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Welcome to the Virtual Photography Archives, where I invite virtual photographers from across the community to revisit their back-catalogue of photo mode captures and pick out a few shots to reflect on.

With 5 short briefs guiding the selection, each photographer is encouraged to rediscover past inspirations, find flaws or mistakes, and even appreciate their progress as they try a little self-critique and give a few words about how they feel about each image now.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the first edition of VP Archives with Cynthia Fulwood, aka ccf_photomode...


First up, tell us a bit more about yourself and how you are involved in virtual photography

Hello, my name is Cynthia, and I am from Central Florida (think next to Disney). In my spare time I enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, practicing in Photoshop, and various kinds of crafting. I am a mom to a really cool 10-year-old son, who loves to game as well.


I've been involved in the virtual photography community for four years, mainly capturing images and sharing them. I don't focus on one particular style, although several people have told me my work has a quality they identify as mine. I enjoy seeking out knowledge on how to improve my skills, practicing new techniques, and experimenting with my virtual photography.

Last year I was invited to become part of the team at The PhotoMode eMagazine, and I am happy to say I love my role there. I help put the magazine together, support the team in The PhotoMode Spaces interviews on Twitter, and support the amazingly talented virtual photography community.


#1: Your first ever photo mode capture


Game: Horizon Zero Dawn | Platform: PlayStation 4 Slim | Date: 24th January 2019

When I took this shot, I had noticed some wonderful virtual photography work in a Horizon Zero Dawn group on Facebook, and I was inspired to try my hand at it. I had just discovered virtual photography and wanted to see if I could take a nice picture of Aloy. At the time I liked Aloy's animations in the rain, so I tried my best to set up a pretty picture of her. I was very proud of it then, and I still look back on it fondly.


#2: A shot that you never tire of seeing


Game: Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered | Platform: PlayStation 5 | Date: 15th June 2022

I captured this shot in Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered by Insomniac. I was looking for an image that fit the theme of Juxtaposition. To me, the contrast of a large Spider-Man in the sky next to a tiny airplane fit the theme well. Plus, Spider-Man's pose, with his arms out and legs straight back reminded me a bit of an airplane shape.

I felt the image was perfect for the theme and also really like the color palette I achieved. Overall, whenever I scroll my gallery and see this one, I always have to enlarge it for a closer look!


#3: A shot that you don't like to share


Game: Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered | Platform: PlayStation 5 | Date: 3rd January 2022

This is the first capture I took in Marvel's Spider-Man. Upon reviewing my shots, I ended up putting this in the discard pile. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't make me love it. Maybe it seemed too bland, too common.

Looking at it again from father along the road in my virtual photography journey, I can find things I do like: the muted city colors, the perspective, the sense of freedom. I can almost imagine the wind rushing past while free-falling over the city. Maybe I should give it a second chance.


#4: Something that inspires you to capture more


Game: God of War Ragnarök | Platform: PlayStation 5 | Date: 22nd December 2022

This shot inspires me to capture more because it is a reminder to venture outside the tried and true. I used the monster as a frame to show off Kratos as he whirls around with fiery blades, preparing to attack. I love seeing images creatively framed, and I hoped that by using the enemy to set off my subject, it would have a big impact.

Seeing this image in my gallery reminds me to take a few extra moments to look around and see if there is a better way to frame my capture.


#5: The one shot that is your most iconic


Game: Horizon Zero Dawn | Platform: PlayStation 4 Pro | Date: 2020

Well, at first, I was not sure how to determine what my most iconic shot is. I asked several people and got varying answers but no real consensus. So, I decided that this capture that I won the RedBull 2021 competition with should be enough to consider it iconic for me. It certainly holds a lot of memories.

A shot that I took in passing, after changing the time-of-day feature around until I caught the light rays radiating around Aloy on her mount. A symbol of her fierce courage and the hope for a better world that she always holds close to her heart. A capture full of luminous color silhouetting the image of a triumphant woman defying the weight of the world on her shoulders. This is my iconic piece.


Anything else that you’d like to add?

These questions were surprisingly difficult to answer and required a lot of thought, but were also eye opening. It helped me look at older work in a different light, and not be so harsh about where I started. It also showed me just how much I've learned and makes me excited for how much I'll improve.

Thanks Cynthia, I'd say that the thought you put in really comes across and it has been great to get some insights into you and your work. Oh, and I was secretly wondering if you'd pick that last one. I think you're right, it is iconic.


I hope you all enjoyed this look back over the Virtual Photography Archives and if you enjoy Cynthia's work then please show her some support on Twitter and Flickr.

If you think that you would like to take part in future editions of the VP Archives, please get in touch as I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, until next time...

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