VSCO Editing Tips for Beginners

VSCO Editing Tips for Beginners

VSCO is an app for taking, enhancing and sharing photos. It offers a minimalist UI, a collection of stylish presets and several handy photo editing features.

Follow VSCO editing tips, use VSCO filters right that will allow you to improve the look of your images with a single tap, with the majority of effects being inspired by classic film.

18 VSCO Editing Tips & Tricks

If your goal is to post unique images, you’ll have to develop your own image editing routine in VSCO. Follow these simple VSCO editing tips below and start posting breathtaking images on your Instagram page.

1. Expose Images

vsco filter recipes

Employ the exposure feature to increase the brightness of your images. When operating the tool and pulling the dot to the right, pay close attention to see if all details are preserved and the photo still looks natural. Avoid overexposing the image.

If your photograph is underexposed, you also won’t be able to see some details because of the overwhelming darkness. The key is finding the golden balance between overexposing and underexposing the picture to preserve the maximum amount of detail.

Before you begin editing an image, first you have to adjust the lighting, as only then you can objectively judge what other changes need to be done going forward. For instance, you can use the exposure tool to brighten the image, and the skin tone might end up looking exactly how you want it to, so you won’t need to tint it later.

2. Reduce Filter Intensity

lower intensity of the filter

VSCO is popular because of its refined filters that don’t overshadow the original photo. However, since photo editing comes down to personal preference, you might find some effects to be too strong. Simply lower the intensity.

You can do that by applying the needed filter, tapping the filter icon, and adjusting the intensity value by moving around the slider.

3. Edit RAW Image

autosave captured photos to the camera

These days, plenty of smartphones let you take RAW photos and VSCO is a great tool for editing them. A RAW picture gives you a lot more freedom compared to JPEG in terms of changing the exposure, tones, and contrast.

RAW images also preserve more data about the file. If an image turns out to be underexposed, it’s simpler to make it brighter without having noise or artifacts appear. If you want to take a RAW picture using the VSCO camera, tap the Studio icon and then the Camera image in the top left corner.

4. Save the Preset

vsco recipes

Once you’ve picked the colors, you have to locate the needed presets (filter + settings) and save the result. To do so, tap the third icon to the left and then the “+” button.

When you upload photos in the future, simply tap the saved recipe, make any adjustments if needed, and upload it.

5. Mark Your Favorite Presets

favorite presets

Everyone has some presets and filters that they use practically every day. The app allows you to easily access your favorite presets instead of swiping through all of them.

VSCO lets you both swap the order of the presets and change the location of the filters. Additionally, if there’s a series of presets that you never use, you can simply hide that collection. To enlist a filter among your favorites, tap the star icon. To lower the priority of a preset, you have to uncheck it.

6. Use the Crop Tool

focusing on the composition

To enhance your photo, try improving its composition. If you apply a cropping tool, you can cut the central part of an image to make an object stand out. It is helpful when you need to change the visual perception of an object.

By using the rule of thirds, you can make any part of an image instantly noticeable.

7. Pay Attention to Photo Alignment

use the alignment tool

One of the handiest VSCOcam tips is to align the horizon, for instance, edit a slight tilt and make your image look more professional. Thanks to the straightening tool, you can quickly improve any picture.

8. Control Color Tint with HSL Tool

adjust the color on the photo

Using HSL tools you can adjust saturation, hue, and lightness by picking any color that you wish to improve. Once you have chosen it, click on the circles in the color picker and use the sliders to adjust a selected color.

9. Highlight Focus Point and Exposure Level

exposure level highlight function

If you need to improve shadows and brightness, you have to separate these functions by clicking on the camera interface with 2 fingers. When you have separated them, move every circle to an area of your choice and click on them to use the tools.

10. Compare With the Original Image

fixthephoto color correction before/after fixthephoto color correction before/after

Sometimes, image editors apply so many filters that an image loses in quality. To check if a picture is still clear enough, try comparing the result to the source image. If you press on the image and hold long enough, you will see an original one.

11. Add Warm Colors to the Photo

best vsco presets

Adjust color temperature and add shades to make shadows and light more realistic.

