What is cross processing?

Cross processing (or “X-pro”) is the procedure of deliberately processing film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. As each chemical mixture is optimized for a specific kind of film, you will get unpredictable results when combining them differently.

The most common type of cross processing is done in color photography, switching the chemicals for C-41 (color negative) and E-6 (color positive/slide). By cross processing in this way we can achieve interesting shifts in color and contrast.

If you process slide film in the negative chemicals (C-41), you will get negative film, but with the Lomographic burst of color and other unexpected results! The photos often turn out saturated, grainy or with high contrast. Different films have different characteristics when cross-processed. Some turn out more yellow or green while others turn purple or red.

All photos taken with slide film and developed in C-41: lomomowlem with the Lomography X-Pro Chrome 100, qrro with the Fuji Sensia 200, frenchyfyl with the Agfa CT Precisa 100 and azurblue with the Fuji Velvia 50

If you process negative film through the slide chemicals (E-6), you will get slides. The colors will not be too wacky; you will just get a kind of slide film with no big color shifts but an overall overcast of different color depending on the film. And if you cross process our LomoChrome Purple film it turns bright blue!

Photos by eparrino taken with the Lomography Color Negative 400 C-41 film developed in E-6 and by keepyourselfinblue taken with the LomoChrome Purple Film 100–400 C-41 film developed in E-6

Anything missing?

Can’t find an answer to your question? Or do you have some useful advice to add to one of our courses? We want to build the world’s largest analogue learning space, so please send any further requests or information to school@lomography.com and we’ll take a look!

Photos From Other Students

Do you want to see your photos featured here for all Lomo School students to see? If you think your photos fit this article just tag them with “xpro”. We take a look at all these photos and select our favorites. See all photos tagged with “xpro” here.

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