Despite its origins in traditional film photography, the cross-processed look is still hugely popular with photographers who want to give their images a creative edge. Typically, the characteristics include skewed colours, increased saturation, and enhanced contrast. In this Photoshop tutorial we’re going to show you how to cross process photos digitally and add a black-edged border to a raw image.
We’ll start by tweaking the colours, tones and saturation in the Basic tab, and then we’ll move to the Split Toning tab to add one hue to the shadows and another to the highlights. To add a black border we’ll use the Graduated Filter tool from the main menu bar.
We’ll also show you how to save your setting as a preset, so if you want to apply the style to future images, you’ll be able to do so with a single click.
01 Crop the image
To make the image slightly squarer choose the Crop tool on the top menu bar, select a 4 to 5 aspect ratio from the drop-down menu, and mark out a new frame. This is editable, so you can go back and alter your crop should you change your mind.
02 Tweak the colour
For initial colour tweaks in the Basic section, move the Temperature slider to 6000 and Tint to -50. To boost the intensity of the colours set Vibrance to +70 (which only affects the less-saturated colours) and Saturation to about +30.
03 Boost the contrast
Set the Blacks slider to about +40, Brightness to +50, Contrast to 95, Clarity to +30 and Exposure to +0.75. Remember that these tweaks will vary from image to image, so if you’re using your own, you’ll need to experiment with the figures.
04 Apply split-toning
In the Split Toning panel set the Highlight Hue to about 220, Highlight Saturation to 95%, Shadows Hue to 15, and Shadows Saturation to 50%. Move the Balance slider to about –30. These settings are subjective, so experiment with the sliders.
05 Make a border
To make a black border around the image, select the Graduated Filter tool from the menu bar, then enter an exposure of –3.0 and a Saturation of –100. Click just outside the frame and draw a line inwards a few millimetres into the image, then repeat for the other three sides.
06 Save your settings
Once you’ve finished, go to the drop-down menu at the top right of the ACR window and select Save Settings. You’ll then be able to access the same settings using the Apply Presets. This will make repeating the process much easier, and it can be really useful for batch processing, too.