Featured Photographer: okonst

Photo credit: okonst

The Snapmatic camera in GTA V takes wonderful pictures, with zoom, depth of field and some great creative filters. However, only being able to save out the images to 960x536px isn’t the best, especially since everything on screen is rendered in 1080p before you take your snap. Photographer okonst uses the PS4 share feature then processes the snaps in Photoshop to create moody, lonely, high-res images. I asked him how he got started taking photos in GTA V.

okonst! Great pics! Thanks for taking the time for a chat.

Hi! Thank you.

What made you get started taking snaps in GTA V?

I started to realise that I was playing GTA Online out of routine and not for the fun of it. Get online, race, getting angry at ramers, steal a Baller, sell it, get cash, and then the same thing over and over again. I already got the most things I want to buy – the cars, apartment and so on. So the whole grinding thing started to feel pointless. It was not fun anymore.

Then I remembered seeing people posting their Snapmatic pics on Reddit and so on. Some of em was really good. So that got me in to it. It’s a fun way to explore the world and the people in it

Obviously these aren’t Snapmatics. Can you tell us about your process?

No, they are taken with the share function on the PS4. I turned off the HUD and radar in settings and started to take screen grabs.

The pictures really reflect the style I have when taking photos in real life. I have always liked to compose with a lot of empty space around the object creating a lonely-in-a-big-world-feeling, and loneliness is visually beautiful.

Once I have taken a lot of pictures I’ll put them on a USB and import the ones that have most potential to Photoshop.

"Loneliness is visually beautiful."

“Loneliness is visually beautiful.”

Have you used the Snapmatic much in GTA V? Obviously the resolution isn’t as high as screen grabs. Any thoughts on one vs the other?

Not much no. Just for fun when the game was first released in 2013 and some throw away snaps on my crew mates. But with the Snapmatic you can play around with DOF and that is an advantage over the screen grabs. But on the other hand, as you said, the screen grabs have a greater resolution which is better for post processing.

Your picture got a great reaction on Reddit subs GTAV and GTAphotography. How did it feel to get such a positive response?

It was great, and it definitely has made me want to do more. I’ll put up some more in a near future.

Where can people catch you online?

I have okonsten.wordpress.com where I publish everything from pictures and films from travels, to small photo jobs and snap pictures from my life. Some retouching and inspiration too. It’s all in Swedish though, but maybe the content will speak for itself!