video game photography

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Video Game Photography

Video games allow us to explore massive worlds we could only dream of. They let us walk with dinosaurs, set sail to uncharted lands, and save the world from hidden evils.

There’s so much love crafted in modern video game level design that these are more than fictional worlds. They, along with the characters who inhabit them, almost start to feel real, reaching levels of the uncanny valley never before seen.

Maybe that’s why some gamers choose to spend hours not playing their games, but studying them and creating art from them.

Once such example is video game photography, which takes everyday screenshots and transforms them into brand new works of art.

Read on for a quick overview of in-game photography, as well as a few tips to help you take your game photography skills to the next level.

An Overview Of Video Game Photography

While we now have the ability to click a button on our PS4 controllers or hit a button combo on our PC and snap a quick photo, it used to be much more involved, requiring some pretty intensive Photoshop skills and a knack for timing.

It wasn’t until 2016 when Nvidia released new tools for in-game photography via its Ansel program that most gamers started to see the potential.

These tools seemed like a direct response to popular sites like Instagram and Snapchat and their accompanying filters.

Now, games like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and No Man’s Sky feature elaborate in-game tools that, frankly, surpass most social sites entirely.

You can pause at any given moment in a game, move the camera around on both the X and Y planes, and take great photos without having the worry about pinpoint precision timing.

Video Game Photography Tips

Now let’s look at how you can take great photos yourself. Whether you’re on console or PC, you can capture your favorite gaming moments with the click of a button.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Find The Right Environment

When it comes down to it, game photography isn’t all that different from normal photography in that your environment can make your photo that much more interesting.

Try and choose epic moments and environments for your photos. The mountains of Skyrim, for instance, make for a great background and offer tons of options for creative shots.

Learn About Framing

You could capture the most exciting battle, but if it’s framed poorly your audience will only focus on that.

It’s that framing that’s going to convey how utterly gigantic those mountains in Skyrim are or how terrifying DOOM’s Cyberdemon is.

Study how professionals frame their photography. Look at the work of professional photographers like Mike Sansone Photography or your favorite photographer. See how they balance their subject matter with their background and foreground.

Experiment With Settings And Options

Don’t be afraid to get fun and goofy. These are video games, after all, you’re supposed to have fun with them!

One of the best parts of God of War is the ability to make the always surly Kratos smile, for example. It’s terrifying, but man is it hilarious.

The best way to learn is simply by practicing, so have fun messing around with all of the options available to you.

Final Thoughts On Games Photography

Video game photography can be a lot of fun. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to take tons of great photos worthy or sharing online.

Want to learn more about how you can make the most of your games? Be sure to check out our how-to and guides section for more awesome tips for your favorite games.