vsco 740x416 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

VSCO is a powerful and popular camera and photo editing on the iOS and Android. You can choose from a wide range of presets to instantly change the style and look of an image. You can also use the advanced manual controls to fine-tune a photo. VSCO has become part of my post-production in iPhone photography workflow.

The VSCO app had a major update to the user interface in 2017. The navigation is now easier and the editing tools are clearer. This tutorial walks you through how to use the latest VSCO app to capture and edit iPhone photos.

Chapter 1: How to Use VSCO

1.1 Overview

Capture

  1. Tap the Camera icon to open the camera.
  2. Tap the Shutter button to take a photo. You can swipe to DSCO to capture an animated GIF.
  3. Tap the X icon to exit camera mode.

Edit

You can find the captured or imported images in Studio.

  1. Tap the Add icon to access your Studio.
  2. Select the image you want to edit, then tap the Edit icon.
  3. Tap on a preset to apply the filter and choose the strength. Tap the √ sign to save the change.
  4. Tap the Edit icon to access your toolkit to fine tune your image.
  5. When you’ve done with editing, tap Save to save your edits.

Share

  1. Select the image(s) you want to share.
  2. Tap the Share icon.
  3. Follow the instructions and publish them to your Profile.

Explore

1. Tap the Feed icon to see updates from the people you follow.
2. Tap the Search icon to search for people, images, and journal posts on VSCO.

1.2 How to import images

  1. Navigate to your Studio by tapping the Add icon.
  2. Tap on the “+” sign at the top right-hand corner.
  3. Select the image(s) you want to import, and then tap on the √ at the top right-hand corner to confirm.

vsco 1.2 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

1.3 How to edit an image

  1. Select the image you want to edit, and tap the Edit icon.
  2. To apply a preset to your image, tap on a preset, and pull the slider to choose the strength. Tap on the √ sign to confirm your adjustment for the preset intensity.
  3. To access the toolkit, tap the Edit icon and choose from the editing options.
  4. Tap “Save” to save the changes.

vsco 1.3 1024x606 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

1.4 How to save or delete edited images

  1. Select the image(s) you want to save or delete, and then tap the “…“ icon.
  2. Tap “Save to Camera Roll” or “Save to Gallery” to save your images to your phone’s image library. Or, tap on “Delete” to delete your images from VSCO.

vsco 1.4 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

1.5 How to organize your presets & tools

  1. Select an image in your Studio, and then tap the Edit icon.
  2. Tap the Manage icon from the dock to view presets, tools and recipes.
  3. To favorite a preset, tap the Star icon under Presets. Your favorite presets will appear in front of other presets.
  4. To hide a preset collection, tap Hide.
  5. To rearrange the order of editing options under Tools, hold down the = icon and drag into your preferred order.

vsco 1.5 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

1.6 How to create and apply a recipe

You can create a recipe to save your favorite editing process.

To create a recipe:

  1. After editing an image, tap the Undo icon, and then tap on the “+” sign to create a recipe.
  2. Saved recipes will show in the recipe dock.

To apply a recipe:

  1. Select an image in your Studio, then tap the Edit icon
  2. Tap the Undo icon
  3. Tap on the recipe to apply.

To edit a recipe:

  1. Select an image, then tap the Edit icon.
  2. Tap the Manage icon from the dock to view presets, tools and recipes.
  3. Under Recipes, select a recipe to edit.

vsco 1.6 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

1.7 How to use the before & after feature

If you want to see the changes you’ve made to the image you’re editing, hold the image for a few seconds to see the original.

1.8 How to backup imported images using iCloud

To backup VSCO in iCloud on your iOS device:

  1. Go to Settings > your Apple ID > iCloud.
  2. Tap “Manage Storage” under Storage.
  3. Tap Backup and select your phone.
  4. Toggle on VSCO under “Choose Data to Back Up”.

vsco 1.8 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

Chapter 2:How to Take Photos in VSCO

2.1 Overview

You can use VSCO to take photos. The built-in camera is intuitive to use, and has advanced controls for you to manipulate for different shooting environments.

To access the camera:

  1. Tap “Take a photo” in Studio to open the camera.
  2. Select and apply camera settings.
  3. Tap the Shutter button to take a photo.

vsco camera overview - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

2.1 Manual focus

Manual Focus allows you to set focus on a subject in the frame.

To engage the manual focus control:

  1. Tap the Camera icon to launch the camera.
  2. Tap the Circled Plus icon.
  3. Use the slider to adjust your focus.
  4. Tap the Auto icon to change back to automatic focus.

vsco focus - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

2.2 Exposure

Exposure compensation allows you to adjust the brightness of an image.

