I love photography. I studied photography for about four years and I had planned on becoming a professional photographer. That plan became plan B after I got to do some work with a professional in Copenhagen for a few days and I realised that seemingly every other vaguely artistic teenager in Denmark wanted to be a photographer, and they all wanted it way more then I did! Now its just a hobby, mostly for myself, but I also act as the photographer for a monthly acoustic night a friend of mine holds at a club in London.
Anyway this weekend I was wondering around town aimlessly trying to come up with some project or theme and I started thinking about screenshots for videogames and in-game images in general and it got me thinking. There are plenty of game trailers I remember, and plenty of photographs that I've seen in books or exhibitions that I also remember, but there isn't a single still image from a game that I can bring up in my minds eye. Obviously most screenshots are designed to sell the game, and often are just what is visible on the screen whilst playing, but there are usually some more artistically minded shots added as well. Pictures that, although still in-game, aren't from the players perspective. It made me wonder why that is. I'm sure there are plenty of game developers with some photographic skills, probably far better then my own, so why don't developers treat game stills as if they were actually photographing them. So I decided I would give it a go.
I decided to use Garry's Mod because I knew it had a camera, and some controllable depth of field (DoF) features. Its not perfect as the display is set up to act like a human eye rather then a camera lens, and the DoF is awkward and requires some pre-rendering but, overall I think these came out pretty well.
I did these in black and white in-order to give them a more photographic feel. When they were in colour they still felt a bit too video-gamey, though perhaps that's because I've played so much HL2. I'd love to do this again in a game that supported more camera effects. Things like motion blur and real-time DoF. It would also be great if there was a game that was actually trying to simulate how a camera works. There were a lot of shots I wanted to take that I would have been able to do really quickly if I had aperture, shutter speed and focus controls properly laid out rather then having to fudge them. I'd love to do this kind of thing in something like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2 but I doubt anyone has created a DSLR mod for those games.
If anyone knows any games that simulate cameras or mods that add that sort of thing please let me know as I'd really like to take a look.