‘Light Pollution’ and Cross Processing

Cross processing colors in Photoshop seems to be very popular for making images look edgy and, what some may label as, “hipsterish”. I personally don’t like labels because a single style can be used for a variety of reasons for to produce wildly different looking work. So, when I found that one of the photos from my trip to the beach in the very early morning came out sort of boring, using cross processing seemed like an excellent solution to make the colors stand out. I didn’t just want the colors to be brighter, though. I wanted the colors to be in-line with the idea that the content that the image was putting forward.

I figured that 6:00am was early enough to be at the beach in order to capture the shots of the sun rising. Unfortunately, it turned out to be way too early. Even more unfortunate was that my camera’s battery was on its last leg. So, I settled on taking some long exposures of the horizon, counting down anywhere from 40 to 120 seconds per shot.

The glow in the sky was produced by the street lights in the distance. If the camera was facing any further to the left, the glow would disappear as there were almost no lights in that area. And, I naturally wanted to use the editing process to place more emphasis on “pollution” by making the colors a bit more.. toxic.

In addition to a slight crop, I also wanted to get rid of the object in the foreground. Because it was such a dark corner, essentially lacking any detail, removing the object was relatively simple by means of stamping and healing.

Cross processing is an extremely versatile way to get the colors you want. This is partly because you use a different layer filter for each color channel (Blue, Green, and Red). Each one can be manipulated with complete freedom. They can then be brushed in or out using masks, or you could just lower the opacity for the one or all the layers. In this particular shot, I didn’t even use the red filter.

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