T+L photo editors test VSCO’s latest preset pack, "The Landscape Series."
VSCO (Visual Supply Company) is one of the top 20 photo editing apps for iPhone and Android users, according to iTunes ratings. The sleek, minimal design of the app makes it simple to use for a quick edit to your favorite photos. Once you ease through the edit tools, you can share with other social media apps as well as VSCO's own community of photographers/artists.
From time to time, VSCO releases new preset packs for free or for purchase which will enhance certain types of photographs in various ways. This week, they announced the release of "The Landscape Series," designed to breathe life back into images of natural beauty. Travel + Leisure’s photo editors were immediately intrigued and eager to test this out, but not without reservations: who wants to spend $3.99 on photo filters?
The series comes with eight presets, each with a different environment in mind: Mountains (L1-L3), Valley & Forests (L4-L6), Beaches and Coasts (L7-L9), and Deserts L10-L12). Let these serve as a suggested guide to begin your editing journey.
All four photo editors who tested the presets agree that the best fits were not quite the same as the designated filter intended by the Visual Supply Company.
“Rather than using the L10-L12 desert presets, which would enhance the warmth of the landscape, I selected the L4 preset because it’s great for building definition in valleys and canyons. Zabriskie Point is part of the Amargosa Range and L4 helped bring out the texture and color contrasts within the badlands.” - Mary Robnett
El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
“L5 is meant for forest images, as it focuses on the green elements and really defines the leaves. This was perfectly fit for this photograph of the El Yunque National Forest. It takes the saturation up a bit and enhances even the dullest of greens in the distant background, which is really nice. The sky’s blue is slightly oversaturated for my taste, but the details you get in the foreground are worth it.” - Mariah Tyler
Belle Île En Mer, Brittany, France
“I normally try to do as little color adjustment and brightness/contrast as possible with my images so they don't look over-processed. I like how the color enhancement was very subtle and simply increased the tones without giving the the greenery an oversaturated look.” - Kira Turnbull
Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Portugal
“I liked the extra boost of saturation and contrast that the three filters gave to the photos. In addition to the obvious color boost of the turquoise and blue waters, I enjoyed the summery yellow glow that the filter added to the surrounding cliffs.” - David Kukin
The collective conclusion is that even the photo editors at T+L would pay $3.99 for this preset pack. Having the ability to amp up your dull vacation photos without oversaturation with the ease (it’s all about the subtlety) that VSCO offers is definitely worth it.