Cross Processing

One of the most popular photographic techniques around is undoubtedly Cross Processing. That is taking your exposed film and having it developed in the opposite processing chemistry. By doing this you can achieve a very interesting "arty look" for your images. However getting just the right look can take much time and effort as much testing of films and processes is required. What if you also have normal photos you would like to give that Cross Processed look? Fortunately a cool new feature in Photoshop 6 makes the Cross Process look a snap!

To begin start with any colour image (you can also use a Grayscale image converted to RGB. Now that's cool!)

Start With Image

Next simply go to your Layers Palette and choose Adjustment Layer, then choose Gradient Map.

Layers Palette

You can now experiment by picking a Gradient, in this case I loaded the Color Harmonies 2 palette. Click OK once you have picked something...

Gradient Map

Don't worry if your image looks somewhat horrible (see below) This problem is only temporary!

Mapped Image

The beauty of this technique is that our Gradient Map is on an Adjustment Layer so we can play with opacity and blending modes. Now change the blend mode to "Color" and adjust the opacity to say 55 percent. This image should look much better now! If you are not happy with the colour combinations of the Gradient Map, simply double click on the Gradient icon in the Layers palette to choose another one! You can also edit the gradients live for even more creative control...

Layers Opacity

Optional: To give this image one last tweak, duplicate the background layer by dragging it onto the New Layer icon. Now give this new layer a good blurring with the Gaussian Blur filter. The amount of blurring you choose depends on the resolution of your file. For this high rez 50mb file I chose a Radius of 15 pixels. For lower rez files try a Radius of 2 or 3.

Gaussian Blur

Now adjust the opacity of the blurred layer down to say about 35 percent. This should give the image a softer more ghosted look. The final Cross Processed image below...

Final Image

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