Cross-Process a Black-and-White HDR Image in Photoshop

When colorizing (often called tinting or toning) a black-and-white high dynamic range (HDR) image, you may choose to cross-process the image. Cross-processing is a technique used to develop film in chemical solutions meant for another type of film. The result is an oddly colorized image, often heavy in greens and yellows. Cross-processing in Photoshop is easy.

There is no direct way to cross-process in Photoshop Elements.

To cross-process a tone mapped HDR black-and-white image in Photoshop, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Image→Adjustments→Curves.

    The Curves dialog box appears. Photoshop uses curves to alter the in-to-out ratio of each color channel to create contrasted greens and yellows.

  2. Select the Cross Process (RGB) preset from the Preset drop-down list.

    This figure illustrates a tone mapped photo with the Curves dialog box open and the Cross Process (RGB) preset loaded. Notice the otherworldly green tones applied to the image. That’s the beauty of cross-processing.

    image0.jpg
  3. Alter if desired by adjusting the RGB curve or selecting specific channels (R, G, or B) and adjusting those curves individually.

    You can completely customize the strength and balance of colors this way.

  4. Click OK.

    You can continue editing or publish your image.

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