A word of warning: try not to judge your own screenshots too harshly after scrolling down. Virtual photography – the capture of artistic in-game images – has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years. With the help of photo modes and a selection of external camera mods, any player can become an artist as they bring to life the characters, environments, and details of their favorite virtual worlds.
Now in their third year, the Virtual Photography Awards aim to highlight the best of video game captures, as well as the games out there which offer the most to the world’s digital shutterbugs. The yearly award show is organized by virtual photography website TheFourthFocus, with partners including PlayStation, Flickr, and Ukie.
The competition sees screenshot savants across the globe submit their images to the categories of Environment, Creative, Detail, Portrait, Action, and Abstract. Judged by a panel of developers and leading community artists, the finest shots claim the title of Virtual Photographer of the Year, along with prizes including a headset and digital copy of God of War Ragnarok.
“The response this year has been tremendous with over 6k votes cast and 2.7k images entered,” said Mik Bromley, creator of TheFourthFocus “As the event continues to grow year-on-year, I am very much looking forward to the future and how [the entrants] can develop alongside the art of virtual photography.”
The full gallery of finalists in each category is well worth perusing with a warm beverage in hand, but there can only be one winner for each. Awarded this weekend, these are the Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 winners:
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Environment Winner
- Submitted by: Solemist
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Creative Winner
- Submitted by: 2Wheeltex.VP
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Detail Winner
- Submitted by: UntitledSmithy
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Portrait Winner
- Submitted by: Random_Ork
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Action Winner
- Submitted by: Skrampca
Virtual Photographer of the Year 2022 Abstract Winner
- Submitted by: KimchiTraveler
The Virtual Photography Awards 2022 also highlighted games which help push the medium of virtual photography further, be it through advanced photo modes, impressive lighting, stellar subjects, or innovative features.
- Photographic Subject Winner 2022: Kratos (God of War Ragnarok)
- Best Photo Mode Winner 2022: Gran Turismo 7
- Most Innovative Features Winner 2022: Deathloop
- Most Anticipated Winner 2022: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- Best Community Support Winner 2022: Guerrilla Games
- Best Lighting Winner 2022: The Last of Us Part 1
To see the full list of awards and runners up, head over to the awards page on TheFourthFocus. Eager for some extra pretty screenshots? Take a look at more virtual photography goodness from 2022's London Games Festival, or learn more about how to get started in virtual photography.