Scanning Cross Processed Slide Film
Yesterday I've been scanning some film for the first time in a while. The films from my recent trip aren't developed yet, but I still have some older (and lots of really old) stuff to scan. So I scanned some cross processed slide film, which always gets funny results...
Some while back I hat gotten a bunch of 135 Fuji Sensia 100 slide film from a friend. I'm not much of a slide film fan, I shot my due of slide film in a studio environment "back in the days", but for my own photo projects, I prefer color negative film. So what to do with the stuff? Cross process it. In some "lomography" circles, xprocessing is all the rage, they even sell "special film" for it. But of course, photographers have been doing this probably for as long as there were color negative and slide films around.
I'm almost through with the 9 films I got. I've got some interesting pictures, where the slightly off balance colors are looking really good. I've got some where things are too off for my taste. Looks to me like with normal daylight and good scanning (covering a lot of latitude in the image) it's possible to correct the images so they look almost normal. The picture of the apples and pears is a good example there. In more difficult light, like early morning or at sunset with high contrast, it's much more difficult to get a normal color range.
Obviously the weird colors are part of the game though. To me there is a tendency to like the crazy colors just as they come out of the scanners. On photo sharing sites, some people refer to this as "no post processing", but that obviously isn't true. It should be labelled "random post processing by the scanner setting". What I aim for then is a correction of the colors, bringing it close to "normal", but allowing a little bit room for the weird colors of the cross process. When a color cast starts getting annoying after looking at it for a couple of times, that's where I draw the line. A pink image might look good at the first moment, but it gets boring fast.
The picture of the burned tree over Athens was much more pinkish/magenta in my first round of corrections. I like it a lot, but I know that I'll get bored of the color cast soon. It's ok when thinking "this is a cross processed negative", but without that info it's just a pic with a color cast. The snow scene (where I was on a hike in the snowy Parnitha mountains near Athens) might be not completely corrected, but it's one case where the slight off-balance works for me.