A Photography Student’s Point of View on VSCO Cam

Hey guys!

VSCO cam–one of the most popular photo editing apps of our teenage generation…but not for a reason that I am very proud of. We are the generation of photo editing, Instagram and an overwhelming overflow of social media. I fully support the convenience of being able to take and edit photos on a whim, however, I am not the biggest fan of people thinking that a bad photo can be fixed with a nice filter. Obviously this app is not the reason for this plague of poor quality editing, but I have noticed that the popularity of filtering photos has skyrocketed since the app became more popular about two years ago. I follow my fair share of friends/family, celebrities, photographers, and companies on Instagram, and other than photographers and companies, pretty much everyone else is guilty of this. Even looking back on my old photos, I cringe seeing the amount of times I used the P5 filter on VSCO to edit a photo. Now, I focus on using the lowest concentration of a filter on a photo for the gram, and I use filters that accentuate the best parts of the photo. In fact, taking a photography course at FIT has made me focus more on certain aspects of a photo that cannot be fixed with a simple filter. In the studio I have learned how to control the lighting, and shadows, and angles present in my shot, and using the darkroom for printing has exposed me to the rawest form of editing, because I can only control the exposure and contrast when printing film in black and white. I have even had conversations with other Precollege students, both in and out of the photography department, agreeing that cell phone photo editing can almost be annoying because of how everyone suddenly thinks they are a professional photographer by slapping a pretty filter on a poorly constructed photo. I have a lot of respect for people that don’t even edit their photos (#nofilter), and most of my peers at FIT follow that trend. A trend that has been dying out is having an attractive Instagram “theme”–having the same filter and color scheme throughout their photos. I feel that along with the trend of unedited models and people with more ‘realistic’ body types being showcased in the media has had an effect on this. While people’s Instagram feeds may not be as aesthetically pleasing, each individual photo is now a lot more quality and just overall gives off better vibes because you are looking at what actually happened. In my opinion, I would rather look at a raw and maybe not 100% perfect photo, rather than an over edited and unnaturally posed picture. Abusing filters and being able to skew people’s perception of you and your life via social media is something that I am very against and I honestly just lose some respect for someone when they are too in over their head about themselves and their feed. Another quick complaint I have about VSCO is how people use this platform to showcase the parts of their life that they want people to know about, but don’t want to completely publicize. This totally differs depending on where you live. I’ve noticed that people that I follow from NYC, and more specifically FIT,  have tasteful and artistic photos posted up to their VSCO page–perfect! And then there’s people in my town. Selfies, parties, vaping, vandalism, selfies, screenshots of text messages with their significant others (what filter are you even going to put on a text message???), oh, and more selfies. I personally rarely update my VSCO profile, but when I do it’s usually pictures from shoots with my friends or vacation pics taken on my camera. Again, I feel very strongly about this due to my involvement with photography and the arts, especially now that I have some experience in a more professional photography environment thanks to the Precollege program. Below I’ll post some screenshots of Instagram profiles to showcase examples of what I have been ranting about this entire time. 

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An aesthetically pleasing Instagram theme that highlights golds and pale accents

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Filter options on this popular editing app–VSCO

My good friend and also a pre college student that has adapted the 'no filter' theme for his Instagram profile

My good friend and also a pre college student that has adapted the ‘no filter’ theme for his Instagram profile

 

Do any of you guys have social media pet peeves? How do you feel about modern photo editing? 

Until next week,

-Francesca