What is Cross Processing?
Cross processing (also known as xpro) hearkens back to the days of film when different types of film needed to be developed by specific chemicals. Using a chemical intended for a different type of film would result in all sorts of interesting stylized effects, many of which are still loved today. The types of effects run the gamut, from a dreamy, low-contrast look to an edgy image with bold contrasts and strong color shifts. Before the digital age, it all depended on which film was used with which chemical.
Now, decades later, this much-loved effect is still alive and well. And while fashion and music magazines love using this style, cross processing can be used for just about any kind of image, be it a portrait, landscape or something more abstract.
Cross Processing With Luminar
Unlike Photoshop and other similar editors, Luminar makes experimenting with cross processing both fun and easy. Simply add the cross processing filter to your workflow, choose which “type” of cross processing you’d like, and set the amount. The types, whose names were inspired by famous cities, mimic the different effects available to film photographers.
Simply choose the look you’re going for and then play with the amount slider. Each “city” offers a unique cross-processed look. For example, for a dreamy, low contrast look try “Monterey.” “Tokyo,” on the other hand, will bring out more of the darker blues and yellow highlights in your image, while “Chicago” will saturate your teals and greens. “Seattle” brings out some gentle magentas, while “Auckland” will add some sunny yellow tones to the photo.
Or, if you’re not sure of the look you’re going for, toggle through them all. The easiest way is to place the amount slider at around 40% and then filter through the types. Different photos will resonate with different cross-processing styles, so be sure to toggle through them all. (Don’t’ forget, you can use Luminar’s handy before-after slider bar located in the top tool bar to check out how the effect has changed your image.) Once you find the types that works for your image, play with the amount slider to dial in just the right look. You can go for either subtle or dramatic — either way you choose, you’ll come out with a unique, stylized photo that will be hard to match.
Negative film cross-processed usually creates dreamy, low-contrast shots, while cross-processed slide can create wild colour shifts and bold contrast. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but in the right situation it can look fantastic.