All posts tagged cross-processing

You know by now it’s “my” thing. Cross-processing (and HDR).
I don’t need to explain much anymore, I guess. I’ve said so much about it.

I’ll give you this one to have a look at, a few hours before I take off for a new adventure. More pictures to follow, surely, as the adventure unfolds 🙂

Oh, and it may just happen so that in the fall I will be doing a (few) workshop(s) in Helsinki on HDR and cross-processing. More on that when there’s more concrete information.



D800, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Left -obviously- the raw file. Right the processed one. One hue/saturation layer set to Overlay, one curves layer set to Overlay, one hue/saturation layer set to normal.

… I of course got my portion of HDR and cross-processing. This really was an exceptional trip 🙂

Buoy hanging on an old shed

D800, ISO400, 1/1000 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm. Cross-processed in Photoshop.

Old weathered truck standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 14-24mm

Old weathered truck standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Combination of HDR and cross-processing in Photoshop.

Old weathered Ford Cortina standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Left: D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11. Middle: D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/4. Nikkor 14-24mm.

Old weathered Ford Cortina standing in the grass near Sommarøy, Norway

Combination of HDR and cross-processing in Photoshop.

Yeah, pun intended…
Sometimes it happens that you’re driving around somewhere and all of a sudden your eye sees something (that isn’t there), and you need to stop. You need to stop and get out (if you happen -for a change- to have your camera with you) to take a picture of that something that isn’t there.
My mind’s eye is ruthless like that. To me it’s a blessed curse, I say. I haven’t had a problem with it, but I’ve had people in the past whom I knew to roll their eyes if I would pull over again and drag the camera out to take pictures of something that just isn’t visible to their eyes.
Usually people get it when they see someone take pictures of a beautiful landscape, but when they see someone sitting on their knees in the knee-high grass taking (close-up) pictures of an old weathered hinge of a gate… That may not receive such understanding.
But of course they haven’t seen what I do with it.
My cross-processing baby, my little bastard child, misunderstood, misnamed, confused with much less artistic things… *grins*

Anyway… Here’s another one. If you’re new here, type it in the search box to find more of them 🙂
I find this one actually quite appealing. It’s not as colorful as the rest, but there’s something funky with it 🙂

Hinge of an old weathered gate

D800, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/4.8, Nikkor 50mm

The layer palette from Photoshop showing the steps in the process to the end result

The layer palette from Photoshop showing the steps in the process to the end result

Old weathered hinge of a gate

The end result after all the work is done

Or your jpgs, of course, although if you have a sky as in my original image, there will be no detail left in your jpg.
The discussion raw vs jpg has been beaten to death. Many times over.
“Jpgs look a lot better when they come out of camera!” Of course they do. They are processes IN-camera with either the default settings from when you bought the camera, or the customized settings that you entered. Raw images always look flat and boring when they come out of the camera, because you’re looking at unprocessed data. YOU need to do the post processing, and here’s the good thing: you get to control what’s happening 😉
In any case, fact is: raw files contain more data to recover than jpgs, so if you have the time to fuss around in post-processing, then do shoot in raw. If your end-goal doesn’t require high resolution and/or high detailed material, and you don’t have too much time on your hands to spend post-processing, you’re better off shooting jpg. Or if you have money to burn on memory cards, shoot both, so you can have the goodies of both worlds.

Street in Tallinn, Estonia

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

The above is the originals. Yes, IS the originals, it’s only one file. It’s a fake HDR, basically. The left image is the original exposure @ 1/125 sec. The right one is the one where I pulled down the exposure slider in Lightroom almost all the way to zero. That gave me just enough detail in the sky to work with (try that with a jpg! 😉 ).

I opened both instances in Photoshop and copied the right one onto a new layer.

Photoshop layer palette screenshot

Photoshop layer palette screenshot

First two adjustment layers are to make the sky blue. The rest is for bringing out the colors in the walls and roof of the buildings. The last -curves- adjustment layer is for the street. The top layer was added to straighten the buildings.

Street in Tallinn, Estonia

The end result after the Photoshop work is done.

Following the previous post about Norway I have a few more examples of the boat. Approach was the same as in the previous post.

Boat wreck originals

This image was combined out of three exposures.
Left, exposed for the foreground: D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Middle, exposed for the boat: D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Right, exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.

I’m sure I would’ve been fine with just two exposures for this one. There’s enough detail in the RAW file to bring out the foreground sufficiently from the middle exposure, but owwell… This worked out just fine, too.
And the end result:

Boat wreck end result

The end result after all the work is done.

