Smartphone Photography Series: VSCO…for once people will want to look at your vacation photos


It’s easy to get caught up in wanting all the latest camera gear to capture your travel adventures. However, the best camera is the one you have on you, and this is usually your smartphone camera. Luckily, smartphone camera technology has come a long way in the past few years and you can now take professional looking pictures with your pocket-sized device. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be looking at apps and gear that will take your smartphone photography from amateur to amazing. First up: VSCO.


VSCO is a free app for iPhone and Android that not only helps you shoot crystal clear, artistic images, but edit and share them as well. This all-in-one app comes with a wide range of manual controls, editing tools, and filters. Here’s a quick cheat sheet on how to use VSCO to take your best vacation pictures ever.


Use the VSCO camera instead of your phone’s in-house camera to have more control over your picture presets.


Swipe right any time to access the home menu. Tap this icon to access the VSCO camera.

Once you’ve opened the VSCO camera, tap the white dotted circle at the top of the screen to open the VSCO shooting menu. From here, you can navigate flash, grid lines (which help with composition), white balance lock (which will stop your camera from adjusting color on the go), advance settings, and interface color (black or white.)


Basic shooting settings are located at the top of the screen.

Advanced Settings

The advanced settings option is for people wanting to get a little more creative with their photos and adjust exposure, white balance, focus, and ISO (sensitivity to light) manually.


Tap the screen with one finger and you can can set the red focus+exposure circle on a single point. Tap with two fingers and you can set focus and exposure on two separate points. It’s up to you! To lock focus and exposure simply double tap the red circles. The advanced settings sound complicated at first, but spend a couple minutes tinkering around with them and you’ll be a pro in no time.VSCO4


VSCO’s editing feature is very popular among smartphone photographers because of its high caliber features and ease of use. Anyone can do it! Once in the editing section of the app, you can choose to edit your photo manually or use one of VSCO’s preset filters to add a gorgeous filmic quality to your image. Adjust the intensity of the filters by taping the filter icon twice.filters If you prefer to edit manually, the app lets you adjust exposure, contrast, orientation, clarity, sharpness, saturation, and much more.


Now that you’ve perfected your picture share it! You can save your picture to your camera role, post it to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or simply share it right on your VSCO grid. To do this create a VSCO profile then tap the + sign at the top right of your screen.


Alternately, you can upload your pictures to a journal or collection in order to organize them by theme or event. Make sure to make a Jicaro themed journal at the end of your stay!


Tweet or Facebook us the most amazing photos you took in Nicaragua!

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