Everyone with an iphone or a Droid with a funky camera phone app has probably heard of Cross Processing (aka X-Pro) and knows the photos come out greenish/yellowish/bluish depending on the app. But did you know there is a whole film developing process behind cross processing that created the inspiration behind the apps?
Cross Processing is when you take color slide film (usually a positive film that is developed in E6 chemicals) and develop it in color negative developers (your normal negative film is developed in C41 chemicals) or visa versa. I recently bought slide film with this specific intention.
First, I want to point out that whatever chemicals you use to develop will dictate whether the film comes back as negatives or positives.
Second, the X-pro slide film comes back a weird color. I knew even before I got this in the darkroom that things were going to be interesting… Left, normal negative. Right, X-pro slide film.
I processed these by adding a lot of yellow to the color filter pack (which removes yellow from the print), but you can see how green these are.
Just for comparison, I took a “cross processed” photo with the Vignette app on my phone.
Hmmm… well, that’s neat. It’s missing the grain and texture of the film. But I still don’t think digital is anywhere close to being on the same level as film as far as printing and effects. I love the cell phone apps, and they’re plenty cute, but if you like the look I highly suggest shooting a roll of film and having it cross processed at your local photo lab. There is nothing like it.