The VSCO temperature tool is easy to apply. If an image looks too sharp, you can change it by moving the temperature slider to the right.

By moving the slider to the left, you will make colors look colder, the image will acquire a bluish look. When you opt for warmer temperature, colors will appear to be more yellow.

12. Use Movie Filters

film x filters

If you're a fan of film photography, try Film X filters that will add a movie-like effect to your images. With the help of them, you can change strength, nature, and warmth.

The filters can be applied to large RAW files as well. You need to click on the filter to use it and then repeat the action to adjust the settings to your liking.

13. Experiment with Filters

applying one filter to another

In some cases, you might get an unexpected result if you apply several filters to one image. While with VSCO it’s impossible to use several filters simultaneously, you can apply a filter to an edited image.

Try applying any filter to a photo and then save the result in the Gallery. Once you do it, you can apply another filter to the saved image to see how it will be changed. Make sure to save a result in a separate file every time, so that you can restore it, if necessary.

14. Edit Portraits with E-Series

vsco package - e-series

If you are going to edit portrait photography using the VSCO app, try a great collection of filters to edit portraits that the VSCO package – E-series has to offer you.

Remember that the look of the skin is extremely important. Also, check how black looks in the picture.

The wide range of VSCO filters will help you make the skin look natural, just choose the most appropriate one. Play around with filters – raise the black point to make the shadows fade. As a result, you will get a wonderful matte effect.

15. Use Clarity for Macro Photography

clarity tool

If you are wondering how not to make the details of the photo too contrasting, you should apply a Clarity tool at a medium level. This tool may be used to add focus to the tiniest details on your macro photography.

If you have a picture of beautiful clouds and you want to make the borders of the clouds clearer, the Clarity tool will help you as well.

16. Recover Details in Vivid Shots

use the highlights

If you have a photo taken in harsh light, some details may not be seen very well. To recover them, use the highlights slider to push down overexposed highlights. This tip may be used for portraits taken even in the brightest sunlight.

17. Work On Skin Tone in Portraits

pay attention to skin tone

VSCO filters from G4 to G9 are designed to improve the portrait photos with very few adjustments. Editing portraits, it is very important to remember about the importance of the skin tone. The filters may either save or spoil the whole picture.

The second icon from the left is the built-in Skin Tone slider. Try using it to preserve the original skin tone or to improve it while remaining natural.

18. Change the Angle

straightening and cropping tool

The Skew tool will help you a lot if you need to correct perspective issues, angles, or alignment. With this tool, you change the focus, modifying the angle of the photograph. To stretch the picture, use X-Skew or Y-Skew.

VSCO Editing Freebies

With the help of these VSCO Lightroom filters your photos will have a great tone and the whole process of editing pictures will become easier.

Cold Shadows

cold shadows lightroom preset for portraits cold shadows lightroom preset for portraits

If you don’t have much experience editing in Lightroom, check out this collection of VSCO filters for Lightroom. They will make your portraits look awesome. These presets are developed in .xmp and .Irtemplate formats. Download them for free and apply any time you need to make a perfect portrait.

Soft Contrast

soft contrast nighclub lightroom preset soft contrast nighclub lightroom preset

Taking pictures in the night club is considered to be equal to the reportage or the photo shooting. But in fact, it is not true. To show the atmosphere of the night club, a photographer has to cope with event photography editing professionally by using these presets.

Remove Noise

remove noise lightroom preset for real estate remove noise lightroom preset for real estate

Another set of VSCO filters Lightroom is for real estate photography. They are going to make the color correction process automatic. Use them to add a creative touch to your photos. With the Real Estate Lightroom presets, both interior and exterior photos will look wonderful, no matter if you print them or save the pictures in the digital form.

Perfect Black And White

perfect black and white vsco photoshop action perfect black and white vsco photoshop action

This is one of the best action sets for creating the most beautiful black and white photographs. The contrast will look natural, the shadows will highlight tiny but important details. If you want the photos to appear dramatic, don’t hesitate to use this set.

Saturated Paint

saturated paint vsco photoshop action saturated paint vsco photoshop action

Make your photographs brighter, add sharpness and saturation with these actions. Use them for portraits or to edit colorful street pictures.


Eva Williams

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