So I took a bunch of screenshots of games and I-

-Wait, wait, wait. Don’t leave. Ordinarily I’d be right there with you; how do screenshots constitute anything close to photography? John, you are a thief and a liar! First of all, I only lied about being a thief and, humbly – screenshots are photography.

In early 2017 I bought an Nvidia 1080TI video card, which for the purposes of expediency, I want you to imagine as Elven magic glowing like an aurora inside your rig. Games run at a fantastic clip at ultra-wide resolutions in overflowing detail. But beyond all the technical bells and whistles, a very interesting thing happens when your game becomes photo-realistic. You start observing it realistically.

I was playing a modded Fallout 4 when I stumbled on a scene that made me openly lament that I did not have my camera. After an idiot slap to the side of my own head, I realized I had something better: a Screenshot button. One screen capture turned into two turned into four turned into a gallery – for which I am very grateful.

Screenshots are a fantastic way to practice photography. You work on fundamentals like composition, color, lighting, storytelling, but under conditions that would be prohibitive in reality. For example, setting off and capturing a nuclear explosion has fiscal, legal, and moral implications that are… problematic. In Fallout, it’s a Tuesday.

But more than anything, screenshots get you into the habit of seeing somebody else’s work and recognizing a beauty laid there by careful design. With hands clasped and on bent-knee: take more screenshots. It is one of the most flattering things you can do for us.



  • 2017 . Light Age . Chicago
  • nvidia 1080TI
  • 3440px by 1440px