How to Use VSCO App, Filters, Editing Tools for Free

There is no doubt that it offers various premium features and elements which are not very difficult to use, people who are using it for the first time are confused. To build their confidence, we share a tutorial on how to use VSCO to edit photos and videos professionally. In this article, we focus primarily on the use of VSCO filters, editing tools, VSCO camera, and the app as a whole.

1. How To Use VSCO App: Overview

What is VSCO?

As we know, VSCO is a photo and video editing app that allows us to shoot, edit and share our photography in our social circles. Some features are confusing because there are no proper labels, so we’re here to show you how to edit images using VSCO.

1.1 Navigate The VSCO App

Our first interaction is with five key icons that work for us throughout editing, they appear below when we open the app. VSCO Feed, Discover, Studio, Profile, and VSCO X are the names of these icons in left to right order.

The VSCO feed (circle icon with three lines) displays images of the people you follow on VSCO.

Discover icon (circle icon with four intersecting lines) lets you discover new photographers in the VSCO community.

Studio (the icon of the two stacked squares) is where you import your ready-to-edit photos.

The Profile Icon (smiley face icon) displays the images you have shared with the VSCO community.

The VSCO X icon at the bottom right allows you to subscribe to VSCO X. $ 19.99 In one year, you’ll have access to a full range of VSCO filters as well as additional editing tools.

1.2 Import Photos Into VSCO For Editing

  • Tap the [+] icon in the upper right of VSCO Studio to import the image from your photo library.
  • The camera roll screen will appear, It displays images from your image library.
  • Scroll down to see more photos Or select a different album from the albums row at the top of the screen. 
  • Tap the photos you want to import for editing and click Import at the bottom of the screen.
  • Imported images will appear in your VSCO studio.

1.3 Open The VSCO Photo Editor

In VSCO Studio, a golden outline appears around the selected image that you want to edit.

Open the VSCO editor with the edit icon (two sliders) at the bottom of the screen.

Note: Select only one image to edit at a time, if you have selected different images, you will not be able to access the editing tool, and will not focus on editing professionally, all Deselect images and work on one specific at a time.

Manual edits and One-tap editing are the two ways to edit photos on VSCO, In Manual edits you need to do everything manually using editing tools, you will apply VSCO filters in One-tap editing which is easy and fast, best for newbies. 
You can choose any method you like. To access VSCO filters, tap the Filter icon and to get the editing tools, tap the Edit icon.

2. VSCO Filters

VSCO offers best filters also known as Presets for Android and iPhone users that don’t require much editing, we apply with only One-Tap, each filter has its uniqueness that gives a professional look to your photos. Here we check how we use these presets to edit our photos quickly.

2.1 Apply a VSCO Filter To Your Photo

With the easiest way we can apply any of the VSCO filters to our photos.

  • First of all, choose a image in VSCO Studio, Tap on Edit icon (You are familiar with all icons)
  • Make sure Filters icon is selected on the next screen
  • All VSCO Filters are now on your screen
  • Check all the filters by tapping on them and choose which one is the most interesting.
  • You can also reduce the intensity of the selected filter to minimize the effect.
  • When you tap on the active filter, there is an option to adjust the power of the filter from the given slider.
  • If you want to compare the edited image with the initiated image, tap and hold the image to check for changes and then release.

2.2 Download More VSCO Filters

There are many other filters that it provides to users, but they are not free. In the free version we found only a limited number of filters (approximately 10). To get access to 100+ filters you need to subscribe to VSCO X which price is $19.99/yr or download the Modded version of VSCO. VSCO X and VSCO Mod are both premium versions where you get a lot of extra features that are locked in the free version

How Do You Subscribe to VSCO X?

  • Just tap the VSCO X icon at the bottom right of the Studio screen, and click to Start Free Trial
  • This trial will allow you to get access to all filters, without paying
  • You can find all kinds of filters and subscribe to it if you think it’s worth it.
  • The subscription process is very simple, with any payment method that suits you, you can pay and subscribe

3. VSCO Photo Editing Tools

Let’s explore VSCO photo editing tools to find out how useful it is for creating stunning images. 

3.1 Exposure

If you want to change the brightness of your image, use the Exposure tool which gives you a slider that will help you to increase or decrease the brightness.

3.2 Contrast

Contrast tool adjusts the amount of contrast between bright and dark areas. In contrast, it darkens the growing dark areas and lightens the light ones.

3.3 Adjust 

This tool gives you four options (Crop, Rotate, Straighten and Skew) 

If you think your image has poor edges and you want to delete them, use the Crop option. The way is following which is quite easy:

  • Select Crop + Straighten option
  • Drag the corner of the image to a new position
  • Choose any aspect ratio option (1:1 (square), 4:5, 16:9, etc) to crop the image

For Straighten a photo:

There is a slider which you can drag left or right for leveling up slanted horizons in your landscape photos

If you wanna Rotate your image at 90, 180, 270 angles, just tap on rotate icon

The Skew option lets you fix problems with horizontal and vertical direction.

