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I'm a Chicago based food & travel photographer and cinemagraph maker. To get in touch, you can reach me by email at hi@sandynoto.com


How I Use VSCO to Edit Photos

How I Use VSCO to Edit Photos

VSCO is my go to iPhone photo editing app. Even though I have a few apps I occasionally use, this is where I edit about 90% of my photos. Full disclosure, I have a somewhat redundant process where I organize and edit my photos in Lightroom and then often edit again in the VSCO app. There are things I prefer to do in Lightroom, such as fixing parallax and cleaning up details. Going back through and making additional adjustments in VSCO is pretty unnecessary but it’s how I do things. 

Jerks on the internet

For some reason, over the last couple of months someone has been trying to crack into my VSCO account. Every couple of days I get an email with a password reset request. It’s been happening since February 2016 and every time I think it’s over, I get another email with a password reset request. It’s annoying. Hopefully, by sharing my whole process my mystery pain in the ass will cool their jets. 

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How I edit in VSCO

My editing process is pretty simple. Currently, I have VSCO X so I have access to all of the filters but I generally use one of three. These days, I edit each image with LV3 and export the photo. Currently, I like having a warm glow on all of my images, which is why I use the LV3 filter. If I’m working on a client project and won’t go through this whole additional VSCO process, I usually split tone the photo in Lightroom. From here, I reimport my image and add the 4 filter. I’ve literally been using the 4 filter since VSCO first came out. Every now and again I go with A6 instead of 4. Yep, my process is basically doubling down on redundancies. It’s a bit silly but not as silly as someone trying to crack into my account for 7 months.

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Back to the editing: I rarely use the filters at full strength. Usually, I lower the strength so it's between 3 and 5. Aside from the edits, I rarely make additional tweaks via tools, probably because I’ve already done most of that in Lightroom.

VSCO gallery

Also, I’m a fan of the VSCO gallery. I’ve been on Instagram for several years and there’s a lot I love about it but occasionally the social pressure to create and share certain types of images drives me crazy. The VSCO gallery has some of the same aspects as Instagram but it doesn’t feel designed to keep me glued to my phone with maddening algorithms. Additionally without likes and follower counts, images on the VSCO gallery are less predictable. There’s a lot more creativity and openness, which I really love. 

Final Thought

I’d be remiss not to mention that all the VSCO tools and presets also work for video! It makes video color grading for social media posts so much easier.

Diversions, vol. 67

Diversions, vol. 67

A Personal Project: Gertie

A Personal Project: Gertie