Nuts & Bolts….VSCO 3 Review

by St Louis Wedding Photographers Joel & Shannon

VSCO very recently released VSCO Film 03 their third set of film emulating presets. I have owned the first set since it came out, and I do use several of the presets in much of my standard editing. The first set contained two of my very favorite film stocks (Kodak Tri-X for black and white, and the sacred Kodak Potra 400…which has a look I fell in love with at first glance). While the film presets are not a perfect match, they do a very good job…definitely the best I have ever seen. When the VSCO announced their third set, I was intrigued. In the past year, I have begun shooting with Fuji’s line of instant film (FP-3000b for B&W and FP-100c for color). I fell in love with the old Polaroid pack film cameras (I may or may not have occasionally slept with my Polaroid 250 ). It’s hard to explain, but to me, it is not doing something “vintage” per se. Vintage to me often means aged and dead and having an antiqued character. But with these Fuji pack films, it is more like reaching back into the past and pulling something directly into the present. It has the character of the older things, but it is still fresh and living.

This is what VSCO Film 03 is…instant film. And, it is because of the two Fuji presets that I knew I had to buy this.

Granted, the majority of these films included in the set are many of the popular consumer grade Polaroid films from years gone by and the revivalist films of the Impossible Project. Honestly, I never really cared for these films. My family was (admittedly) too cheap frugal to pay for the more pricey instant film, so I never really grew up being exposed (pun fully intended) to these stocks. Thus, they really hold no nostalgic ties to my heart. Nevertheless, I was willing to give them a shot in this set…after all, I did pay for them as well.

First thing for me to mention is that with all of the presets (or any lightroom presets for that matter, of which I own very few), they usually require some tweaking to get them to the place where you need them to be. That is not a bad thing. In fact, I like that because it still leaves plenty of room for each persons’ style to shine through. I am still on my quest to get my Portra 400 setting exactly where it should be so that it will work on 80%+of my images and look outstanding. I might never get there, but I am going to keep trying. On to my reactions for this specific set, though. As will the previous VSCO set I own, the B&W presets are absolutely outstanding. They have a feel and look to them that I really connect with. The tweaks that I do to them are usually minor, and with some, I might not even need to change anything outside of general exposure. Of all the B&W’s in VSCO 03, the FP-3000b is definitely my favorite (not surprising).

One of the very nice aspects of VSCO is that they do multiple versions of each film stock. For example, with the FP-3000b, there is standard, plus and minus effects to various degrees, negative, and early pull (which I have never tried in real life, actually). It gives you the chance for multiple “strength” settings, you might say. Typically, with most settings I prefer the minus type settings so that the effects are more muted (ESPECIALLY in the color ones). Speaking of the color ones, I have to say that I do not expect to use many of the color ones from this set on anything other than personal work. While they look great for what they are, my professional work does not have the toned, faded “instagram” type look to them. I could be wrong, but I feel that for weddings and such, I will be sticking with my beloved Portra 400. In my personal artistic work, though, I think they work great for a number of applications.

So, enough with my rambling…here are some samples for you to look at with the appropriate preset listed below each image. Enjoy!  Definitely check out VSCO. Click HERE to buy one of their amazing products!

P.S. All of these photos were shot last April when my wife and I visited some of her family in California…they were shot over the two days that they took us to Yosemite National Park. I figured that it was about time I did something with them haha

2VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

1VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 665

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-70

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-100c

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Expired Polaroid

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-100UV

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-70

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-100c

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 665 (negative)

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Expired Polaroid

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b (negative)

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 669

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Polaroid 690

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b (negative)

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-100UV

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Expired Polaroid

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-70

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-100C

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-70

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b (negative)

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-680

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
PX-70

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
Expired Polaroid

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-3000b

VSCO Film 03 in Yosemite by Conner Photography
FP-100C

Written by Joel Conner | St. Louis Wedding Photographers