Four in Four x VSCO Film®
Four in Four is a recent collaboration between the photographer/designer Julian Bialowas and True MVMNT, a video production company comprised of the filmmakers Shara Esbenshade and Wes Walker. Utilizing their respective talents, the three friends decided to create a project which focused on being immersed in nature. Taking a four day road trip to travel and record four states, California, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, they dubbed the project ‘Four in Four.’ Deciding to abandon the confines of a regular photo/video production, the group chose to take a less restricted approach both in exploration and documentation. “We did not set out with a shot list or storyboard, just cameras, packs, and wide-open eyes. When we set to editing the images we brought back, moving & still, our intention was to convey the experience of being in these places and of traveling through and among them.”
The trio captured breathtaking video and images, each member contributing towards their overall vision for the project. From the jagged patterns of red and gold rock in Bryce Canyon to the mountainous snow capped contours of Durango, Shara, Wes, and Julian found themselves in diverse, remote landscapes. Make sure to check out the incredible video from their adventure, which was shot using a Red Scarlet X and color graded using VSCO Film 01 and VSCO Film 05. (If you are viewing this article within the VSCO Cam app, you can view the video here.) Also, read on below to learn more about this unique collaboration, and view Julian’s photographs from the trip, processed using VSCO Film 03 for ACS for PS CS6 and CC.
Being absorbed in and influenced by nature is something that Shara, Wes, and Julian hold dear, and that admiration for the outdoors is uncovered through this project. “The act of making an image necessitates a felt connection to the place, the time, the light, and all that is around. Every image starts with an experience in the maker. Most popular imagery of nature, however, takes the human being out of it. Indeed, much of society has come to think of nature as separate from ourselves, as a disconnected entity from human beings and from our modern lives. We wanted to erase this dividing line, to share a glimpse of distant and epic natural locations that does not pretend we weren’t there to reflect them. To us, that connection between environment and photographer is as beautiful and endlessly fascinating as is the natural setting itself. We wanted to make our short film about this connection. An experience to watch that takes the viewer into these places in a visceral way.”
Being on a timeline and also being at the mercy of light, the groups schedule centered around sunrises, sunsets, and their location at hand. “On day two, we found ourselves racing the sunrise again and made it to Bryce Canyon National Park just in time to see the sun revealing itself over the horizon. We literally sprinted from where we left the car to get up to the point in time. Once the golden light started to fade, we made our way down into Arizona for the Grand Canyon, where we were able to relax and shoot the sunset before driving through the night to Page, Arizona.”
When they arrived at the Grand Canyon at sunset, the group of friends found themselves in an unforgettable moment. “One standout memory that will definitely stick with us was watching the sun go down at the Grand Canyon. Like most iconic tourist destinations, it's hard to escape the crowds—and wall of photographers with tripods at the view points. We managed to escape the majority of the crowds by hiking out to a more isolated point, but we were still greeted by about 10 people upon arriving, spread out around the area and content in conversation. This was slightly disappointing as we had hoped to have the area to ourselves. However, something special happened as the sun started to disappear behind the horizon—the point went silent. As everybody stopped their conversation to take in the grand sunset, it was an amazing shared experience with the landscape itself and everyone there.”
True MVMNT crafted an original workflow to adopt VSCO Film into their post-processing, using footage captured on their RED Scarlet X video camera, and the results are gorgeous. “It’s been a dream come true for us to own and shoot RED. We’re honestly in love with the camera and the beauty we’re able to share through it. VSCO Film is similarly inspiring to us, and we’ve searched for a way for a while now to bring the two together. There are film emulations in the video industry, but none come close to the beauty you find in VSCO graded photography. Since we learned about VSCO last year, we’ve naturally been hoping for VSCO video and searching for a way to bring VSCO Film to the video world.”