While in my travels to one of the other sites I frequent (albeit specifically for a single game) earlier today, I realized that I have not shared the potential of the Gran Turismo 5 photo function as I've discovered it. I understand that Gran Turismo 5 has been available to gamers for several months now and that many of the would-be readers and viewers have probably tampered with the photo mode. However, if you were like me when I first started playing with it, it can be a bit dry and lose the point of itself.Not until I was really bored with the A-Spec and got tired of managing B-Spec did I really sit down and explore the creative gestures of photo mode. I even discovered that several sites dedicated to the game had forums full of people playing around and using the images for a personal artistic outlet. I'm an art fan, and have been involved one way or another with varying degrees of art projects since I was a child (same with music). Naturally, I just continued to putz with it and explore the options on a low level.

Some of the images are complete manipulations while others are just adding film grain or text. In all, I never adjusted the shape or color of the vehicle beyond what from from the game. The main point of this display however is to make aware that GT5 contains a pretty powerful (and consuming) photo function that with a little practice can output things far better than anything here, and, I'd like to see what other people come up with.


Before I start, I'll apologize for the pixelation that occurs in some of the images. Most of these were originally in the pixel width of several thousand just so I could get in and do fine adjustments when I wanted. Other times I was working with CMYK print colors because I tend to prefer paying attention to the details of a competition (e.g. if it's a concept for print, then it makes sense to be in the habit of working in print colors, but that's just me).



First up is a set of fake ads. Some were for competitions and others were the result of boredom. All of them were pretty quick and easy, but most importantly fun for me to play with .


Tuning Fork is a play on "Spoon," the Honda exclusive engine modders. This was just a bordom manipulation.



This was a competition piece that required only one make of vehicle, could advertise anything (which I took the movie route, and could incorporate objects not found in GT5. In this, it was a pretty liberal competition. Others took things like tires or headlamps). It didn't place in the competition - humor isn't always the safe bet. The winner actually used a Audi R8 and placed it on a tunnel ceiling with the words "Pirelli: Keeps you glued," which was a brilliant concept that deserved the win.



When I was younger, I loved the bodystyle of the Karmann Ghia. It wasn't powerful like it's Beetle cousin, but it was slick and in driving one, was rather fun to drive on country roads where I didn't have to deal with the lack of acceleration. In this image I didn't add anything remarkably physical other than the text with thrown shadows. I did however adjust the lighting and colors quite a bit as well as added the film grain and smoothed the sky. Since I'm not particularly handy with adjustment layers this was the result of some crash course, hand dirtying, nose to the grind, learn as you go trial and error. I'm happy with the result, but I know it could be better.Incidentally, this car was run on the same track as the vette image later.



Another winless competition piece, this Spoon CRZ was used in a competition that required:

  • Honda only
  • Japanese tracks only
  • no modifications to the image outside of GT5
  • premium cars only
  • no race modified cars
  • only one car pictured (as in not in a race with other cars).

I went with black and white with the photo in a Special Stage tunnel focusing in the car and letting the surroundings blur for the laser line effects to naturally occur. I think B&W add impact and sharp contrast to make a visual statement. Adjusting the camera to show both Honda and Spoon coupled with an aggressive headlamp design make enough statement. Unfortunately someone used the same idea a couple of days with a Honda NSX and beat me out on it. It was fun all the same. This image took me no less than 50 shots to get and the tilt of the car is actually the tilt of the track. Moving the camera would put the headlamps at an asymmetric angle lose the light points on one or the other as well as the distinctive Honda logo. Tough break, really.


The photo that pushed me to continue exploring the photo mode of Gran Turismo 5, the BLITZ Dunlop Skyline was really fun to drive in the game so, I decided to see if I couldn't capture both the power and the fun contained in driving it. This was a steep angle, high speed (around 67 mph) drift that lasted for close to 9 seconds, but I can't recall where (and without landmarks I can't justify a guess). To get the car in this kind of slide I played with the camber angles and other fine adjustments in the suspension. I pulled this off without doing a 180, colliding with a wall, or leaving the track. The only additions to this photo are the text and D1 logo.


As the title implies, this photo was possible only through perfect timing. I can't explain how frustrating this shot was because there's a 30 second window to move the car and camera, and apply the proper aperture and filter adjustments. After 30 seconds the sun sets and everything goes dark for a nocturne shot. What I was attempting to capture was the setting sun in the backdrop over a rich red classic Alfa Romeo, so positioning was just as key a component as timing. I must've done 140 shots to get this right. For those interested in a challenge, this is:

  • Red Bull Museum, station 1
  • Car flipped 180 and pushed about 50 scale yards forward of the stock position
  • The camera is set  two scale paces away from the car
  • An f-stop of about 2.2
  • Manual zoom to frame the edges of the car
  • The "minature" filter
  • Aspect ratio of 16:1 vert.

The clock starts the moment it loads up and if you're slightly late, the sun sets and the color washes too blue. If the car position is not far enough back, it reflects the museum building in the shine. If you don't take enough steps back the framing and details become too crisp for the lighting. If the angle is wrong, runway lights get in the image after the sun dips below the mountain ridge. To be fair, this was a fraction of a second before everything goes dark. Enjoy. 


The first competition I entered with photos from photomode allowed for any car, provided the photo was during a sun set. This is a "Toscana" track (custom) with an RM Vette. In hindsight, the image is too out of focus and disregards the rule of thirds. At the time I was worried about clarity of the brand, but it was also an early shot with little to no experience in the photo mode or concept of in-game "photography." Is it horrible? not really, but it is a pretty good color palette in spite of the amateurish approach.



Of the many cars in my garage, few engage my visual interest as the IS F Concept because it was designed to take the Germans on in their own game - LM races. For a Japanese car manufacturer to build endurance engines isn't uncommon, but to make a direct attack on race mode is. The IS F already came with an aggressive body style but the additional body kit took it a step further with flanged wheels, an agape front intake and  a high angle spoiler (among other things).  This fascination was further realized in how reflective the paint was. So, naturally I explored black on black with a Tokyo photo shoot at night. The HIgh reflective paint with the finely detailed environment made for an awesome experience to have light naturally contour the body of the IS F.


The broad nose and headlamp layout make for a very aggressive front end, then to complete the package the Mercedes SLR teems with unbridled power from its engine. Driving it in the game is a bit underwhelming compared to a few other more responsive cars, but the peak power and speed are thrilling all the same. Matte grey at night in Tokyo just under a street lamp with a low aperture and fast snap speed created this soft yet aggressive shot. The problems with this shot are that the color processing in the game wreaks havok on any kind of post processing. Because of the low contrast and, reflective property in the paint, and paint color, colors will separate to neighboring colors in groups and create pixelated patches (a fault of the GT5 photomode). The nose for example, will have to be blurred and blended before it can really be called "finished".



From here I'll just leave you with a variety of other shots I have for you. If you draw inspiration from them, great. If you hate them - that's cool too. In either case, enjoy and let the work speak for itself.