To navigate the exposure control:

  1. Tap the Camera icon to initiate the camera.
  2. Tap the Sun icon.
  3. Drag the slider to increase or decrease the strength of exposure compensation.
  4. Tap the Auto icon to change back to auto mode.

vsco exposure - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

VSCO editing tip: Tap with two fingers on your screen to separate the Exposure and Focus icons.

vsco focus exposure - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

2.3 Shutter Speed

Shutter speed allows you to slow down the shutter for more light, or to speed up for less light.

To adjust shutter speed:

  1. Tap the Camera icon to launch the camera.
  2. Tap the Shutter icon.
  3. Move the slider left or right to increase or decrease the shutter speed.
  4. Tap the Auto icon to change back to automatic shutter speed.

vsco shutter speed - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

2.3 White Balance

White Balance lets you take control of the color temperature of your photo.

To engage the white balance control:

  1. Tap the Camera icon.
  2. Tap the WB icon.
  3. Move the slider to the left to cool down the image, or to the right to warm it up.
  4. Tap the Auto icon to bring back to auto mode.

vsco white balance - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

2.4 ISO

ISO allows you to control the camera’s sensitivity to light.

To adjust ISO:

  1. Tap the Camera icon.
  2. Tap on the ISO icon.
  3. Use the slider to increase or decrease your ISO.

vsco iso - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

Chapter 3: How to Edit Photos in VSCO

3.1 VSCO Presets

The VSCO app comes with free and paid presets for you to style different types of image.

To apply a filter to an image:

  1. Select an image in Studio, then tap the Edit icon.
  2. At the bottom of the app is a scrolling list of filter thumbnails. The presets are grouped into different collections. To try out a preset, simply tap on it.
  3. A slider will appear, and you can pull the slider to adjust the strength of the filter. Then press the checkmark to save the change.

vsco 3.1 1 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

You can purchase more filters from the Shop. You can visit the Shop from the main menu (next to Studio).

VSCO editing tip: To compare presets, apply a few different presets to an image then use undo/redo to select.

3.2 VSCO Editing Tools

In addition to presets, VSCO offers a comprehensive suite of editing tools to customize your images.

To access the toolkit:

  1. Select an image from Studio, then tap the Edit icon.
  2. Tap the Edit icon at the bottom of the screen (next to the Preset icon). You can scroll to see all the editing options.

vsco 3.2 - VSCO Tutorial: How to Use VSCO to Shoot & Edit Photos 2018

These editing options are:

  • Exposure adjusts the brightness of your image.
  • Contrast adjusts the level of contrast between the bright and dark areas of the image.
  • Straighten lets you straighten the horizontal lines in your photo. Or tap the square icon to the right of the slider to rotate the image 90 degrees.
  • Crop allows you to drag the corners to crop away the edges of your photo using different aspect ratios, e.g. 3:2, 4:3, 1:1.
  • X-Skew corrects the horizontal perspective and alignment of your image.
  • Y-Skew corrects the vertical perspective and alignment of your image.
  • Sharpen defines the details in your photo.
  • Clarity enhances the texture of your photo.
  • Saturation adjusts the vibrancy of colors in your photo.
  • Highlights darkens the bright areas to show more details.
  • Shadows brightens the dark areas to show more details.
  • Temperature allows you to warm up or cool down the colors of your image.
  • Tint adds a green or magenta tint to correct color casts in your photo.
  • Skin Tone fine-tunes the skin tone color in portrait pictures.
  • Vignette darkens the edges of your image.
  • Grain adds grain to your image to make the texture look like the picture was developed from on a film.
  • Fade washes out shadows for a vintage look.
  • Shadows Tint adds different color tints to the dark areas of your photo.
  • Highlights Tint adds different color tints to the bright areas of your photo.
  • Borders adds a border with your choice of color and width (only for VSCO X members).

VSCO editing tip #1: Double tap on the center of a slider to reset it.

VSCO editing tip #2: Swipe left to right on a photo to undo your last edit.

3.3 Summary of The VSCO Editing Tools

VSCO has an excellent selection of editing tools, from simple one-tap presets to manual adjustment controls.

From simple one-tap presets to advanced manual controls, VSCO allows you to experiment with the editing processes. It’s a great photo editing app to grow your own photo style.

Chapter 4: VSCO Final Thoughts

VSCO is one of the best photo editing apps that I use on a daily basis. VSCO is an all-in-one solution for you to capture, create and share a piece of artwork on your iPhone.

You may have a learning curve to get used to the overwhelming variety of presets and editing options. But the more you use the app, the more you become addicted to it. It’s become part of my workflow to edit my pictures using VSCO before sharing them.

Having said that, don’t over-process your photos. Photo editing is only there to enhance and compliment the photograph, not to overpower it with strong effects.

If you would like to share your VSCO edited photos on Instagram, make sure to tag the photos with #learningiphonephotography.

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