Screenshot deluxe: James Snook

1447Devil may Cry
Screenshot deluxe  ist eine unregelmäßig erscheinende Serie zum Thema In-Game-Fotografie. Dieses Mal gibt uns James Snook die Ehre - zu finden auf Flickr und Steam. 
Ladies and gentlemen, friends of this craft called in-game photography - James in his own words.
 
My motivation for capturing in-game screenshots is an extension of the reason I like to play video games in general: It's a great way to escape reality. I love to visit fantastical words and do things I could never do in real life. It's my way of relaxing and relieving the stress of a hard work day. 
 
I've been playing games since I was a littke kid, but I've only been capturing screenshots for 2 years. I began taking screenshots as a way to show off the beautiful level of detail and image quality achievable when you push PC games and\or hardware to their limits. I only realized this myself after discovering the works of DeadEndThrills. With just a few tweaks and 4K downsampling, he had vanilla Skyrim looking incredible. I tried to replicate his results, but I found that his screenshots always had a quality to them that I could not match. More often than not, I find myself just flying around until I find a pleasing angle. But that's really the extent of my talents. I think taking GREAT screenshots is more than just pressing the screenshot button when you see something pretty. It involves creativity, composition, and successful execution of an idea. And that doesn't just come naturally to everyone. I'm trying to get better at it every day.
1448Dark Souls
I do love photography and I appreciate those who are talented in that field. However, when I see a beautiful photograph of Nicaraguan waterfalls, I don't think "wow, I'm going to hop on a plane and go there right now." That's just not feasible. But when I see an adventurer clad in battle armor staring out into a vast valley of beautifully rendered mountains covered in mist, I think "wow, I want to install that game and see that for myself!" And I can. My goal with screenshots is to try and replicate that feeling with my own shots. When someone sees one of my screenshots and says "wow, I need to get that game," I know I've achieved my goal. But that's rare!
 
1450Borderlands 2
When I embark on screenshotting a new game, I always first check to see if all the requisite tools are available. I need to be able to remove the HUD and I need to have some control over the camera. I prefer complete control, especially in third-person games. There's only so many types of images you can capture when a character is always in the center of the screenshot. And that has led me to another hobby that just might set me apart from other screenshotters. In order to capture screenshots the way I and many others like to, I've actually had to create the free camera tools using a program called Cheat Engine. I'll try to create a way to control the camera, and in some games I'll even add in the ability to change the FOV, time of day, and remove the weapon from view. I definitely create these tools to use myself, but I think I get more enjoyment out of seeing the screenshots other people can get using those tools. Seeing the screenshots DeadEndThrills was able to capture from Dark Souls, DmC Devil May Cry,and Enslaved gives me a better sense of accomplishment than any of my own screenshots.
1451Skyrim
When it comes to my screenshots, I want my images to be a representation of what I see in-game. If anyone asks how they can replicate the same look, I want to be able to list everything they would need. This is why I try to do all of my contrast, brightness, and color adjustments in-game using a shader injector called SweetFX. I can give someone my exact settings used for every game. The only modification I do to my screenshots after capturing them is cropping and resizing.
1449Bioshock infinite
I tend to focus on characters a lot in screenshots because I believe characters can tell a story better than static scenery. A character's pose or the look on their face can change the tone of a screenshot entirely while the scenery remains the same. Usually in games where you play a certain character, I like to include that character in screenshots but capture them in ways you don't see during normal gameplay. Though there are times when I just want to capture the subtleties of in-game lighting, shadowing, and texture detail, which is usually easiest to see on character models. 
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