Creating a cross process look in Lightroom

There are many different ways to create a cross process look in Lightroom, actually there are many types of “cross process” looks so really many different ways to try and get to one of these looks. Today I want to cover a quick way to get a cross process type look in Lightroom. For those of you who don’t know what cross processing refers to its a term from the film world. It involved shooting film and then developing that film in a different type of chemicals than the normal process. You could take a roll of slide film and develop it in the negative film process. This would tweak out the contrast and colors to give you a pretty unique look.

Lets walk through the process of creating a typical green cross process look. First here is a split before and after so you can see the change of the final image:

cross process

1) We will start by adjusting the vibrance up a little bit and taking down the saturation. For this image I upped the Vibrance to +23 and took down the saturation to -36.

2) Another big part of cross processing is it really adds a lot of contrast to the image. To do this we will use the tone curve and create an ‘S’ shape that looks something like this.

cross process in lightroom2

3) Next we want to add the green undertones to the shadows and a little color to the highlights. This is easy to do in Lightroom with the Split Toning panel.
You can adjust the colors to fit your taste but for this example here are the settings that I used:

cross process in lightroom3

4) Finally I want to add a little bit of grain to the image and in the effects pane I set the amount of the grain to 16, the size of the grain to 25 and the roughness of the grain to 50. I also always like a little bit of a vignette to my images so I added a small vignette in the post crop vignette section.

That’s it, 4 pretty quick steps and you can create a cross process look using Adobe Lightroom.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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