Amateur Photographer - - Testbench | Round-up -

Free with in-app pur­chases www.vsco.co

Un­like the other apps here, VSCO fil­ters are also avail­able as Light­room Pre­sets and ACR Pre­sets for Pho­to­shop CS6 and CC. Th­ese fil­ters can be pur­chased from the VSCO web­site, and seek to emu­late a wide range of clas­sic colour and black & white films, plus there are themed packs avail­able aimed at spe­cific types of pho­tog­ra­phy or based around an edit­ing style. The app it­self is avail­able for free and of­fers 20 pre­sets that can be ap­plied to im­ages that you load into the app, or take us­ing the app’s cam­era func­tion. Once im­ages have been im­ported or shot us­ing the app, they re­main in the gallery/or­gan­iser, where they can be ac­cessed quickly.

There are also con­trols for edit­ing pho­tos, and th­ese can be used ex­clu­sively or to per­son­alise one of the pre­sets. They al­low you to do all the things you’d ex­pect, such as crop, and con­trol bright­ness and con­trast, but fol­low­ing the over­all aes­thetic cre­ated by the pre­sets. Other con­trols are aimed at cre­at­ing retro-style film ef­fects. A great fea­ture is that you can change the or­der of th­ese man­ual con­trols to speed up your work­flow.

Just like the Adobe- com­pat­i­ble pre­sets that are avail­able to pur­chase, you can also buy ad­di­tional pre­sets through the app. Th­ese range from free to £3.49, and are aimed at spe­cific gen­res of pho­tog­ra­phy such as por­trai­ture and land­scape, or based around an edit­ing style. The fact that there are quite a few op­tions avail­able that cost just a few pounds helps to make them a com­pelling pur­chase.

There is also a com­mu­nity, but it lacks the fi­nesse of In­sta­gram. You can cre­ate a pro­file, fol­low other pho­tog­ra­phers and be fol­lowed your­self. The plat­form isn’t as pop­u­lar, but still boasts over 30 mil­lion ac­tive users. The strength of the app is the stylish retro ef­fects it al­lows you to ap­ply. Un­like the other edit­ing apps, this is one that makes its money through sell­ing fea­tures and func­tion­al­ity to users in the form of pre­set packs and VSCO X –a $19.99 per year sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that pro­vides en­hanced tools and com­mu­nity con­tent.

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