Production Notes

God of War Ragnarök is such a generous display of characters and creatures and places and everything that for once I have to admit shooting a game was relatively easy. The Photo Mode is basically the same as God of War 2018, wich means it isn't on par with the highest standards set by Insomniac Games' PS5 titles, but I am super happy it autoswitches to Quality when playing in Performance Mode, saving Virtual Photography enthusiasts from the now unbearable pain of playing at 30 fps. This set marks the return to VGP of the landscape orientation. Though the portrait orientation is my main focus and most of my photography is still built around it (or I should say 'inside'), the 5 horizontal portraits you see here definitely needed a wide ratio. Verticality has always been a choice for me but it doesn't have to be a restriction.

Speaking of inspirations, whereas in 2018 the "new old" Kratos was a hero burdened by grief and responsibility, now the God of War is an equal balance of grit and compassion. While Ragnarök's Photo Modes hadn't been released yet, I shot this portrait in the 2018 game, but deeply inspired by my then recent completion of Ragnarök. Maybe that shot should have a place in this gallery as well. One more aspect of Kratos I immediately fell in love was sublimely described during the "The Weight of Chains" quest in Svartalfheim. There are chains in life you can never completely get rid of, but you can somehow turn them into your point of strenght. PRISONER OF WAR was shot after reflecting on this.

Another character I loved is Thor. He's kind of an anti-Kratos. Not pure evil, but cronically incapable of changing for good. He reminded me of Mickey Rourke's character in The Wrestler. I wanted him and his thundering hammer to resonate loud in my set.

Freya isn't anymore the Witch of the Woods we met in 2018. She's now a fearsome magical swordswoman, claiming by right the title of Queen of Valkyries. I wanted her torments as a mother and this new epic side of her to both find an iconic display.

Wolves af all sizes are also an almost constant presence in Ragnarök. I chose to focus on Svanna and Speki and then Garm, who is by far the most spectacular and terrifying creature in the game. Last but not least, winter (or should I say Fimbulwinter) is something I wanted to show and feel cold even in photos.

Some may complain about the absence of Odin, whom I totally liked and wanted to have here. Unfortunately, light conditions and overall assets during his bossfight did not allow the interpretation of the character I was aiming for. Anyway, I have played God of War 2018 four times and its set is the result of 5 years of shooting. This other set was made in 2 months and you can bet these won't be the very last God of War Ragnarök shots you'll see from me. So maybe there is still time for Odin to land on VGP.

Post-Production Breakdown

Though technically only 3 shots in this set are editing-free, 7 more pictures underwent very minor adjustments in brightness/contrast only. SPARKS AND STRIKES is the only one I'll label as fully edited, as the three lava spatters on the right were added by me to balance the composition. Brightness and black level adjustments were very frequent across the whole set due to the Photo Mode rather limited exposure range. A few more shots had very small background elements or particles that I preferred to delete when too close to the margin.


Minor Post-Production: ICE AGE (local brightness adjustment), PRISONER OF WAR (small bits removal), AMPED (local brightness adjustment), ANGER ANGEL (small bits removal, contrast adjustment), WINTER GHOST (local contrast adjustment), VALKYRIE PROFILE (brightness adjustment), GRIZZLY (local brightness adjustment, blur optimization), FATHERS IN ARMS (local brightness adjustment, local desaturation, blur optimization), COLOUR DANCE (color balance/vividness adjustment), BREATH OF THE WHITE (local brightness/color balance adjustment), SPINNING ROUND CHILL (local brightness/color balance/vividness adjustment), RING OF FIRE (color balance/brightness/vividness adjustment), GOD OF METAL (contrast adjustment), DEATH LOOP (black level adjustment).

Full Post-Production: SPARKS AND STRIKES (local brightness adjustment, lava spatters increased)

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