I’ve seen a lot of photos with this sort of high-contrast-yet-washed-out look to them, but I’ve never really known how they came about. Turns out most of these images have either gone through a bleach bypass or a cross processing filter. These are both terms from old film development — bleach bypass means that the “bleaching” step of the development process was skipped, leaving a lot of silver in the photo. This gives it a very characteristic look that’s actually really easy to emulate in photoshop:
If that image looks familiar, it’s because I’ve already posted it on here before, but here’s my original take on it again, just for reference:
On the other hand, cross processing refers to the technique of developing film in different chemicals that what was intended. This effect can also be duplicated in photoshop:
And here’s the original:
I’m not sure if these are the best examples ever, but I think they’re kindof neat.