A month or so ago I wrote a little post about HDR. A little post about what HDR really is and how it should be used in order for it to be called HDR, and how the biggest part of the people confuse HDR with cross-processing.
I decided to also do a little post about cross-processing. Now, this cross-processing has nothing to do with combining shots which are taken from a series of photographs with different exposure times. It originates from the film days (you know, that funny plastic stuff with a light-sensitive emulsion layer, on which you took pictures in the previous century 😉 ) when photographers – by accident or on purpose – e.g developed on the “wrong” photographic paper or with the “wrong” chemicals. Cross-processed images are/were typically recognized from their unnatural colors and high contrast.
In the current days of digital cameras and Photoshop cross-processing has gained a stack of new possibilities. Blending modes in Photoshop are a great way to cross-process images. They’re a great way to get those unnatural, muted or seemingly super-saturated colors.
Under here I put a couple of pictures that are cross-processed (nothing over-done, mind you, I have the sliders and blending modes well under control 😉 ). On the left the unedited, straight out of camera RAW-file, on the right the processed image in Photoshop. This isn’t just a matter of boosting the saturation. If you were to do that, you’d lose all the detail.
You might want to click the images to see the details in the Photoshop settings. And if you want to try yourself, just scroll through the blending modes in the layer palette to see what effect it has on the image. It’s the best way to learn what the different modes do to the images.