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Posts with tag photography

15 Minutes of Fame: Shooting Azeroth in all its HD glory

15 Minutes of Fame Screenshot photographer shoots Azeroth in all its HD glory
WoW wallpaper sites come, and WoW wallpaper sites go. You can always download a fresh look for your screen directly from Blizzard. But as satisfying as it is to set a novel desktop wallpaper that truly delights, I enjoy the process of poking around to find wallpapers from people who are passionate about WoW -- like WoWScapes, the passion project of a former raider and amateur photographer who's become fascinated with taking and sharing high-quality screenshots that showcase the striking beauty of Azeroth.

WoWScapes creator Jeremy (aka Rotted of Sen'jin-US) specializes in bringing eye-popping images to players who don't have the hardware or haven't slowed down enough to savor Azeroth's splendor. "In a way, I feel sorry for people who use low-end hardware and cannot thoroughly enjoy the beauty this game displays," he notes. "So with that being said, I have turned many heads and had many people say, 'Is that really what WoW looks like on max settings? All this time, I have been playing and have never seen blades of grass on the ground or bark on the trees.' It's responses like this that make me happy about sharing my 'photos.'"

Jeremy is currently adding two screenshots per week to WoWScapes. "I never had intentions to make money off of the website," he says. "It is strictly something I enjoy doing in my free time -- usually while my wife is raiding. Every wallpaper is free to download."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Seeing Azeroth from a bird's eye view

wow fisheye shots
We've seen plenty of cool WoW screenshots in our day, but these bird's eye view images of Dalaran, Kun-Lai Summit (above), Lordaeron, Stormwind and most recently Orgrimmar still caught our eye. To capture these stellar views, Masserah of Arthas takes anywhere from 65 to 95 screenshots (at 1366 x 768 resolution on ultra settings), which he stitches together using the free app Hugin. This is the time-consuming part of the process, as Hugin can take two or three hours to piece a large scene together. Once Hugin has done its thing, Masserah manipulates the scene to give the fisheye effect and then goes into Photoshop to smooth out imperfections and correct colors.

These aren't the first WoW panoramas Masserah has made -- he has a gallery of panoramas, tilt-shifts, and other cool shots dating back to 2006. "I tend to come and go, and do these in waves," Masserah says. "I'm always on the lookout for the next scene, but I rarely get off my butt to do so."

So why take WoW screenshots in the first place? "I'm from Ireland, and more often than not the weather didn't cooperate with my photography," Masserah tells us. "I realized one day that I spent hour upon hour staring at a virtual world through a camera, and just started snapping scenes from around Azeroth. The small mercy is that a screenshot is about one-eighteenth the size of a professional photograph, and loads and processes much faster."

And, while we aren't professional photographers ourselves, we definitely approve of these results.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Guest Post: Long exposure WoWtography

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Long exposure photography is an intriguing photographic technique that involves slowing a camera's shutter speed, thereby allowing light more time to strike the film. The technique often produces otherworldly images in which there is a sharp contrast between stationary and moving objects -- perhaps you have seen long exposure photos of cars at night, their headlights melting into long streaks of color. Because long exposure photography often reveals hidden patterns, its applications can go far beyond generating simple eye candy.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to do research on interactive digital media (read: video games) at the University of Rochester, and I thought it might be fun to try some long exposure photography within my favorite game, World of Warcraft. Rather than do real long exposure photography, however (difficult when one has no camera!), I opted to emulate the effect using video clips captured with Fraps and processed with a program called Exposure. Both of these programs have free versions available.

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Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Guest Posts

WoW Rookie: Thanks for the memories

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

There's nothing quite like your first time through Azeroth. Capture those memories by snapping screenshots (pictures of what's on your screen) in game as you explore, level, discover, plummet, laugh, triumph, fail ... All the moments that make life within the World of Warcraft so utterly bewitching.

Screenshot basics
  • Take a screenshot by hitting the Print Screen button on your PC or Command+Shift+3 on your Mac. You can set a more convenient key binding in game in your Game Menu; hit Key Bindings and scroll down to Miscellaneous Functions.
  • Screenshots get stored in the World of Warcraft folder on your computer. Look for the folder called Screenshots. Screenshots used to be saved as big, unwieldy TGAs, but now you'll find them in convenient .jpg format.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

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