And the same for a detail of the boat.

Boat wreck detail originals

Two exposures here.
Left exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.
Right exposed for the wood: D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.

And the end result:

Boat wreck detail

The end result

It’s been quiet for awhile. I’ve been on the road a lot, and busy with a whole bunch of things.
The past days mainly processing images from a trip with a good friend of mine to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights. This post is not about that, I haven’t finished processing the images, yet. In the next few days I will, and then I’ll make some posts about that.

I’ve been going on about HDR and cross-processing in the past, and the picture below is a bit of a cross between the two.
It was shot in Norway, near Hella in the Troms area, just south-west of Tromø. Beautiful area and very nice people. It required us to cross private land. When we drove past the property we ran into (not literally 😉 ) a guy taking a walk and we inquired about it. He said “Oh, no problem. Just go. People here don’t mind so much. I haven’t spoken to the owner in awhile, I guess I can stop by and have a talk with him, tell him that you guys are good guys.”

And so we parked our car on the property and strolled around there for almost two hours.

It really IS nice to get out of a town where people are so private that they (really, this happened to me for real, in the elevator in Helsinki’s Stockmann) turn their back to you not to have to face you, look at you or -god, beware- nod a friendly good-day to you.

Anyway… A whole bunch of pictures, it’s not really a tutorial, but it kind of shows in a few steps what I did.

Boat wreck originals

The two images from which the end result is built up.
Left exposed for the boat and foreground: D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.
Right the image exposed for the sky: D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 14-24mm.

The screenshot of the canvas in Photoshop looks like this:

Screenshot of the Photoshop canvas

Screenshot of the Photoshop canvas with the layer palette showing all the adjustment layers with masks.

I’m very anal about my images, and I hate it when I see halos around my images when I produce HDRs. I’m sure there’s software that can do it quicker than I can do it by hand, but it took me just over an hour to mask out the boat perfectly. A small, hard brush to draw the perfect outline around the object and then filling it in with a big brush or the selection tool to make the perfect mask so you don’t see a halo in the sky or dark lines around the edges. The foreground with the sand and sea weed wasn’t as critical as the sky, luckily, otherwise it would’ve taken probably twice as long.
The basic mask, which I used for the rest of the masks, looks like this:

Photoshop mask for the wreck

It may look like a simple shape, and it is, but with HDRs and different exposures the mask has to be very precise to prevent halos or dark edges to show up in the areas where the two exposures merge.

And the end result, after all the work is done:

Old ship wreck lying tilted on a shore at low tide

The end result, after all the tweaking, masking and color correcting


I found another good “victim” for the cross-processing.

Cross-processing a door

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

Then into Photoshop:

Screenshot of Photoshop

Four different Hue/Saturation layers with different blending modes...

… gives us this end result:

Cross-processing in Photoshop

The end result after cross-processing

A suitable door is all it takes.


Door before metamorphosis

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

Oh, and of course a tad bit of Photoshop:

Screenshot Photoshop

Screenshot Photoshop, what you can’t see: the Hue/Saturation layer is set to blend mode Overlay.

Which then results in:

The door after post-processing

The door after post-processing

Cross-processing, here we go again.
You just gotta get used to it, I guess. I’m just having a lot of fun doing it. And it brings some color into today’s whiteness.
This image was shot just before winter set in, in Finland, dreary weather, sad and cold. Wouldn’t believe me if I hadn’t shown you the before pic, would you? Layer blending modes are your biggest friend here.


The before... D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

The procedure

Remember the blending modes! Test how things work out, but keep in mind that not all colors are suitable for this process.


The final result

I must honestly admit that I’m getting more and more excited by the whole cross-processing thing.
I feel an exhibition coming up!

If you find the right places and the right subjects/objects, it really turns out nicely. And it’s such a small thing, it takes less than five minutes. A couple of weeks ago I showed a friend how quick and easy it is to do and now he keeps on telling me that the image I did looks so much better (and he keeps on accusing me of purposely waiting with showing him until AFTER he submitted it to a contest! ARGH! 😉 ).

This “procedure” takes just two things.
The first and most important one is to see the potential of the subject/object you’re photographing. Not everything is suitable to be cross-processed. Not every color is suitable to be cross-processed. So basically you need to be able to portray the end-result in your mind’s eye the moment you see a potential scene.
The second one is -of course- Photoshop (or a different piece of photo editing software that allows you to use adjustment layers and blending modes or similar features).

And then you apply the “procedure” and you get the following.

The potential:


D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm

The potential after the “procedure” has been applied:


D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm, less than 5 minutes in Photoshop