October 30, 2014

VSCO Film 06

Education - Photographers

(Note: if you’re looking for a review of VSCO Film 07, you can go here)

OK, holy smokes. This preset pack has blown me away. Over the last few years I’ve stepped away from VSCO to develop my own presets and to customize my look and voice, but–dang, I think these presets are my favorite to date. There is something in these presets that speaks to my current editing style and makes them really relate to me and my workflow.

So let me back-track a bit. My favorite film stocks are Portra 160 and Portra 400. I really enjoy the  look and colors that these films give, primarily with reds and greens. Additionally, these films can be pushed and you can bring in some more character to these films by pushing them a stop or two. Pushing the film results in some awesome yellow tones and some great, contrasty skin tones. (In terms of the lab I use, most of my film processing this year has been through Mammum, if you’re interested).

With all that said, I feel like my digital work really tries to embody a sense of film in it. My digital work does not try to match film, but I really love some of the characteristics of film and I try to incorporate those unique things into my editing process. Specifically, I’m talking about greens and the way that film renders green tones.

Well, in my personal opinion, I think greens are the toughest things to match between digital and film and I don’t think VSCO 06 does a perfect job of matching greens–but I think they do a pretty killer job on connecting some of the film tones and allowing me to color-correct the greens to match my own vision for them. In short, they do the hard work of color correcting the rest of the colors, and I can do a quick touch up on the greens to get them to where I want to be. Simple. Quick. And it matches my current editing style.

I don’t think VSCO 06 matches these film stocks exactly, but I do think that it’s one of the best packs out there in terms of bringing film subtleties into the digital market. If you want to match your digital and your film,  that’s an entire, other personal project. (For the record, if you want a personal workshop on the subject, you need to talk to Gene Pease). If, however, you’re looking to incorporate some of film’s color and tones without losing your digital aspect, then this is the pack for you.

I tend to love Kodak films stocks, so this review will be more Kodak heavy, but there are some other films in the mix as well. Additionally, I would almost never use the VSCO cross-process presets, so I used those very minimally here.

Let me know your thoughts.

(Also if you’re looking for any other reviews or articles that I’ve written, you can find these here: VSCO Film 05 ReviewMy Journey Through VSCO FilmMy Process: Crafting a Vision)

Kodak Portra 400+2 –

vsco-film-06-Porta 400+2 minus-1

TRI-X +2 –

Fuji 400H+1 –


Portra 160+1 Over

vsco-film-06-Portra 160+1 Over-1

Portra 160+1 Alt

vsco-film-06-Porta 160+1 Alt-1

Portra 400+1 Night +

vsco-film-06-Porta 400+1 Night plus-1

Portra 800+1

vsco-film-06-Porta 800+1-1

TRI-X+1 –

Provia 400X+1 Over

Sensia 100XP Over

Portra 160+1 Alt +

vsco-film-06-Portra 160+1 Alt plus-1

Portra 400+2 ++

vsco-film-06-Portra 400+2 plus plus-1

Portra 800+1 ++ Green

vsco-film-06-Portra 800+1 plus plus Green-1

Provia 400X+1 Over +

Portra 400+1 +

vsco-film-06-Portra 400+1 plus-1