For this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we replace the camera in our hand with a game controller, but if artistic interpretation of your surroundings is the goal, is there any difference between the two? Today, we talk gaming and photography and, specifically, the practice of in-game or virtual photography.
While grabbing a screenshot of your high score is nothing new, using a gaming system’s increasingly advanced photo tools to capture images of the gaming world in which you are immersed is becoming a discipline unto itself. For sure, some gamers are still looking to show off their accomplishments and share them with fellow gamers, but others approach it as a landscape photographer, documentarian or combat photographer might, utilizing light and exposure controls to create dramatic images that showcase or even surpass those created by the game itself.
We are joined today by our in-house gaming expert, Akeem Addy, as well as Tobias Andersson, Senior Producer of the Hunter: Call of the Wild, by Avalanche Studios, and two gamers who have explored in-game photography from distinctive perspectives, photographer Leo Sang and artist Eron Rauch.
We also take time to talk a bit about the history of in-game photography and suggest games with some of the strongest photo tools. The debate about whether this is “real” photography will rage on. However, our guests are over that, not only creating beautiful and interesting photos, but elevating the dialogue to create images that question the relationship between the virtual and the “work-a-day” world. Join us for this multi-faceted episode and let us know your thoughts on gaming and photography—and even share with us your best images on Twitter @BHPhotoVideo with #BhPhotoPodcast.
Eron Rauch attempts to categorise the different kinds of in-game photographs in four categories, drawing a parallel with the history of photography and its development.
So what were people doing with photography for that whole previous century if they weren’t sure if it was art? I know I’m being facetious, but the question begs a number of interesting followup-questions which directly inform what is happening now with IGP and virtual photography: Why do people make photographs? Who makes photographs? What kinds of photographs get made? What does photography mean in the internet age?
Well, let’s run through a few of the major historical veins of photography to see what they might teach us about talking about a broadened pallet of types of IGP. These aren’t absolute categories, in fact many photographs can be part of more than one category or even change categories as they age (such as the military survey photos of the uncolonized American West now being shown as art in the Getty).
Let’s talk about four categories. We’ll call these photography divisions “Art”, “Amateur,” “Artisan,” and “Vernacular.”
Eron Rauch website: http://www.eronrauch.com/
A Land To Die In project page: http://www.eronrauch.com/#/a-land-to-die-in/