Photography Tutorial: VSCOcam App Basics

October 2, 2013

     Photography Tutorial_ VSCOcam App Basics

(Editor’s Note: Portions of this post have been updated to reflect this blog’s commitment to excellent, updated content.)

Instagram is the new Facebook. Or the new Twitter. Or the new . . . something. Don’t get me wrong. I totally love Instagram. I could play with photos on it all day long if I could. (I know. Lame.)

But sometimes, just sometimes, don’t you wish you had some additional options than the filters Instagram offers? A few additional spices in your cabinet of Iphone-photography tricks? Oh, but you do Allow me to demonstrate.

First of all, go download the VSCOcam app to your iPhone. Don’t worry; it’s completely free. Downloaded? Wonderful.

Click the picture of three lines in the bottom left corner. Click “Library”. Click the “+” sign at the top. Upload a picture from your camera roll. Tap it once to highlight it (a gold frame will surround it). Now click the square in the bottom center with the image of the wrench. Touch the triangle at the bottom of the screen and slide your finger up.

I took this picture on a hot sunny day back when my family visited. Mark and I took my youngest siblings on a jaunt to the National Zoo.

Piano Schedule

Now the fun begins. Touch the wrench to open manual editing options. This picture is a little under-exposed, so I’ll brighten it up. (Click the checkmark when you’re done playing with your exposure to return to the main panel.)


The next setting is temperature. I’d like to warm this picture up a bit.


Next I’ll adjust the contrast.


My absolute favorite tool to play with is the Fade option.


The photo looks even more snazzy if I raise the saturation level a bit.


When you’re done editing, touch the triangle at the bottom again. Click the checkmark once to save the edits. Voila. An ordinary picture is transformed from everyday to artistic and fun. Click the outward pointing arrow at the bottom and click “Save to Camera Roll” to preserve or print the picture or “Instagram” to share with friends.

What are your favorite VSCOcam tricks? If this was helpful, check out all of these other posts about photography.

P.S. Besides my iPhone, I love to take pictures with my Canon PowerShot.

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Weekending And An Herb Garden

July 15, 2013

We enjoyed every ounce of hot sunny summer-ness this weekend. We spent all day on Saturday boating, tubing, paddleboarding, and eating with lovely friends in the general Annapolis vicinity on some small delightful lake. 

I have sunburns to prove how sunny and wonderful the whole day was. It was one of those fun gatherings of intelligent happy people in which all sorts of random important information comes to light in the midst of vigorous debates, such as the best methods for eating watermelon and how a tomato should be diced for the perfect salsa.


We concluded our Weekending by planting my new baby herbs in their little chalk-painted pots. This DIY project has been basically consuming my consciousness for a week, so I think Mark and I were both relieved to have it completed.


It was so easy and gratifying and now I have Cinnamon Basil, Oregano, and Curled Parsley to toss into every dish. Even someone who can't garden, like me, can grow herbs (supposedly).

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Potted Herb Garden


3 small herb plants (from your local gardening store or Home Depot

3 small terra-cotta pots

Chalk spray-paint (You can be really creative and pick a bright shade of chalk-paint)

A sheet 

Some extra soil

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Spread the sheet ouside on a lawn or dirt area. Ensure that the three pots are reasonably clean and then place them upside down a foot or two apart on the sheet. Using the spray paint as directed, coat the pots with one layer of spray paint. Allow them to dry for an hour or so. Turn them over so that they are right-side up and coat inside and out with another layer of paint.

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Allow the pots to dry for another hour and then move them to a dry, safe place. Allow them to dry for another 24 hours. Place a 1/4 cup of soil on the bottom of each pot and then place the herbs in their respective pots. Fill the remaining space in the pots with soil and water thoroughly. Chalk the names of the herbs on to the pots for a delightful final touch.


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