VSCOol

After realizing that it is a bit pricey to keep shooting slide film, I wanted to do a straight up comparison of what I can get from the equivalent VSCO presets.

Some of these are Velvia 100 scans with a little additional editing, and some are OM-D E-M5 .ORF files converted with various VSCO Velvia presets in ACR.

Can you tell the difference?

The nice thing about starting with film was that the basic look seemed pretty solid from the start. High-resolution TIFFs from good captures and decent scans only needed a little work to fine-tune the colors and contrast levels, and a little NR to tone down the grain. There are a couple more examples from this first roll in my previous post.

On the other hand, my digital raw files benefited from a major overhaul. I used the VSCO presets for variations on Velvia 50 and 100. It would have taken me quite some time to get these to match up so well without help from those intense starting points.

The in camera conversions to JPEGs just didn’t cut it. Although I generally like the Vivid setting that Olympus provides, I’m now convinced that VSCO takes it to another level.

When I first compared a few film simulation software tools, I liked Alien Skin Exposure the best, and I still use it all the time as a nearly endless toolbox when I’m hand-tooling a particular look in Photoshop. However, for a one-click film like experience, VSCO provides me with instant gratification.

I’m about to drop off my second roll of Velvia for developing, and I am very curious to find out if I’ll continue to see enough value in these scans compared to my usual digital captures to keep shooting it.

At the very least, it’s an interesting learning experience to explore the various intensities of color I can get using two very different processes.

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