Review // VSCO FILM 06

VSCO just came out with their new film preset bundle - 06. I incorporate VSCO in my editing workflow so I was eager to download the latest and greatest they had to offer. VSCO's newest presets are variations of film stocks that have been pushed, pulled, and cross-processed. I LOVE to push film so this had me intrigued. 

Here's a few examples from recent work I've processed using 06.

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 400h+

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 400h+

I go for a more moody look these days, and Fuji 400h film doesn't fit the bill. Typically I shoot Portra 400 or 800, but I thought I'd give VSCO 400h a try, and happily discovered you can get a clean, crisp edit using this preset.

When I was using these presets I stuck with the + and - versions. These presets are really bold and have a ton of pop so I frequently dialed down the contrast and saturation.

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 : VSCO 06 Portra 800-

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 : VSCO 06 Portra 800-

If I could only shoot one color film stock for the rest of my life Portra 800 would  be top of the list. So, I was excited to see what the VSCO Portra 800s had in store. My favorite was the - version, mainly because I had to dial everything down less so I got to results I liked quicker. While it doesn't have the qualities I love about Portra 800 film stock, it has a clean look that is true to the surroundings.

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 Portra 400-

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 Portra 400-

Again I went with a - version of the presets, and found I liked them the most. While these aren't similar to the results I get when I shoot Portra 400 film stock, I am still a big fan of them. Clean. Simple. Lets the image to the talking. In my opinion, that's what we should all aim for. Besides doing regular temp/tint and exposure changes, I had to also adjust the contrast, hue and saturation of the greens and yellows to reach a point I loved. 

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 : VSCO 06 Portra 160-

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 : VSCO 06 Portra 160-

The Porta 160- was my favorite. It's the closest to how I currently edit my work and gave me a bit of mood. Warm skin, easy greens to look at; both right up my alley. With the image above, I made tweaks to the hue and saturation to really develop the image to where I wanted it. 

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 TRI-X+

Canon 5D3 / 50L : VSCO 06 TRI-X+

I really like the Neopan 400 from VSCO 05 and typically use a tweaked version for most of my B/W work. I'm a big fan of TRI-X film so I was curious what the results would be. With B/W, the + and - were the best. Everything else was too processed for my liking. I removed most of the grain and some contrast, and brought the highlights down. Big fan of the end results. Not necessarily how TRI-X looks, but a great edit nonetheless. 

Alright. On to something a bit more difficult. Could I match my digital work to my film scans using the VSCO Film 06 presets... 

Hasselblad 500 cm / Portra 400 / Indie Film Lab

Hasselblad 500 cm / Portra 400 / Indie Film Lab

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 / VSCO 06 Portra 400+

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 / VSCO 06 Portra 400+

I figured I should use the VSCO preset that coordinated to the film stock I shot. Many adjustments later I ended up with similar results, with the greens and yellows needing the most attention. The H/S/L section in Lightroom is a must for matching the two mediums. 

Hasselblad 500 cm / Portra 400 / Indie Film Lab

Hasselblad 500 cm / Portra 400 / Indie Film Lab

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 / VSCO 06 Portra 400+

Leica M240 / Zeiss Sonnar 50 / VSCO 06 Portra 400+

They aren't perfect matches but they work well together. I'm sure if I spent some more time really dialing in the hues  I could get them to match but it's not realistic for me to spend 30 minutes on a photo. 

Final Thoughts 

I view the 06 preset pack like I view all of the others by VSCO-- incredibly great starting points. For them to really fit your work and what you want to say, they have to be adjusted to your liking. Understanding Lightroom is important to know how to get the end results you want.  I had to spend time personalizing these presets to get them where I wanted but I always ended up with something I liked. For me, the + and - were the only ones I'd use. Everything else what a bit over the top for my liking. 

I'd 100 percent recommend checking this preset pack out. I think you could easily find a color and B/W preset to fit your style. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.

Julia & Kabeer / Wisconsin Barn Wedding

From our first Skype date, I knew these two were going to have a meaningful and beautiful wedding day. I could see the joy and love they had for each other so plainly through our conversation and I couldn't wait to capture it. A torrential downpour on their wedding didn't stop them and I doubt anything else will.

A big thanks to Benj Haisch for shooting with me.