Create your own random VSCO-style effect in Lightroom with these simple steps. This tutorial shows how you can mix a tone curve adjustment with completely random color adjustments to create your own film-like effect.
We’ll start off first with the fade. Go into the Develop module and look for the Tone Curve setting. The fade I create will be quite strong and similar to the VSCO ++ presets.
Make sure that you’re in the point curve editing mode. If it looks like the image below, then you’re good. If not, click on the bottom-left icon to switch to it. This mode lets you fully adjust the tone curve without using the sliders.
The fade effect is very simple. Just drag the bottom-left point up and you’ll start to see the fade effect. It’ll look washed out like this.
To fix it, add another node to create a straight-line in the shadows. This is how you get the faded overprocessed look.
Okay so we have the fade! What else? Well if you like it, keep it as is. Otherwise you can create an S curve on the other side of the tone curve. I also dropped the top-right node to fade the highlights a bit.
After fading the tones, you now need to work on the colors. If you just want the “film look” and you’re not emulating a particular film, there’s no point wasting time making miniature adjustments to the HSL. What I like to do first is to start by randomizing the colors. You can do this by randomly clicking around all of the HSL settings like demonstrated in the video below.
After randomizing the color, you can adjust the colors to your liking. In the example below, I desaturated and darkened the reds so that it does not overpower the blue and green skis.
That’s it! Creating VSCO-style images is stupidly easy. As mentioned before, the example I show is strong like the pushed ++ VSCO presets. You can always go back to the Tone Curve settings to lessen the effect.
Here are some more examples of the VSCO-style effect.