Want to learn the basics of photography? Try using a video game!

video game photography
(Image credit: Mir-or-Image/ God of War)

When you're trying to learn the basics of photography, experimenting with different focal lengths, apertures, exposure settings and more can become a little confusing. However, one photographer is helping to demystify these key photography essentials with an unusual tool – video games. 

Photographer Mir-or-Image has recently created a new YouTube series called 'Photo Mode Perspective', where he uses photo modes in video games to teach photography concepts.

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As first reported by PetaPixel, Mir-or-Image writes, "In this series, we'll be looking at photo modes in different video games, but through the eyes of a photographer. My goal for these videos is so you can not only take better pictures in the game, but also with your camera, or phone, in the real world."

Video game photography has become pretty popular over the past few years, with a surprising amount of games including virtual cameras that users can take "photos" with. While different games will have varying levels of manual control for users to experiment with, they can be a fantastic way for budding photographers to understand some of the fundamental concepts that underpin photography.

Focal length is one of these key concepts that can actually be quite difficult to wrap your head around if you don't have access to a wide range of kit. While most new photographers will understand that a wide angle lens shows more of the scene and a telephoto lens gives a closer view, it's not until you can play around with both that you can truly begin to understand concepts such as compression and distortion. While video games are never going to be a perfect learning tool substitute, they're definitely a relatively low-cost way to get a better grip on these ideas.

Discover more of Mir-or-Image's Photo Mode Perspective series on YouTube – and don't forget to check out some of the best photography video games for photographers to play.

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.