Production Notes

Shooting Horizon Forbidden West posed a series of very specific challenges. Machines are amazing, but with all those mechanical details, their animal shape can be hard to read in a single frame. So I had to research neat epic poses for the most iconic machines introduced in this sequel: Clawstrider, Sunwing, Tremortusk. Above all, I loved how the Slitherfang coils around vertical structures to spit acid from aloft. That had to be in the set. As for Aloy, she is definitely a multifaceted character and a lot of effort was visibly put by Guerrilla into making her pretty but not barrenly perfect. However, isolating expressions which could actually look good in photo was a quest of its own. In the end, I set with focus, stupor, fierceness and sheer beauty. The Forbidden West is populated by warrior tribes and the whole game sets a distinctive sci-fi tribal tone with its settlements, outfits and bodypaints. I wanted this savage side to emerge giving ample room to the most exotic costumes and facepaints. The underwater shot was another must have. While initially I was aiming for the offshore Tallneck, the chromatic aberration during underwater gameplay made things too fuzzy. The red alert light of a Snapmow near a coral reef then provided the unique conditions for some tense underwater storytelling.

This gallery marks a bit of a revolution for as, after the recent experiments on The Last of Us Part II, for the first time I realize a full game set departing from the 9:16 ratio which I had contributed to establish as a feasable standard for vertical Virtual Photography and had been my trademark style for years. Now I've felt the need for a more versatile and harmonic ratio, allowing Fibonacci Spiral-compliant compositions. Besides that, 2:3 is a much easier ratio to print and frame.

Post-Production Breakdown

Since I usually rely on vignette to balance light towards the centre of my pics, moving to a 2:3 ratio leaves brighter the side(s) of the image cropped from the full 9:16. So, local brightness adjustment was applied to most of the set. Small flying bits (leaves, pollen, etc.) were occasionally removed to get a cleaner view.


Minor Post-Production: THIS NAY PRINCESS (local blur enhancement), SUPERNATURAL (small bits removal), TSUNAMI (local brightness adjustment), DUNE COLLECTION (small bit removal), WILDFLOWER (small bit removal, local brightness adjustment), DOWN IN PARADISE (vividness/brightness adjustment), ACID IS HE (brightness/contrast/vividness adjustment), EXTINCTION EVENT (local brightness adjustment), FALL IN LOVE (vividness/local brightness adjustment), HERE BE DRAGONS (local brightness adjustment), ELEPHANT IN THE BLOOM (local brightness adjustment), IRON LADY (local brightness adjustment)

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