Using video games to create spectacular photos.


     My love for the Forza Motorsport started back in the days of Forza Motorsport 2. Ever since then, it's been my favorite game to kill time in. I've seen the graphics upgrade and the physics get an overhaul when the Xbox One came out. With that being said, there's one feature that's kept me hooked and it isn't either of those. It's actually the Photo Mode.

     I've always told people that "as a car photographer, this game is pretty much a car photographer simulator". Having the ability to stop the game mid-action and snap a quick snapshot of something, or even plan a whole photoshoot within the game allows automotive photographers to practice their craft from home. A fully functional free camera lets you play with settings like exposure, aperture, and focus to truly take photographs that can be deceivingly realistic if in the right hands.

     Below are some of the many photos that I've taken in various Forza games (Motorsport and Horizon) and maybe you'll be able to experience the simple imagination of "if only" that I've felt taking them.

   This in-game photo mode was introduced in Forza Motorsport 3 and hasn't had to change much over the years. As technology has allowed, features like what kind of shape you'd like the bokeh created by the aperture or even whether it's a panning/tracking shot.

      I'd have to say that because of this ability to practice so freely, it allowed me to strengthen my vision as a photographer and have a preplanned idea of what kind of shots I'd like to get during a photoshoot in real life. It allows me to not only have a quicker shoot, but my images are that much stronger because of the planning.

       That's just one of the practical uses though. We have to remember that it is still a video game, after all. So, having the ability to tear up the landscape with some of my favorite cars and not have to worry about cops or insurance claims is also a plus!

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"... for the sake of creating."

       Let's not forget that I still did go to art school. As a professional photographer, I'm used to creating a cohesive photo series to express myself. Shooting in videogames has allowed me to still shoot when I moved and didn't know anyone. Instead of letting my "photo eye" lack in any way, I decided to always try to shoot and edit a full 5-10 image set of a car. This would be a warmup exercise even if I was just playing casually. 

     Here are a few examples of series' that I've done over the years. Maybe the next time you're playing a racing game with a photo mode, take a second to explore and see what kind of photos you take. Luckily, its all digital and you have nothing to lose. Try creating something just for the sake of creating.

Your turn!

What do you think about this article? Share your opinion below and we can talk about it! Tell me some of your favorite car meets that you like to visit!

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AN automotive art form.
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