anyone that keeps a photoblog and isn’t afraid to touch photoshop has probably pulled out the cross processing effect from time to time. i’ve done it a few times myself. without getting into the specifics of chemicals and film types and all that stuff that we digital shooters don’t really care that much about, the cross processing look is basically making your blacks look a touch blue and your whites slightly yellow.
typically the way this effect is achieved in photoshop is by adding a curves adjustment layer and drawing a reverse s-curve on the blue channel, but when i’m looking to add a modest cross processing look i’ll just use a blue colour fill layer with its opacity method set to exclusion.
|image prior to either effect|
now, it’s not an exact match, but in this case i prefer the lazy way cause it’s less vibrant and i wanted the photo to look somewhat dull. also, i find that the lazy way is more condusive to experimenting cause it’s easier to adjust the hue of the blue and the opacity of the layer cause both settings are on your layers palette whereas if you’re using the curves method you have to close the curves adjustment palette each time you want to adjust opacity.
before any film guys jump down my throat, i realize that neither of the shown methods are a true match to what one could expect from say C-41 as E-6 or E-6 as C-41, but that’s not the point. if that’s what you’re after then there are other tutorials out there that’ll show you how to do just that. this is simply for adding a touch of the effect and making experimentation a bit faster.