The rise of Virtual Photography (VP) and VP/VR selfies

Is that really a thing? To make photographs (and even selfies) in virtual environments? It is. And it’s called Virtual Photography, the art of taking photos in video games (or ‘virtual/digital worlds’). It originally started with gamers taking screenshots of games and uploading those to various Internet forums. Over time people have perfected the craft and use artistic skills and techniques to get the best possible shots, much like in real world photography.

The art form has grown up so fast, that developers of games are creating dedicated Photo Modes that try to mimic real world camera’s within their games, its not just a screenshot of a game anymore but a unique view into the individual’s experience of the game.

Before you think it’s fake, easy and couldn’t possibly result in shots with an artistic merit that would evoke anything near genuine emotions, have a look at the following splendid virtual photographs (photographs by TheFourthFocus, DarkLinkN7, aurbis_imagery and Yuri).

These shots pull you in. Or pull you away, from the real world. They’re that good.

The definition of a good photograph is that is should tell a story through its composition, lighting and subject matter. It should communicate with the viewer. Achieving this requires artistic skills, regardless of whether we’re talking about real world or virtual world photographs.

Somnium Space and The Photo Mode (a platform that features and promotes Virtual Photography) organize the first ever Virtual Photography exhibition in Virtual Reality, inside Somnium Space. If you want to have a chance to have your work on display, read the rules here. But hurry, there are only a few days left to join!

As mentioned, game developers are creating dedicated Photo Modes to allow gamers to capture their unique experiences.

Somnium Space, the open and persistent VR world is all about unique, individual experiences in an immersive environment to which users feel inherently connected.

The virtual world is not unfolding in front of them on a screen. Its unfolding around them. To allow users to document and share their adventures and experiences in-world, to capture the beauty of Somnium, the developers have added a set of Virtual Photography features in the form of a photo camera app on the already existing in-world tablet. With this app you can not only take pictures but also stream content.

The app supports features like zoom, FOV, filters, timer, stabilization and more. You can even flip the camera to take avatar selfies.

By adding this new camera feature it is clear that Somnium Space believes Virtual Photography is inherently connected to their world. One of the pillars on which Somnium Space rests is called immersion; users believe they are actually present and they feel a deep mental involvement and connection. This is further enhanced by the fact that they’re not in a game with an overriding goal. Somnium is a platform, a world where users create their own narratives and collect unique experiences. Experiences that are waiting to be captured. And shared.

With Virtual Photography among other things.

Shadows moving faster than me while climbing one of Somnium’s mountains.

Categories: Art, Culture

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