Cool Photo Effects: Cross Processing

A favorite since the 60s, cross processing can give an edgy, retro, and sometimes slightly psychedelic look to your images. It’s been a favorite of the fashion industry for decades, yet can be used on just about about any photo to give it a unique, stylized look.

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.

Cross Processing | Luminar
Cross Processing | Luminar(2)
Cross Processing | Luminar(3)
Cross Processing | Luminar(4)
Cross Processing | Luminar(5)
Cross Processing | Luminar(6)
Cross Processing | Luminar(7)
Cross Processing | Luminar(8)
Cross Processing | Luminar(9)
Cross Processing | Luminar(10)

New AI tools in Luminar 4
and more...

More photo editing power
At your fingertips

Adaptive UI



RAW support



Photo filters


B&W processing


Object removal

Color toning

Touch Bar

Plug-in & Extension

Brightness & Contrast

Luminosity Masks


Details Enhancement


300 more tools & features...

Learn more about Luminar…

The world’s first photo editor
that adapts to the way you edit photos

Luminar advantage

Luminar makes your photos more beautiful, vivid and sharp. It is the next generation photo software that is adapts to your skill level and photography style.

Photo Enhancer

Luminar offers the ability to quickly enhance the overall picture with eye-catching “presets” or control different photo-editing details using “filters”.

Color photo editor

The tones and colors that we perceive in photos present us with different moods and ideas. Luminar offers dozens of ways to maximize control over your color photos.

Black & white photo editor

With Luminar’s presets and filters you have the tools to convert any picture, color or sepia, into your ideal black and white format - grunge, vintage, dreamy, etc.

New AI tools in Luminar 4
and more...

Cross Processing | Luminar(14)