Street Photographer Takes His Craft Into the Video Game World of GTA V


Photography student and street photographer Fernando Pereira Gomes is used to practicing his craft on the streets of New York, but recently, he’s taken to shooting photos on the virtual streets of Los Santos, San Andreas, the fictional city of Grand Theft Auto V.

You might remember that we made mention of this exact possibility when we shared this amazing GTA V time-lapse video. Rockstar put so much thought into the details of the game, that the time-lapse seemed almost real: trees moved, power lines swayed, and cloud reflections played on the surface of buildings downtown.

Gomes’ GTA V ‘street photography,’ and his experience capturing it, highlights that same attention to detail, and so he has begun posting them on a quickly growing Tumblr blog titled “Street Photography V.” Here’s what he had to say about the genesis of the project:

Being a big fan of GTA, I went to the midnight launch and played the night away. As I played, I noticed that the characters had cameras on their phones… With this new tool, and the huge world of Los Santos, I started experimenting with the camera and the digital streets.

What I found was remarkable. The game is so realistic that it felt like being in the streets outside, running around for shots, anticipating passersby’s movements and reactions. In a way, it was also incredibly frightening that these algorithms could look so real, or is it that we ourselves are becoming ever more algorithmic?

We’ll let you answer that last question, but here are a few of the pictures Gomes has posted thus far:








As he points out in an interview with Mashable, shooting in-game has both advantages and disadvantages.

While he wouldn’t ever dart into traffic in the real world to get a shot, he can do that in the game; however, at the same time, your character is stuck standing upright, severely limiting the kinds of perspectives you can capture. You’re also limited to very low resolution photographs, a problem Gomes is working hard to get around.

Those limitations aside, his description of capturing photos in-game could easily be confused for a description of taking real street photos: “I’ll go on long walks, and sometimes I’ll find a background on the street that really pleases me, and maybe I’ll hang around there and see if anything interesting happens,” explains Gomes. “I can’t go out and look for the photo — you have to anticipate what is going to happen around you, and you have to react to it with your camera.”

To see more of Gomes’ GTA V “street photography,” head over to his Tumblr. And if you want to compare it to the real thing, you can find his actual street photography on his website and Behance.

(via Mashable)

  • John Lanford

    did you read the above comments. It has progressed past the original posting. Dude AC above is comparing this to POP art. I have no problem with the game, the act of taking a pic inside the game. It is good practice. But art? Really? And my first reply to AC was due to his condescending questioning of my intelligence. THAT is ‘snarky’ as you referred to in you blog, right. Ok, art is subjective. You go ahead and call it art.

    The creators of the game; however, well, there is art. I never once questioned that. Even stated as much in my 1st reply to AC.

    You on the other hand have fallen in with the ‘snarky’ with your last statement. Thanks.

  • Phoenix_Paul

    Warhol didn’t take screen grabs of the Campbells soup cans or pictures of the labels, he created them by hand using real world tools. Gomes isn’t using any method similar to or even close to Andy Warhol. Let’s not confuse a game viewer with a great artist for gosh sakes!

  • Phoenix_Paul

    It’s not actually photography in any sense of the word. Calling it photography is a misnomer, and calling it “art” is completely misleading. It’s certainly an interesting concept and it’s probably entertaining for gamers, but it’s more akin to making virtual settings and objects for the Sims or Second Life and posting screen shots of them than it is to actual, real world photography. Not trying to put it down, but just not elevating it beyond what it is.

  • Adam Cross

    oh, so now you think you know what art is? … bye.

  • Adam Cross

    nope. didn’t compare it to pop art, I compared methodology, very different things.

  • Ryan Good

    Sorry, I I love this blog, but this is not blog worthy.

  • taoisms

    Oh shut up and get over yourself, you sound extremely butt hurt for no reason. This is art. Art is ambiguous you should know that.

  • cas_e

    Humourless? Is it supposed to be funny then?

  • Brian Zuzulock

    Zack Arias took advantage of GTA V in a similar fashion. His shots were more compelling, in my opinion.

  • MattSteeleLA

    Shoot for the next twenty years and you’ll understand my comment.

  • John Vincent Torres

    He took traditional “boring ass photos of people walking by landmarks” and… Made it worse. Cool.

  • Dave

    Ive been doing the exact same thing. I hate the camera perspective issue, you should at least be able to bend down when taking images in the game.

  • John Bucknotdoe

    Shame on you sir for talking down to it, elitist.

  • John Bucknotdoe

    Ohh, you’ve been doing this a long time, elitist!

  • John Bucknotdoe

    Elitist detected, so many people on this site need to lighten up!

  • john lanford

    talking down to…?
    I am an elitist how??

  • BongoBongoLA

    If by elitist you are suggesting that I think the craft of photography should be dominated by a select few who have exceptional talent and knowledge on the subject, then, yes.