PART TEN: The Alchemy Collection

Well students, here we are, at the end of our journey together.

POP QUIZ! Just kidding. 

Today I bring you the final chapter, part ten of the VSCO Cam series. The latest addition to the VSCO Cam collection, released in April 2015, the Alchemy Collection includes 10 new presets, Q1-10, for $3 from the in-app VSCO Cam store. 

The Alchemy Collection incorporates a wide range of Cross Processed looks. An experimental technique in which films are developed in an alternative chemical solution, Cross Processing often creates dramatic color shifts and high contrast. The Alchemy Collection emulates this technique and features rich vibrancies balanced by refined tones, making this pack ideal for lifestyle photography, stylized portraiture, and strong statement images. - VSCO

And don't forget to tag your grams with #vscocamwitheli so I can check them out! You could even be featured in the Little Insider Monthly Update!

On to the presets!

PART TEN: The Alchemy Collection. VSCO Cam Ultimate Review Series - Little Eli
The originals. One for skin tone, landscape, and color. All shot in neutral lighting with a Samsung Galaxy S6.

The originals. One for skin tone, landscape, and color. All shot in neutral lighting with a Samsung Galaxy S6.

The Alchemy Collection: Q1 Q2 Q3 - Little Eli

Q1: Brightens highlights and mid-tones. Adds a soft golden glow. Creates kind of dreamy landscapes. 

Q2: Similar to Q1, but cranks up the contrast, creating bright highs and dark, deep lows. Image feels very processed. Not a natural look for people, landscapes, or colors. Maybe try with urban photos or street fashion photography. 

Q3: Brightens and increases contrast. Very cool overtones, which leaves people looking cold and distant. Fades out highlights for a flat image. Makes true blues, like the blue jolly ranchers, really pop. Makes landscapes totally weird. Here you really notice the cross processed look VSCO was talking about. Some foliage is very blue, while some is noticeably greener. This preset probably has a time and place, but not for everyday. 

The Alchemy Collection: Q4 Q5 Q6 - Little Eli

Q4: Hmm, not blue, not yellow, but white it seems. Brightens and heavy contrast. Brings out a few details, but so un-humanizing. Love it for landscapes though. Probably cooler than I would go normally, but the flamingos are wonderful soft little blips on the horizon and I love it. 

Q5: Oh wow! So great for people! Brightens up, and tweaks the contrast, but not too heavy handed. Also pretty neutral in color overtones. Improves the feel of an image, and makes it more welcoming.

Q6: Almost exactly the same as Q4 in exposure and contrast. But has strong yellow-green overtones. It's kinda like how I imagine split pea soup to look. And I know I've had a similar color preset recently. I'll go dig it up for you to compare. 

The Alchemy Collection: Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 - Little Eli

Q7: Almost exactly the same as Q5 in exposure and contrast. But had a warm yellow overtone instead of a neutral-rosy tint. 

Q8: I really like the personality of this preset. Feels processed, but not in a totally bad way. Warm tones which enhance the yellows and reds already in an image. Fades out deep shadows so its not overly contrasting.

Q9: High contrast and exposure. Blows out highlights. Very processed feel with deep shadows and very bright highs and mids. Pretty good color retention in the jolly ranchers. 

Q10: So this must be what its like to see through rose colored glasses. Creates a very welcoming image. Similar to Q3 in that it's easy on the contrast, creating a somewhat flat image. 

OVERALL: More than "a little" out there, the Alchemy Collection accomplishes what it set out to do. A little trippy, a little magical, a lot of processing, but a lot of personality too. 


I'll be stopping in one more time for the final, top preset roundup! I planned for it to be an ultimate top 10 list, but I changed my mind. I'm going to break it down by use, and give you the top 3 presets for landscapes, for architecture, for selfies, etc. Tweet me your favorites in each category and see if they make the cut! 


I would love to see how you use the Alchemy Collection.
Tag your shots #vscocamwitheli so I can check them out!