I’m a big fan of VSCO products. I’m an avid user of VSCO Cam to edit my Instagram photos and have long admired the look of their plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop. When I saw that they had released VSCO 5 and that it emulated a lot of basic, consumer film stocks, I was intrigued. When I saw what people were doing with it, I knew I had to get it for myself.
Aahhhhhh!!! There’s so many options! I was just a little overwhelmed. There are 12 different film stocks and each one has around 12 different options (+, -, cool, warm, alt, etc…). That’s a long list of choices.
I decided to just dive in and pick a photo and start randomly clicking. More often than not, I didn’t really like what I was seeing. “WTF? Those samples I saw looked amazing!” Every once in a while, though, I’d find one I really liked, so I knew there was still hope.
Figuring It Out
I decided that random wasn’t the way to go. I needed a system. I tend to shoot in a variety of conditions (backlit, direct sun, open shade and those wonderful few minutes after sunset), so I picked some of my favorites to run my tests on and got busy.
I figured out that certain presets look great on certain photos didn’t look so great on others, all depending on the light in the photo. For example, I tended to prefer the “cool” settings on backlit photos (but not always). I also found that I preferred certain film stocks in general for my style of shooting (but not always).
Here are some images I edited in a way that appealed to me using VSCO 5 for Lightroom. I could have gone really faded, very saturated or any hue of green, red or blue depending on the preset I chose, so if that’s your cup of tea, don’t despair! I just didn’t choose them for my photos. I also took out the grain, so if they seem a little too clean for your taste, that’s probably why.
So, here’s my first batch of test photos using VSCO 5. Enjoy!