Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cross Processing

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.



  1. Hi,
    I have been reading this blog since many days and found that it is very interesting blog. I have found many interesting things here. Your method of explaining the things with the help of pictures too is very good. The effect of cross processing has been well known since at least the early 1960s. We often go for picnics and make videos and movies there that we get help from filmbelichtung in order to develop these videos. Kodak published instructions and precautions for E-4 process in C-22 long ago.

  2. Hello,
    Cross processing is the method of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. With the help of gleitschirmfliegen you can enjoy your time. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4.

  3. Hello,
    Cross processing effects can be simulated in digital photography by a number of techniques involving the manipulation of contrast/brightness, hue/saturation and curves in image editors such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. To enhance the beauty I have tried many methods, you can also trust in using the services or Botox without any fear and you must consult your practitioner before applying.

  4. Quite interesting! thanks for sharing. Will post some parts on my site.