It is probably fair to say that anyone who has spoken to me much over the last 6 months will have heard something about how I am convinced that 2021 will be an enormous year for virtual photography. 10 weeks in and, if anything, I believe that now more than ever before. It's a belief not necessarily based on any one thing in particular, but a real sense of broadening awareness and growing appreciation of the art form.
Along with a palpable increase in engagement and greater emphasis on photo modes from within the game industry, we are also seeing exciting things like the emergence of dedicated new platforms, people landing their dream job, and a genuine rise in interest from beyond the immediate gaming circles.
Red Bull Capture Point certainly fits the theory then as another reason to be excited about in-game photography in 2021. An official collaboration between two truly global brands is something that speaks volumes about the potential that exists in virtual photography, and could yet prove to be one of the most significant steps in its modern history!
5 of the biggest photo mode-enabled games on PS4 & PS5...
What is Red Bull Capture Point?
Red Bull Capture Point is a national photo mode contest, created to showcase the emerging talent of in-game photographers. Jointly hosted by Red Bull and PlayStation, the contest is open to US residents and invites players to submit their creative captures from 5 of the biggest photo mode-enabled games on PS4 & PS5.
Not a US resident? Don't be disheartened, read on below for why I think this is still an important event for the future of virtual photography in all territories.
Entries will be placed into 6 thematic categories by an expert panel of video game creatives and studio developers, with individual category winners plus overall "Best In Show" shots receiving an incredible line-up of prizes.
Demon’s Souls – PlayStation Studios / Bluepoint Games
Ghost of Tsushima – Sucker Punch Productions
God of War – Santa Monica Studio
Horizon Zero Dawn – Guerrilla Games
The Last of Us Part II – Naughty Dog
The Great Outdoors
Emotions Run High
Moments of Fun
Frozen In Time
Catch the Light
Edge of Reality
Each category winner receives:
One PlayStation 5 Console
One DualSense Wireless Controller
One DualSense Charging Station
One Pulse 3D Headset
One 12-month PlayStation Plus Subscription
One 12-month PlayStation Now Subscription
A digital copy of each of the next five PlayStation Studio Games upon release
Red Bull Trophy
Advancement to Best of Show competition at the Capture Point Digital Gallery Experience
Best in Show winners receive:
1st Place - $1,500 cash prize & “Best in Show” plaque
2nd Place - $1,000 cash prize & “First Runner-Up” plaque
3rd Place - $500 cash prize & “Honourable Mention” plaque
How to Enter?
Entries are now open and close at 23:59 PST on 2nd May. Users can submit up to 18 photos, captured using the in-game photo modes from any of the participating titles, and shared directly to Twitter via the SHARE or Create buttons on the console controller. Each entry must include the #RedBullCapturePoint and #Contest hashtags, though it is not necessary to choose which category your shots should be considered for.
For further details and the official contest rules, head to redbull.com/capturepoint.
Why is Red Bull Capture Point So Significant?
The stellar selection of prizes and cash rewards on offer here may be the first thing to grab your attention, and they certainly do go some way to acknowledging the skill that is required to fully master virtual photography, but this is more than just an opportunity to "win big".
Even looking past the official description as the "First" national creative capture contest, and any future implications you may want to place on that word, I would argue that the most important aspect here is the identity and profile of the partners and where they could potentially take this.
- Red Bull Soapbox Race // Red Bull Content Pool -
In PlayStation, we have a giant of the gaming industry and, as creator of the SHARE button, one of the main platforms responsible for bringing consumer photo modes to a wider market. In Red Bull, a market leading energy drinks brand that is probably equally as well known for its exciting sponsorship of sports teams and marketing of live events.
Take the Red Bull Soapbox Race for example, since the inaugural event in 2000, Red Bull have essentially taken a children's sports day contest and turned it into an international spectacle attracting tens-of-thousands of spectators and TV & media coverage around the world.
Simply put, PlayStation have already shown a real commitment towards photo modes, and Red Bull are past masters when it comes to recognising potential and taking it to another level. Combined with the creative enthusiasm of virtual photographers, just imagine where a partnership like this could take the art form.