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News & Insight

VSCO Is Giving Away A Free Film Pack For Lightroom

By Kishore Sawh on April 22nd 2015

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Visual Supply Co., VSCO (Vis-co) as the kids are saying it on The Gossip Girl these days, produces preset packs meant to emulate specific films from the ‘golden era of analog.’ They’re also said to have custom camera profiles which tune the presets to best present your images from any number of camera brands. They’re attractive, can add some visual interest to even the most mundane or bland photo, and as such have been a hit with photographers and recreational shooters the world over.

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One of the barriers for many who would want to try these emulations is the price, as each pack (and there are 6) costs $119, which is quite steep for a few presets. To help you decide to jump the gauntlet, VSCO is now offering a free starter pack called VSCO FILM 00, and it contains two of the most popular film emulation presets the company has to offer: Kodak Gold from its Archetype Films Collection, and Tri-X from the Alternative Process Collection.

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The idea behind this is simple, that you get your feet wet with some of the best, and dive in head first for the rest. If you’ve been curious to this point, and perhaps may even own some VSCO Cam packs for your iPhone, then this is perfect, and honestly you may as well take advantage of the offer, as the emulations are good. The VSCO community also, with Grid and all the rest, has become a rather vast and expanding community which you’ll likely get drawn into.

Get it here and learn more about VSCO here. It’s super easy to download and install.

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[REWIND: VSCO Cam 4.0 | Now Optimized For iPad & The Best VSCO Yet]

A few words of encouragement and of caution, if you allow me:

For one, almost no professional photographer I know really knows all the films these presets are based on, so don’t feel poorly if you don’t know some film obscure from your age demographic. I know a handful, and can honestly say I haven’t a clue about the rest. This doesn’t mean you won’t get use out of it and can’t appreciate the looks, so don’t be put off. But on that note, I would caution you to not get carried away with them as many tend to do.

I continue to see photography portfolios where I can almost pick out exactly what preset has been applied. The system is unique but not as vanguard as it may initially seem, and not quite as versatile as the SLR Lounge Preset System. That’s not a shameless plug, because I use them both and like them both; I just always seem to be able to tell who is using and abusing VSCO.

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About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Brandon Dewey

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Suhaana Manhattan

    G00gle pay 78$ per hour my last pay check was $9240 w0rking 98 hours a week online. My y0unger brother friend has been averaging 13k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe h0w easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do.. click at this go to tech tab for more details…
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  3. satnam singh

    thanks a lot!

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  4. J. Dennis Thomas

    I just don’t see the appeal of VSCO. Or any “film” emulation software for that matter. It looks fake.

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    • Trey Mortensen

      What I really like from these free software packages is that I get to see how to get other results than my basic settings in lightroom. I’ll probably use only a couple just a few times, but I’ll learn how they get that feel from the photo and in the future, I might tweak my images just a little differently. It’s like watching someone else edit, but digitally.

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    • Thomas Horton

      It is not my cup o’ pixels either, but I do like that photographers have the choice to use these filters if they like.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      To each his own, but I adjust every single image individually. These presets only look right when they are applied to an image that they are specifically suited for. The Tri-X “look” they try to pull off in this free pack is godawful. Coming from someone whose first roll of film was Tri-X back in ’86 and pretty much used Tri-X until the late 90’s, I can confidently say that they missed this one by a mile.

      I don’t hit Auto on the Basic exposure tab in the Development tab either, and that’s pretty much what using these presets is like. Just like in the wet lab, I take develop my images on a case by case basis.

      Sure it’s “cool and easy and hip” for the kids to tag #VSCO on their image, but looking at flickr I can see these “looks” used over and over. It’s like the saying goes, “I wanna be different, just like everybody else”.

      I mean they got the con rolling, $120 a pop for each set? Wow. To me it’s a lazy way to be different. But if it works for you, more power to ya. I’ll stick with adjusting my files by eye and if I want a film look, I’ll use film.

      FWIW, straight out of camera jpgs from a CCD Leica are as close to Kodachrome as anyone has ever gotten in “film emulation”.

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    • Thomas Horton

      Trey, I agree. The key, in my opinion, is free. I might experiment with some of these based on the fact that they are free.

      So the ROI is almost infinite. :)

      I doubt I would every pay for any of them.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Well, of course, if they don’t work, I don’t see the appeal either.

      But assume a really good one. At that point, there’s a certain photographic vocabulary based on historical images, which carry over from film. I was actually familiar with the concept before digital photography really caught on, because it’s exactly the same thing in the world of audio production. I have audio plug-ins that simulate specific guitar amplifiers. I have a couple that physically model the sound of spring and plate reverbs. Others that model the sound of tape saturation.

      All of these things are kind of funny, if you think about it, in an era in which a guitar amplifier an be perfect, a reverb can be a pretty exact emulation of a specific room, and we’ve long ago left behind the problems of tape. Thing is, all of these things are present in the music we all grew up on — they’re part of our musical vocabulary. A crunchy guitar though a spring reverb into a Fender Tweed Deluxe just has that sound (and in my case, I have a guitar that computer models the sound of a Les Paul, a Strat, a Rickenbacker, even a Dano).

      Not everyone’s after that classic look (I don’t really have the word vocabulary to express the photo equivalents — but I know it when I see it), and those who are, not all the time. I think DxO’s FilmPack does a pretty nice job of this, particularly for B&W conversion. Then again, I grew up printing B&W, and sometimes it’s easier to get what I want from one of these filters than screwing around with color levels and then going greyscale in LR or PS.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I’ve never found a pedal that faithfully reproduced the sound of a spring reverb, and no amp emulator has ever gotten a sound near as good as my ’59 Gretsch through my ’64 Twin Reverb.

      Reverb pedals sound like what they are, quick digital delays, I can pick one out in a second and no amount of digitizing can get the sound of 6L6GCs and 12AX7/7025s being pushed hard.

      You will never get a true analog sound from a computer it’s too clipped and compressed and I can hear that.

      You can’t get the same sound from the Boss Space Echo pedal as you can from the pre-amp section of a real Roland RE-301 as much as Boss likes to pretend they can. That’s why pros use the real stuff, not the computer. I’ve always recorded straight through an amp to a mic to 2″ tape. Digital audio doesn’t have that latitude, warmth, and real grit that comes from a 12′ speaker moving air.

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  5. Geoffrey Van Meirvenne

    Thx for sharing!

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