How to Make Tinted Photographs for your Altered Books


Do you remember those lovely old tinted photographs from days gone by? They had a charm all of their own, and they make a great addition to an altered book.

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But where are you going to find any of those photos to use, and how could you bear to cut them up and use them anyway? The good news is you can tint any modern or old photograph to get that heritage effect.

Vintage Image has a great article and pictures showing hand-tinted photographs made for a wedding scrapbook. Yes, I know altered books and scrapbooks are two different things, but the techniques can overlap. I won't reinvent the wheel by repeating Vintage Image Craft's instructions for tinting photographs by hand.

old tractor photo tinted sepia in PhotoshopI do want to mention, though, that you can also tint your photographs digitally. Photo editing programs like Adobe Photoshop CS5 and
Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
make it easy to tint photos any color you like -- the whole photograph or perhaps just one or two parts of it.

The original photograph of my uncle on his tractor was taken in 1929. I scanned the black and white image into my computer, then used Photoshop to add the sepia tone. To do this, you simply add a layer to the Photoshop image, then use the color picker to select a sepia (or any other) tone. Fill the new layer with the sepia color. At this point, your picture will be a solid sepia. With the sepia layer selected, move the Opacity Slider to the left until you have the tint you want.

Other photo editing programs will have similar capabilities.

Your printer is another possibility. Many printers offer the option of printing out in sepia or other tones.

Have fun with tinted photos in your altered book projects.

True Colors. A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals by K. Bold.

Altered Books Workshop: 18 Creative Techniques for Self-Expression. Bev Brazelton

Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! (#5215)

Altered 104: Everything! by Beth Cote and Suzanne McNeill
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