Unique Coloring with Cross Processing Effects in Photoshop

Cross processing is a film effect that might have been discovered accidentally. It's achieved by developing film in chemicals for a different film stock, which creates an unpredictable altering of the colors and high contrast. The 2005 film 'Domino' was crossed processed to create its unique look.

True cross processing can only be acheived with film. But, you can replicate the effect on digital photos in image editing software like Adobe Photoshop. 

Step 1: Adjusting Hue/Saturation

The quickest way to control the overall color scheme of your image is to adjust the hue and saturation. Go to 'Image'->'Adjustments'->'Hue/Saturation.' You will see any alterations you make in real time, thus giving you precise control over your photo's colors. Changing the hue changes the image's overall color scale. Raising the saruration causes the colors to spill over and bleed, while decreasing it moves the image (close to being black and white).

Step 2: Color Balance

Another way to quickly adjust the overall colors in your image is by altering the color balance. Here, you can change the overall Red, Green and Blue levels of the image. Digital color at it's most basic core. Go to 'Image'->'Adjustments'->'Color Balance.'

Step 3: Brightness/Contrast

Cross processed images tend to have high contrast. To replicate the same effect is easy Go to 'Image'->'Adjustments'->'Brightness/Contrast' and raise the contrast setting without adjusting the brightness. Raising the brightness will end up canceling the contrast effect and make the image more balanced. (Something you would normally want, but not with this effect).

Step 4: Selective Color

Selective color is another way to replicate the cross processing effect. This also gives you more precise control over the color scheme than with the Color Balance. You can change the cyan, magenta, yellow and black values for various colors. Go to 'Image'->'Adjustments'->'Selective Color.'

Step 5: Replace Color

If you want to get very specific over the colors in your cross processing replication, then you can use the replace color tool. Go to 'Image'->'Adjustments'->'Replace Color.'

Use the eye dropper to select the specific color you wish to change. You can either change the hue, saturation and lightness of just that particular color or you can outright replace it. This tool is very specific and will only replace that one color, which might just be a tiny part of that image.

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