Cross processing in Photoshop

Just a little update.

I recently learned how to create the neat cross processing effect on digital photos in Photoshop.
For those who don’t know, cross processing is a technique originally developed in the darkroom (no pun intended! I swear!). Photographers would process color film in the wrong chemicals in order to get more interesting colors and contrast.

The effect became popular again around the ’90s, often appearing in fashion magazines. It is still widely used in all types of photography, from fashion to portraits to events.

Many online photo editing sites offer this effect as one of the core artistic filters. Even most photo apps on smartphones have it available for free.

Some offer more control over the effect than others, but being the way I am I wanted even more control.
After reading several tutorials and researching the effect I dove into Photoshop to try this on some images from a recent shoot with my local photography group.

Here is the original image with only some basic edits.

And here is the image after several hours of trial and error.

Personally I like both versions, but the cross processing gives that little something extra to an otherwise semi-decent simple image.

The effect isn’t right for just any image, but it sure is fun to play with and will definitely entertain if you have a few hours to kill.

I’d also like to learn how to apply the Lomo effect in Photoshop, but I feel like I should tweak with this some more before I move on to something new.

Do you have any tips for cross processing in Photoshop? I’m always happy to hear constructive critiques to help me improve!

2 thoughts on “Cross processing in Photoshop

  1. Such a subtle effect but it really adds something to the photo.


    Do you have any experience with doing this to digital art, and/or how it affects stuff like that?

    • I don’t. This is the first time I’ve experimented with anything like this in Photoshop.
      I’m curious now though =O I wonder if Michael will let me tweak with one of his scanned pictures lol…

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