washed out contemporary look

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In an interview with photographer Annabel Williams she said thta she likes to cross process FUJICHROME Provia 400 to get a "washed out contemporary look". I realy wonder what she meant by "washed out contemporary look"?! Do you have any idea?


-- ahmad hosni (xosni@gega.net), December 20, 1999


she means that really contrasty, shiny look that's so popular these days. just watch TV for a little while, and you're sure to see a cross-processed commercial. it's all the rage these days.

-- brad daly (bwdaly@scott.net), January 17, 2000.

What in the Dickens is "cross-processing"? I know about cross- training and cross-dressing -- could cross-processing be developing, for instance, Provia 400 in D-76?

Certainly not, but what's the answer? Maybe Provia 400 in C-41.


-- Paul Arnold (osprey@bmt.net), September 10, 2000.

We did this in class once or twice. Actually we only did it with color print film and color slide film. But anyway, you process the film the wrong way. I don't remember the exact details but for example if you take a roll of color slide film, of say a guy in a red t-shirt with brown hair, and process it like it was print film, you get a guy with purplish hair and I think a yellow t-shirt, and it's all kinda glowing. It is really cool, I plan to do some of a guy's senior pictures this way. Gotta get out my notes...I think you can get some neat effects if you color shift during proccessing too, with heat etc. But I really never did that my self so I can't say. Have fun, and if anyone else remembers the exact way to do it say so! Thanks

-- Martha Goldsmith (Jmngd@msn.com), September 13, 2001.

The type of cross-processing Annabel Williams refers to entails treating positive film as if it was negative film, in other words by processing E-6 films as standard C-41 print film. The principle is very simple, though the results can be unpredictable. Convincing the staff at your local mini-lab (if this is where you want to get it developed and printed) that this really is the treatment you want for your E-6 film can be impossible. Expect them to patiently explain that it is impossible to develop E-6 as C-41 as this would destroy the film! ( I have also heard that cross-processing ruins the developer, rendering it unusable for regular processing afterwards, which may explain why a lot of mini-labs won't do it) Cross-processing has become rather popular in recent years though, so it should be possible to find a lab which does it, or indeed DIY.

Since the films were never developed with this treatment in mind the results can vary incredibly, both from film type to film type, and even, I believe, when sticking to the same brand. I've only tried it a couple of times, and have had results ranging from perfect 'bleached out contemporary look' (with Konica film I believe) to excessive green cast. The visual characteristics are generally stark contrast with burnt out highlights and pale skin tones, intense and distorted colour saturation.

-- gudmund aarseth (gudmund1@yahoo.com), October 16, 2001.

Aside from the muted colors and contrast intensity, you can get some great results shooting concerts by cross-processing. Get Ektachrome 64 transparecy film, rate it at EI (ASA) 640, shoot the concert and develop in C-41 as normal...no push or pull. You will be amazed at the intensity of the colors. I did this back in the late 1970's for a Blue Oyster Cult concert and was astounded by how well it worked.

-- Fritz Ptasynski (fritzpt@aol.com), June 24, 2002.

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