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Digital Cross processing with Adobe Lightroom

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Category: Other Software

Digital Cross processing with Adobe Lightroom - How to use Adobe Lightroom's Split Toning feature to recreate Cross Processing effects.

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Software used: Lightroom 2.0
Time taken: 10 minutes
 cross processing effect

Cross Processing has been a popular fashion stunt to mess with colours and provide images that are a little more quirky. The name comes from processing certain film in the wrong chemicals for example E6 process slide film in C41 print film chemicals, and doing so created weird colours.
Getting good results depended on chance in the old film days, but you can recreate these colours when processing an image in Lightroom using the Split tone with relative ease.

make adjustments to original imageStep 1: Fine tune the original

Crop the photo and make necessary adjustments to brightness and contrast. Here I removed the edge of the background brolly , sharpened the photo and adjusted brightness and the Tone curve's dark and light tones to give a little more contrast.

change the highlights colourStep 2: Change the colour of the highlights

Scroll down to the split Toning section and either drag the sliders or click in the colour box to set  new colours for the highlights and shadows. Cross processing usually has a greeny blue shadow areas and creamy yellow coloured highlights. So in the highlights set a green tone that makes the skin look yellow. I set hue to 103 and saturation to 77. These can be changed later but looking good so far.


change the shadows colour

Step 3: Change the colour of the shadows

Now adjust the shadows sliders to get a blue colour. I set the hue at 223 and the saturation at 69.

Step 4: Make final adjustments

Make adjustments to Vibrance (I increased to +43) and Saturation (I decreased to -19)  in the Presence section and any further changes to Exposure in the tone section. You should now have a photo that looks green in the shadows and yellow in the highlights.

make final adjustments

Step 5: Save your settings as a preset

If you like your Cross Processing effect save it for use again. Go to the Menu and select Develop>New Develop Preset and give the Preset a name that you can easily remember - I called mine "My Cross Processing Effect". Select a folder you want it to go in  (you can create new ones to keep everything organised) and click Create. Now the Preset will appear on the left hand side under Presets.
save your presets


You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.



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