Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Probably one of the best Photomodes available, Marvel's Spider-man offers some great tools that enable you to get the best videogame pics possible. This was the case for the original 2018 version, but couldn't be more true with the release of the Miles Morales expansion and Remaster.
Since no game's photomode is created equal, this guide was specifically written to help you get the most out of your Spidey photos.
I should also probably mention I'm not a trained Photographer, I've just loved taking in-game photos ever since I first realized I could take a screenshot by clicking print screen while playing Age of Empires 😁
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So you've hit that photomode button and have started setting up your shot. Before going any further, go to the noise setting and change it to 0. Unless I forget, I ALWAYS remove noise from my images. While this setting might be cool if I'm doing a highly stylized photo, I think it simply takes too much away from the image.
Check out the images below. Without the noise, you get that "clean" look.
First an example of an image with a noise setting of only three, while the second image takes this setting all the way to zero. Pay especially close attention to the background...
The change is incredibly subtle, but if you are looking for that HD look, I'll always recommend turning this setting off.
Field of View (FOV) is another setting I always set out to change the moment I enter the photomode. What is FOV?
I'll swipe Wikipedia's definition-
" FoV is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment."
There will never be a one size fits all setting for FOV; however, I always start out by bringing the FOV to the closest setting possible, then expanding out from there.
If your goal is to capture an action or landscape shot, set your FOV to a higher number. If you're trying to get a portrait shot or want to really showcase the details of a suit, go for a much closer FOV.
Below are a couple examples of each setting range. Both images are from the exact same scene, just with different FOVs.
IG tip: if you want to post your image to instagram, the close up shot tends to grab more attention when used as the cover pic. Analyzing my posts from the last year, I consistently experienced a much higher reach when a close up pic was used as the cover. Why is this the case? Close up shots are simply easier to see from the explore page as a thumbnail.
Aperture / Focus Distance
This is another feature that is subject to personal preference, but I'll share what I have found to be the most successful in my experience.
Focus distance determines how much of your view is in focus relative to the front of your camera, blurring everything behind the set distance. The extent to which the image blurs is determined by the aperture.
Aperture is essentially the amount of blur that is applied to everything beyond your set focus distance.
I usually employ the same strategy I use for FOV when trying to determine the focus distance and aperture. I'll pull the focus distance in extremely close, usually around 1 to 5. Then I'll crank the aperture up to about 10 just to start. From here it's up to you depending on the type of photo you are taking. If you are shooting for an action shot, sometimes keeping the background less blurry results in a dynamic feeling of motion, while a high aperture will make the background appear more "solid" and draw the attention solely on your subject.
Both of the images below utilize a close focus distance, but I varied the aperture for each.
A lower aperture (<25) to keep the detail from the clouds and window panes
A high aperture(>50) to keep the focus solely on the subject and mute the background as much as possible
Here's another example with the exact setting measurements
Similarly, you can use the "Near Focus Distance" and "Near Aperture" to blur the subject closer to the camera. Below is an example of how you can use this setting to blur the part of the subject (in this case the webbing) that "touches" the camera.
Before I discuss what I believe to be the most important tip, I had a few other points to make about the other tools available
Exposure- basically the brightness setting. This will allow you to pull out some details when the image is a bit too dark. I've used this setting far less with the introduction of the fancy new Light Mode. Be careful with this setting as you also risk overblowing the brightness of your photo.
Sharpening- try not to go crazy with this one. This setting can create unnecessary pixelation if set too high. I usually test out different settings for this one, but keep it lower when you can.
Tilt- I always try to use at least +/- 2 for tilt, especially for action shots. And try to tilt upward in the direction you subject is facing. So if Miles is facing right, tilt just 1 or 2 ticks so that it slopes up to the right. You can also use the tilt to shift your image into a full portrait.
Or if you just want to get a new perspective...
Suits: don't forget you can switch up the suit IN the photomode!
Filters- ALWAYS try to experiment with filters. One of my favorite things to do is to play around with the different color settings in this photomode. Out of all the games I've taken pics in, Spider-Man has the best selection, with God of War coming in at a close second. I included a gallery below of an image using a couple different variations.
I cannot stress this enough. Don't just stop at taking photos of Spidey swinging around or throwing punches. Use the environment, the NPCs, abilities, and don't stop there! There are dozens of different factors that can change the way your image looks, even including something random like the lazer sight from an enemy weapon. Check out some examples below
Taken underneath some grating with a harsh light above, giving that great horror movie vibe
Taken with a sphere light behind Miles, natural light below (naturally occurring in the game) and a haze that was present during this particular mission sequence
Shot while jumping through the steam from a rooftop vent
This photo was taken at the moment of shooting an electric web. It was also taken in the famous "warehouse" level.
Shot during a demon boss fight and zip web attack.
Taken while fighting some sabel agents. Their lazer sight give off a pretty sweet particle effect.
So there you have it! This is by no means a complete guide. This photomode seriously has tons more to offer! From frames to emotes and a selfie mode, there is so much more you will be able to do beyond what I've outlined here. Hopefully though, it will get you started!
Have questions or a tip you would like to share? Feel free to reach out to me on instagram @firstpersonshutter