If you like the film look on your modern camera or mobile device, I would highly recommend checking out VSCO film presets.

In my early days of photography, I fell in love with the clipped darks and highlights of film photography. I also love the texture that grain adds to an image, especially black and white. But I had no idea how to bring those looks to life in my own photography. That’s where Visual Supply Company, also known as VSCO, comes in…

Spring Park Coffee TinroofStacy
VSCO Film Portra 400++ in Pack 02

More About VSCO

Visual Supply Company is an Oakland based company that produces amazing photo editing tools to allow a digital image to have the look of a variety of film stocks. Currently there are 10 different packages available for purchase.

In addition to the film emulation presets for Lightroom, VSCO provides an app for your mobile device, which is great for on-the-go editing. Just snap the photo and apply your favorite look from the presets and your ready to go.

VSCO Film Precisa 100 XP+
Precisa 100 XP++, one of the cross process presets from VSCO

The installation of these presets is pretty straight forward. After downloading the zip file, you only need to extract the contents and follow the dialogue boxes. Immediately after installation, the user is redirected to an introduction page explaining how to effectively use the new presets. I highly recommend reading and/or bookmarking this page for reference.

Tin Roof Life Lightroom VSCO Film
VSCO film presets installed in Lightroom, our work environment.

VSCO Film Descriptions And Characteristics

While VSCO does a great job with tutorials on how to use the presets, I didn’t know what the applications were for each film type. Which films were better for portraiture and which for architecture? And was there a film for landscape photography? So I did a little research and found out what each film type might be used for.

All Purpose

  • Fuji 160C – Suited to a wide range of photographic applications, including portrait, commercial work, fashion, architectural and interior photography.
  • Fuji Superia – daylight balanced colour negative film, aimed at the point and shoot market but is also popular with enthusiasts.

Portraiture, Wedding, & Fashion

  • Fuji 400H – Suited especially to wedding, portrait and fashion photography where accurate rendition of the subject is essential
  • Fuji 800Z – Suited especially to portrait, wedding and fashion photography. Provides vibrant colors with high fidelity, smooth textures, excellent grays.
  • Kodak Portra – a family of daylight-balanced professional color negative films, mainly for portrait and wedding applications. The films are available in three speeds — 160, 400, and 800 ISO — with the 160 and 400 speed formerly available as “natural color” (NC) and “vivid color” (VC)

Fine Art Black & White

  • Ilford HP5 – medium contrast, all-purpose black & white film. Ideal for action, documentary and available light photography.
  • Kodak T-Max 3200 – a continuous tone, panchromatic, tabular-grain black and white negative film.
  • Kodak TRI-X – a black and white panchromatic film, once one of the most popular films used by photojournalists and many amateurs.
  • Fuji Neopan 1600 – a high speed black and white negative film
  • Ilford Delta 3200 – high-speed black and white negative film
  • Agfa Scala 200 – higher than normal contrast and has a unique tonal scale

Landscape & Nature

  • Kodak E100G – film that produces exceptional results for advertising, fashion, editorial, architecture, nature/wildlife, and other commercial applications. This film is designed for exposure with daylight or electronic flash.
  • Kodak E200 – the film offers moderate contrast, along with excellent color and image structure
  • Fuji Velvia – known for its extremely high level of color saturation and image quality. Velvia has very saturated colors under daylight, high contrast, and exceptional sharpness. These characteristics make it the slide film of choice for many nature photographers.
  • Fuji Provia 100F– medium contrast and saturation, ideal for use in a wide range of photographic applications and is especially well-suited for use in product, landscape, nature, portraiture, and fashion photography.
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