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Never able to sit still, I'm always on the go. With a camera at my side, I'm always seeking out a new adventure, experiencing a new place, living in a different culture, or meeting someone new.  My wanderlust has brought me to the far corners of the earth and I still have a lot of ground to cover.  

Softening Dark Tones - VSCO Look

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Softening Dark Tones - VSCO Look

Chris Ford

VSCO, the popular editing software, does an incredible job emulating film with a few simple clicks of a button in Lightroom or Adobe RAW.  VSCO filtered images are popping up everywhere on social media nowadays.  You can achieve one of their more softer-toned looks by applying a simple curve setting in Lightroom or Photoshop.  One of my favorite edits (and easiest to accomplish) is to soften the darker tones on some of my images.

Softening-Blacks---Before-20140304.jpg
Softening-Blacks---After-20140304.jpg

In the image above, you can see the darker tones have been substantially lightened while not affecting the lighter tones.  The result, is softer, more nostalgic feel to your photos.  

In Adobe RAW, Lightroom, Photoshop, or your preferred editing program, open up the curve editor.  Apply the following presets below, and you'll find yourself with a much softer image. 

Universal curve editor in any post processing software. 

Universal curve editor in any post processing software. 

Side note: This edit works well with images with a lot of darker tones.  The closer to black, the better the edit works.  When you go to take your next photo, don't be scared of too many dark tones.  With this preset in mind, you'll find your dark images will take on a whole new look and feel.