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Cross-processing

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

Playing with colors in the Mother City



On a windy summer afternoon, lazy from a nap just taken, Danielle and I decided to grab the camera and go for a drive. A basket filled with scarves, bandannas, and an 80's ski tracksuit - we were about to play with colors.


The sky turned into an ocean

What is cross-processing you might ask? Well, I also didn't know until I tried it myself. Turns out that when you take the chemicals to develop one type of film (color negative - C41) and use it to develop another (color positive - E6) you get a result that is quite unique. This can be applied vice versa. The result is an image that renders augmented colors with blues turning green and often looks like a filter has been applied.



Another aspect I noticed from the cross-processing is that it seems as if the grains on the images get more course. As this was a Fujichrome Provia 100F color positive filmed used, I expected finer grains on the images. Whether this is a result of the cross-processing, the scanner or the grain monster, I can't tell yet. The wind died down a little and magnificent glows were achieved as the sun set over Cape Town.


The results leave the color balancing and contrast looking like a mild mushroom visual, maybe even a magazine ad from the 80's. The beauty of this exercise lies in the unexpected results that one is confronted with when choosing not to develop the film with it's required proper chemicals. It all depends on what you want to achieve with this process. If you're looking to have your mind color-blown and have fun, give it a go.


Running away into the sunset

To reach a conclusion on the slide film topic, someone gave me the following advice: "If you're in the mood to play around and see what happens, sure, have your slide film cross-processed. If you're sure you shot some bangers on that roll, rather take the time to get someone to E6 process it". Agreed.


All shots were taken by Carl van der Linde and are left unedited.

Shot on a Nikon FE2


Photographs by Carl van der Linde

Story by Carl van der Linde

Muse - Danielle Smith





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