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Feeling Green with Cross Processed Fuji Provia 100F

I shot this roll of Fuji Provia 100F one afternoon in October 2012, in the New Orleans French Quarter with a Canon AE1 Program camera. I cross-processed the film, which resulted in some interesting and unexpected bright green color shifts.

Cross-processing Fuji Provia100F made the New Orleans French Quarter appear even more bizarre than it actually is. Cross-processing, or X-Pro, is the result of developing slide film in C-41 chemicals, or those meant for color negative film. This developmental process alters the natural colors of the film, often unpredictably. And, after all, what is the point of analogue photography if we aren’t changing the way we perceive things in one way or another?

Fuji Provia is a slide film that is typically used for portraits, as its colors are true to life when processed normally in E-6 chemicals. I have never actually had slide film processed this way, for two reasons. The first being that I like the unexpected effects of cross-processing. The second reason that I cross-process slide film is that most accessible photo labs such as Walgreens only use C-41 chemicals. In order to get slide film processed in E-6 chemicals, you would have to go to a specialty photo shop, which are unfortunately becoming scarcer.

When I exposed the images, I set the ISO at 100 and the apertures at either f/5.6 in the sunlight or f/4 in the shade. These aperture settings were one f-stop overexposed, as at ISO 100, it is recommended to use f/11 in the sunlight, f/5.6 for partly cloudy, and f/4 for overcast conditions. The reason for the overexposure is that in my experience, slide film is easy to underexpose, even on a bright, sunny afternoon such as this one. Even with the adjustments I made, however, the images did not all develop as I would have liked. I have found that a negative aspect to cross-processing is that you can lose some resolution, as seen in these photographs of the doors to Preservation Hall.

Cross-processing slide film can be frustrating, as not all exposures come out. But the more you practice with a certain film the better your pictures will get. This has been my only experiment with Fuji Provia so far, but I have cross-processed other slide films.

5 comments

  1. sarah-addison-dobard

    sarah-addison-dobard

    @bigbird @niko_fuzzy @erikagrendel @icuresick @betterthanelvis @diomaxwelle @vicker313 @adi_totp @neaderthanlis Thanks for liking my article! Let me know if you try the film.

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  2. sandravo

    sandravo

    I have tried the film, more than once. It is a great film, with lovely colors, but nowhere as extreme as these... Is it possible this extreme green shift is induced when scanning your film?

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  3. sarah-addison-dobard

    sarah-addison-dobard

    @sandravo I wonder the same thing, as I have used the 120 version of the film without the green shifts. But most of my film--this roll included--I get developed and scanned by The Darkroom, and they're consistent. I'm still saving up to buy a scanner of my own.

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  4. sandravo

    sandravo

    I bought an Epson V700 about a month ago, a very good scanner if you're looking for one! These last few weeks I have learned a lot about scanning and mainly how easy it is to fall in the trap of over saturating your photos and pulling all colors of balance! Especially when cross processing has really done his job. It gets hard to find the real photo in that over-colored neg. Maybe even harder on a smaller 35mm neg. And the lab probably doesn't spend as much time on getting things right as I do ;-)

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  5. sarah-addison-dobard

    sarah-addison-dobard

    I am indeed looking for one, thanks! I was thinking about a Canon scanner, as the Epson V700 is a bit out of my price range. Maybe I'll look at some older Epson versions though. Thanks for the tips! @sandravo

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