Accidental Cross-Process

There’s this whole experimental back-to-film movement where people are doing things to get weird and unexpected effects.  Like using Lomography “purple” film, reversing the way your film faces to get “redscale” pictures, and “cross processing.”  Cross processing is either processing your color negative film in chemicals for slides, or the other way around.  Generally, processing slides as negative film is more common.  It produces strange color shifts, supposedly.  I tried it once on purpose a few months ago and got some odd results.  I ordered a couple more rolls of slide film, thinking I might try it again with different subjects, and when they arrived I threw them in the drawer and didn’t think much about them.

Fast forward a few months, and I’m looking for film to take with us to Malaysia, and grabbed all I had.  In Malaysia, we went to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and since black and white is not that good for photographing colorful birds, eventually the roll of color slide film I had forgotten about made its way into the camera.  Imagine my surprise when I developed it and the film was the wrong color (first of all).  I didn’t realize what was wrong until I saw the scanned film.



Night Heron


I’m pretty sure I would have preferred “normal” pictures, but these are strangely interesting, and the “normal” pictures probably would have been pretty unremarkable.  How many people have a picture of a peacock that looks like this?



The effect is also interesting on buildings

Khiewoon Club

Sadly, probably over half the photos on the roll were beyond interesting, and were just ruined – particularly the more close-up photos where there may not have been as much light. A lot of the smaller birds sitting in trees (which allowed us to get quite close) would have been good to see in their proper colors.


I think “cross process” is also an effect you can use with Instagram or similar programs, but I think it’s not as fun as actually doing it with film.  If you’re interested in seeing other peoples’ cross processed work (most of it intentional, I suspect!) to see the full range of effects, you can go here and here.

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