Video Game Photography: Taking Photos in a Virtual World

As a budding amateur photographer I have always wanted to take great photographs.  Turns out some of my best photographs so far have been taken with a virtual lens.  Video game photography has become easier than ever with new tools on both PC’s and home consoles finally making it worth stopping to enjoy the beauty of today’s games.

Warcraft and My Introduction to Video Game Photography

Video Game PhotographyPlaying World of Warcraft was when I first became interested in video game photography.  World of Warcraft was also the first game that actually gave you a selfie stick and asked you to tour the world taking photos of yourself.  One of the biggest things that keeps me returning to World of Warcraft is just how beautiful the world is.  This is a game that was originally designed in 2004.  The artwork and design in the game has allowed the artists to create some of the most amazing lands from relatively simple textures and shapes.  Over time World of Warcraft has become an increasingly better looking game and the in game camera and ability to remove the interface and zoom in to a first person view allows you to take amazing photos of the landscapes.

Often when questing and enjoying the game I like to stop and take photos of some of the interesting locals throughout the world.  The addition of flying mounts even lets you get up for some really high and wide vista shots of the land.

Taking Things to a New Level of Beautiful

Playing Horizon Zero Dawn without constantly stopping to take in the sights is near impossible.  Prior to purchasing Horizon Zero Dawn I wasn’t sure it was going to be a game I would enjoy playing.  However after finally picking it up during a sale I decided it was time to jump into the world. Much like World of Warcraft the world of Horizon Zero Dawn is amazingly alive.  This is truly a world you are living and exploring in.  Not long after I started playing I realized there were a lot of cool landscape shots that would make great wallpapers.  It helps that this is such a photo realistic world, its breathtaking in its beauty.

One of the great parts of taking screenshots on the PS4 is the level of options they give you in the camera settings.  There is no greater option than the option to remove your character and non player characters as well.  Having the ability to remove not only the user interface elements but everything else as well allows you the freedom to take very clear photos of the world.  I give Sony and the Playstation development team a lot of credit for giving video game photographers great tools to play around with and I hope Xbox soon takes some pointers as well.  It was at this point with this game and these options I really started to have fun with in game photography.

Video Game Photography Video Game Photography

The Lush and Amazing World of Uncharted 4

The world of Uncharted 4 is absolutely breathtaking.  To be fair I wasn’t sure at first.  I had just played through the first three games remastered and they were pretty good looking.  As I began to play Uncharted 4 I started to feel underwhelmed.  That didn’t last long and as the adventure kicked in so did my photography.

This game is unbelievable in its adventure settings.  The settings in this game cover just about every setting you could imagine and the portions of the world that have been abandoned are some of the best.  I probably would have finished the game much sooner had I not been stopping every couple minutes to take another couple shots.  While playing I really wanted to take as many shots as I could to remember and enjoy them long after the game was over.  Showing a friend some of my shots he too enjoyed taking a look back as well.

I hope you’ll enjoy the photography I included in this slideshow below.  They are in order as you go through the game and I will say there are probably a few spoilers in there if you haven’t played through the game yet.  If you haven’t I highly recommend it!


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The Tools to Photograph and Share

Today’s game consoles and PC’s make taking and sharing video game photography easier than ever.  From playing World of Warcraft or using the newer Xbox Windows screenshot ability or even stand alone software on PCs to using the tools of the newer game consoles they all have something.  Screenshots used to be simply a way to show you what a game looked like or to capture a few epic moments.  In today’s world of You Tube videos, walk-throughs and Let’s Play videos however you can see just about anything you need to about a game.  These days its more of a work of art, taking those photos from the right angles at the right time.  In game photography sharing is also easy today with the ability to share directly to Twitter and Facebook or save them to your PC to share on other sites.

So get out there and finally stop and enjoy all the fine details game artists have been putting into the games we play.  Photograph them and share them.  In game photography is here to stay and it will only get better!