How to get the most from Uncharted 4’s awesome Photo Mode


Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End features an in-game camera that turns Nathan Drake from globetrotting treasure-hunter to magical time-pausing photographer. Like Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us Remastered before it, pressing L3 and R3 raises a lens to your face and gives you the sort of arty options only award-winning National Geographic photojournalists previously had access to. Here I’ll show you how to use them.

Your masterpieces can be revealingly zoomed-in portraits of Nathan Drake’s detailed mug putting depth-of-field effects to use, or frantic action shots emphasising the chaos using toggleable motion blur, or quiet landscapes using the camera’s handy ‘invisible characters’ feature (even award-winning National Geographic photojournalists can’t do that). I’m fond of the latter for one main reason: the landscapes in Uncharted 4 are stunning, from mournful Scottish Highlands to hyper-coloured tropical islands, to literally the most convincingly rendered furniture I’ve ever seen in a game. Seriously, those are some chairs. Let’s get snapping.

If you’ve taken some nice pictures, feel free to share them with us below, or on our Facebook page, or with your mum.

Saturation

If you haven’t already, enable the camera through the options menu. All the shots in this feature are in-game. This is what Uncharted 4 looks like by default...more or less. Of course, if you want to make a visual belter look even better, use the saturation meter. Bumping it up by 20% or so really draws out the sleeping colour in environments, like purple lavender patches here. For a moodier effect, try desaturating the tones for classic black and white.

Selective focus

For convincingly layered screenshots, use the selective focus options. These allow you to highlight an object by defocusing everything around it. Take, for example, the coral in the bottom right corner of this image. Even the most modest application of selective focus adds a nice sense of depth to screens. Remember to hide the UI with Triangle beforehand

Tilt-shift

The popular photographic technique called tilt-shift is about using selective focus to simulate miniature scenes. The estate here looks tiny because I’ve zoomed out really far and applied a thin band of focus across the car park, making all the exotic motors look like toys. Try it yourself: simply zoom out far and narrow the focus field on a particular area.

Vignette

Vignette options shade the edges of images slightly darker, which is a handy way of directing the viewer’s eye. I’ve used it here to point your gaze towards the centre. 10% or so intensity will do it, unless you want to go all Looney Toons end credits. This, in conjunction with selective focus, makes for a quietly powerful suggestive tool.

Roll

In this shot I’ve tilted the camera slightly, which adds subtle drama to the giddy climb. This works well in action scenarios, which would otherwise look weird if perfectly framed and level. Simply orbit with RS and use the D-pad to add roll.

Bringing the camera out as far as it’ll go reveals the sheer breadth of Uncharted 4’s environments - and in this case, the desolation of Nate as he tackles them. Start by moving the dolly all the way back with L1, then switch to the field of view menu and move that slider to the left.

So there you go - check out the following slides and see for yourself what amazing things Uncharted 4's photo mode can do. 

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