3.4 Sharpen

Sharpen tool can increase the quality of image, it more effectively defines what’s happening in your image. Use it carefully, excessive use can ruin your photo too. 

3.5 Clarity

The Clarity tool magnifies the detail of your image and makes your photo “pop”.

3.6 Saturation

The saturation tool is used to play with the color of your images, you can increase or decrease the color saturation to make the image more vibrant and lighter.

3.7 Tone

The tone tool allows you to control the brightness of highlights and shadows separately. Highlights are bright tones and shadows are dark tones.

Use the Highlights slider to darken the brightest areas of your image and the Shadows slider to brighten the darkest areas.

3.8 White Balance

This is another good feature of vsco which allows us to adjust the color tone of a picture according to user requirement, it can even change the mode of a picture from one aspect to another one. It’s especially used to make the picture more attractive by correcting the color caste and applying various types of light. 

The temperature slides play an important role in making the picture cooler and warmer by adding blue and orange colors. You can make the picture cooler by creating a lonely, cold and gloomy mode while the warmer orange filter is used for showing happiness and vibrant mood, it enhances the sunset in your photo. 

If we are talking about a tint slider, it adds green and purple colors into the photos. Simply dragging the slider to the green end will boost the green tone in image.

3.9 Skin Tone

This is good for portrait photos that modify your skin color and bring yellow or more tan by dragging it to the right side and dragging it to left for adding some pinkish look to the picture.

3.10 Vignette

The vignette accurately darkens the edges of your images, it adds drama into your images which increase the viewers on your photo and extract the viewers attention at the middle of the scene.

3.11 Grain

It is used to create a firm grain look in your photo. This feature is not desirable on every photo but it is necessary for certain situations where its work is important. It adds the gritty in your photo and gives a vintage look to your photo especially when we work with white and black color.

3.12 Fade

This feature cleans out the various colors from your photo and creates a vintage and faded look on your picture.

3.13 Split Tone

This feature allows us to add various colors tints into the shadows or highlights. You can tint thr dark areas of your photo. To do this, select the shadow tint and then select the color at the lower of the screen. After that use a slider to adjust the strength of the tint.

While tint the bright area of your photo, just choose the Highlights tint applied on the image as the same you apply on the above section. 

3.14 Borders

Using a border feature you can apply a border around your image that will add a beautiful finishing touch to your edited images. Below you will see a slider, move to the right side to increase the border’s width and after that select the color of the border appearing below the slider. 

Here I would like to tell you that the border tool is not available in the free version,  you only use that feature of vsco on the premium version called vsco x and their price to access all the advanced features is $20 per year. 

3.15 HSL (Hue, Saturation & Lightness)

The word HSL abbreviates Hue, Saturation and Lightness and this tool helps you to add and control the hue, saturation and lightning on each color of your image. You have to start from selecting the desired color that you want to change using a colored circle which is present at the bottom of the screen, after that use a slider to adjust the color on your image. Now i will explain all these term separately:

Hue used to apply specific shade of color like you can see below example, the yellow hue in image has been changed using slide in hue section.

The saturation feature lets us know about the intensity of color. The slider is used to adjust the appearance of only blue color i.e the blue color is less prominent because there is low saturation here while in the right picture the blue color in picture is vibrant because it has a value of saturation.

In lightness, it enables us to adjust the appearance of dark and light colors like you can see the lightness of blue color has been adjusted in the right picture. In the first picture, the lightness of blue color is reduced that why the blue sky and water appear darker. On the other hand, the lightness of blue color has been increased which makes the lighter color of water and sky and the rest of the photo color is unaffected. That is amazing.

Now you can estimate the editing power of this tool but unfortunately it is locked in the free version and you just use it and not save it until you take the subscription of vsco x.

3.16 Change Or Delete Individual Edits

On the screen below the VSCO editor you have a circular arrow icon that allows you to view, change, or delete edits to your image. This is a good option to check what changes you’ve made so far, and it’s also helpful to delete some edits if you don’t want to keep it.


4. Save Your Edited Photo

It is important to save your photos when you have done your editing, so there is a Save button at the top, tap it, and the image will save in VSCO studio. To save the image into your phone’s gallery from studio:

  • Select the image you wanna save
  • Select several images if you want to save more than one images at a time
  • Tap the (three dots) Option icon at the bottom
  • Pop up menu will appear, tap Save To Camera Roll

Select the Original size to save the image to the largest size and highest quality.

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