Cross processing is a photographic technique where the film is deliberately processed in a solution intended for another type of film. The result is images with unusual colors and increased contrast and saturation. The most common methods are C-41 negative film processed in E-6 chemicals and E-6 slide film processed in C-41 chemicals. It’s pretty easy to simulate the cross-processing effect in Photoshop.
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to achieve this effect using Adobe Camera Raw.
So let’s get started.
The first step is to open your image. If you shoot in raw format (and you definitely should) just double-click on image’s thumbnail in Bridge to open it. However in Adobe Camera Raw you can edit JPEG and TIFF files as well.
Just right-click and choose Open in Camera Raw.
Inside the Split Toning panel, adjust the sliders until you get the desired effect. These are my settings:
Now open the image in Photoshop. Create a Curves adjustment layer by going to Layers>New Adjustment Layer>Curves (or click on the “Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer” icon in the layers panel). Inside the Curves dialog adjust the curves as shown on the screenshot below to boost the contrast of the image.
Finally add a Color Fill Adjustment layer, set the blending mode to “color” and reduce the opacity to around 10%.
And that’s it!
Here is my original image:
And the final result after applying the cross-processing effect: