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Untitled ©Eduardo Galvani (Virtual Photography)

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'Digital Unfolding'
A photographic incursion into virtual environments

These pictures were taken from a sequence of virtual events. The series tells a research exercise in virtual photography.

Most of the video games have their stories inspired by reality. Games often considered "realistics" are those that mirror themselves more directly in reality. However, the most realistic ones, because of their artistic qualities and the high complexity of their artificial "worlds", are capable of expressing such realism that many of its aspects can be confused with reality itself, like if realistic video games would create some kind of "duplicate reality," a paradoxical virtuality which at the same time that opposes the real world, also mimetizes it and play through the virtual reflexes that simulates from it.


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Untitled ©Eduardo Galvani (Virtual Photography)


This condition, threshold between fantasy and reality, can stimulate the rational and the emotional intelligences by allowing to transfer more easily the learnings acquired during virtual experiences from the virtual environments to the real world. Moreover, the narrative and scenographic complexity of video games may help promote expansions of the imaginative horizons as creative thinking seeks to complement the virtual reality of these artificial "worlds".

 

Thus, in a playful manner and with clear inspirations in the reality, interweaving preprogrammed situations with singular events created in "real time”, the interaction with virtual realities of video games may foster human development, by guiding the directions and intensities of perceptions in objective and subjective dimensions of life (both physical and cognitive ways).




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By exploring an unconventional form of interaction with the virtual reality of video games, this series of pictures may inspire the idealization of new possibilities for improve the human aesthetic experiences from the use of digital technologies of reality simulation.

 


 

In reference to the classical interpretations about philosophical concepts of "nature" (first nature: what is prior to the human beings; second nature: what is later to human beings) - perceived in some of the predominant Western ontologies -, this type of virtual experience promotes a condition that can manifest and establish what can be called "the third nature", since it dwells a real "parallel universe”, governed by digital codes and algorithms, dependent on artificially constructed electronic structures, and because of their scale of subatomic or “quantic” dimensions, explores in a new and very comprehensive way the boundaries between the physical and the metaphysical nature of the information.



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All the images of this series were taken from a car race simulation game (Drive Club™) wich has a virtual photographic camera feature.

 


  The main practical aspects of this “virtual photographic” challenge includes both philosophical thought and aesthetic efforts, undertaken in an attempt to manipulate the digital interfaces in order to obtain pictures that reflects the most natural and organic aspects simulated by these virtual realities -- in contrast to the typical appearance of poligonal geometry and mathematical precision of tridimensional video games, what usually causes estrangement by recalling a mechanical dystopia of human life.



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Besides that, despite the relative freedom of camera displacements inside the scenarios (with ceiling and object distance limitations), the device simulates fundamental property configurations of a traditional analog camera: lens filter and focal length, aperture and speed shutter, film graininess, relative condition of the object, etc.


 

In addition to the original realism attributed to the visual complexity of the own video game virtual environments, the simulation of analog aspects of the virtual camera is an additional attribute of the game that allows greater variability in the composition of images, while it provides the manual and precise controls of the virtual camera positioning, depth of field, focus and lighting, allowing, thus, the use of techniques of traditional photography for reproducing more realistic images.



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Unlike "Digital Photography", which uses cameras with digital sensors to capture images from the real world, and the "Virtual Reality Photography", which captures the real world in 360 degrees to simulate virtual environments, the "Virtual Photography" is the act of capturing images with a virtual camera directly within a virtual ambient. Furthermore, the typical "Screenshots" are usually produced directly from the gameplay view without the use of virtual camera features.

 

Techniques of Virtual Photography has been improved through the sophistication of camera capabilities inside the video games.


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Comments are welcome: edugalvani@gmail.com
©2016 Eduardo Galvani