Understanding the Different Presets
VSCO is a fantastic tool to use to achieve that film-like nostalgic vibe. They make various presets that, quite literally, are made to mimic old analog photography filters. However, there are differences in the types of presets between the App and the ones you use in Lightroom. So before you plug and play, let’s break down what those presets are and how they can help:
There are tons of App presets VSCO so lovingly gifts to mobile photographers and videographers (yup, with VSCO X, you can apply those same presets to video!). But which ones will give you the most significant film look? There are a few to choose from below.
A4 - Made to mimic old sepia-tones analog footage, this preset will heighten any dynamic range you encounter
A5 - Deep blues in the shadows with bright highlights.
A6 - The perfect go-to if you want a minimalistic edit with lots of contrast and deep vibrance.
KP1 - Kodak Portra 160 with creamy highlights and punched blacks.
KP4 - Kodak Portra 400 for perfecting various skin tones.
KP9 - A fun one to add in if you want unique coloring with purples and greens (still mimics the Kodak 100T series.
I personally recommend using the Kodak Portra series, as these perfect various skin tones and color corrections. If you’re an analog-loyalist like me, then I’m sure you already know everything there is to know about these three stocks, but in case you don’t, each number represents the ISO.
Kodak Portra 160 Series - Creamy, warm highlights, and purple-ish shadows. A slight hint of green to the highlights, and an excellent stock to use for bright light.
Kodak Portra 400 Series - The go-to for everyday film stock. Deep, warm highlights with sunny brown shadows and a touch of gold.
Kodak Portra 800 Series - This one’s the most grainy but perfect for darker environments as the ISO has to compensate for low light scenarios.