, or feel threatened, like an octopus or squid, they release a black ink that is used to hide from their predator. The cuttlefish’s ink’s color is a deep reddish-brown (probably a mixture of blood and ink), thus how Sepia got it’s name. I believe Sepia has been almost elusively been a photographic term ever since. To my understanding, the ink from this fish is supposed to be healthy for you too.  It’s supposed to help women that suffers from menopause and cysts.

So as you can see, the word “Sepia” is not only a perfect name for my site, but it’s unique in the internet world, easy to remember, and smooth on the tongue.

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