critiquing the old and the new: a return to sepia

In my usual foray into the British press I see that the latest stir around Madonna and her adoption of a foreign child has turned to the technique of faux sepia-toning digital images in order to create a specific melancholy, or romance. We (who study art and photography) are aware of the power of changing the same image from colour, to black & white, to sepia etc. but here is a rather lovely article written by UK documentary and art photographer, Martin Parr about its use in this particular case:

Madonna has released an image of herself holding Mercy, the Malawian baby she hopes to adopt. It’s in sepia. Why?

Choosing sepia is all to do with trying to make the image look romantic and idealistic. It’s sort of a soft version of propaganda. MORE

What is even more lovely is that the Guardian have then been inspired to collate several sepia images from the week’s news to showcase the effect it has… Click the image below to see more.

sepiamads

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