TIME Photographer Ashley Gilbertson Experimented with The Last of Us: Remastered’s Photo Mode

Photos by Ashley Gilbertson.

The Last of Us was one of last generation’s greatest video games and one of Sony’s most successful and critically-acclaimed PlayStation 3 games, so it only made sense for Naughty Dog to develop an HD Remaster of the game for the PlayStation 4, right? Released earlier this summer, the game featured updated graphics, new modes and maps for the game’s multiplayer section, and an amazing Photo Mode. When turned on, gamers can easily pause the game and adjust aperture, framing, composition, filters, and more to create some awe-inspiring “photos” of Joel and Ellie within the game’s universe. Naughty Dog even held a photo contest that recently ended that saw gamers share their photos with the rest of the community. Nevertheless, would an actual photographer feel the same taking screen shots in a video game’s photo mode the same way they would in the field?

TIME tasked one of its war photographers, Ashley Gilbertson, to create some photos from The Last of Us: Remastered‘s Photo Mode and write about his experience. From Gilbertson himself:

I initially played the game at home. But after a short time playing it, I noticed I was having very strong reactions in regards to my role as the protagonist: I hated it. When I covered real war, I did so with a camera, not a gun. At home, I’d play for 30 minutes before noticing I had knots in my stomach, that my vision blurred, and then eventually, that I had simply crashed out. I felt like this could well be my last assignment for TIME. […] So, I moved to the TIME offices where Josh Raab, a contributing photo editor at Time.com and a former gamer, could take the controls and fight his way through the different stages for me. Josh developed a particular style of clearing levels – sneaking up on infected people, strangling them for a while and then stabbing them in the neck. I’d then retake the controls, letting me act more like a photographer. That’s when I started to make better images – the whole experience resembled an actual embed, with someone doing the fighting and me taking photographs.

It’s interesting to read about Gilbertson’s experience with the game, one in which I absolute adore and would be playing right now if Destiny hadn’t just come out last week. You can find more of Gilbertson’s The Last of Us: Remastered photos and his full experience on TIME’s website.

[via TIME LightBox]

Geoff Henao

Geoff Henao is a writer/kinda photographer affiliated with the Chicago collective LOD. His interests include film, punk rock, cute girls, graphic novels, video games, and the Chicago Bulls. He's funny sometimes.

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