Welcome to the first-ever series of Who’s that ARtographer! What’s an ARtographer you might think? An ARtographer is an encompassing term coined by the community to define anyone who uses Pokémon GO’s AR functionalities, ranging from unedited GO Snapshots to Photoshopped AR images.
The reason I am introducing this series is to get to know these ARtographers better, not only who they are but also to get a better understanding of their shooting and editing techniques.
The first guest on the list is Mythical Lae Snaps, our infamous Canadian photographer!
-MYTHICAL LAE SNAPS-
|EQUIPMENT:||iPhone 8, currently upgraded to iPhone 11|
|MOST USED EDITING APP:||Snapseed|
GETTING TO KNOW ME
Ash Ketzchup: Who’s behind the ARtographer? Please tell us something more about yourself.
Lae: I’m a 90’s kid from Canada who fell in love with Pokémon Snap in ‘99 and never looked back! It’s what inspired me to go to school for photography and why I take photos today with Pokémon GO! If I’m not snapping Pokémon I’m probably cuddling my Yorkie, enjoying some live music (Obviously not right at this moment lol), or FaceTiming my boyfriend who I met through the AR community!
I love being outdoors and near water. You’ll find a good amount of my photos are taken either near a body of water or deep in the woods somewhere. Nature is the perfect backdrop!
Lae: The phone with the Poké Ball is my iPhone 8 that I’ve used in AR Photography since 2018. I upgraded my iPhone specifically so I could do AR in Pokémon GO. Just this summer I upgraded to an iPhone 11, which I have been loving so far! The game works more smoothly and the larger camera really helps get the shots I want! Other than my phone, I don’t use many other tools. I’m a pretty bare bones photographer.
Ash Ketzchup: What are your favorite shooting techniques?
Lae: My favorite is probably making the background Bokeh with the Pokémon in focus. Us AR photographers coined the phrase ‘Bokéhmon’ for this technique. It’s when the background is blurred and your subject is in focus. To achieve this in the app, after you spawn your Pokémon where you like it, place your hand or another object right in front of the lens and let it focus on that. I like to click the Pokémon a couple of times to learn how long their attack animations last to find out exactly when I want to take my hand away and get the perfect pose! There’s a lot of trial and error but the reward is grand! Once focused take your hand or object away and snap quickly! The background will be blurred for a couple seconds before focusing again. I think it makes it feel more like you’re photographing a real subject with a real camera. And with schooling, the rule of thirds was drilled into my head so I always use that tool while shooting!
Bokéhmon: When the background is blurred and your subject is in focus. To achieve this in the app, after you spawn your Pokémon where you like it, place your hand or another object right in front of the lens and let it focus on that.
Ash Ketzchup: What are your favorite editing apps?
Lae: I normally only use one, as I’m not normally a huge editor. Snapseed is really easy and has so many useful tools! For my everyday editing in Snapseed (Snapseed can be found in the App store or Google Play Store), after I upload my photo, I’ll use the HDR Scape to make the Pokémon feel a little more real in the photo.
After that, I go into curves and use the ‘faded’ filter. After playing around with the levels I go into tune image and play around with the lighting and that’s about it for every single one of my photos! Don’t steal my technique! (Joking)
Ash Ketzchup: What’s your preferred platform to post GO Snapshots? Why?
Lae: I’ve always posted on Instagram. I really love the platform. All the photos sitting nicely side by side looks great and if you plan it, they can even tell a story side by side. Not to mention that is now where all my fellow AR friends are and their support is always welcome.
Ash Ketzchup: Which photo are you most proud of?
Lae: I’m most proud of this photo because of the luck of finding the spawn and the work I had to put in to make a nighttime shot work. This was before GO Snapshot so you could only AR wild Pokémon.
It was late at night and AR in the dark is not the best. I also couldn’t choose my location so the middle of an intersection was all I had. I decided to use the reflection of the traffic lights coming off of the rain and just had to wait for the right attack animation. Pretty sure I spent upwards of half an hour trying to get that perfect photo.
Ash Ketchup: Where do you see AR photography going in the next three years? Which feature are you willing to see implemented in the foreseeable future?
Lae: I can see AR photography becoming much more interactive. Where you’ll be able to pick the subject up and move them where you wish. Perhaps when you have a human subject in frame the Pokémon can interact with the human (where the person can pet the Pokémon and it truly looks like you’re doing so, not losing your hand into the pixels).
I’d love to see the Pokémon just be able to interact more with the surroundings which I really do think will be possible in the next few years. Maybe we won’t be using phones at all but glasses! There are so many possibility that I’m excited to experience with all the AR photographers!
A Mythical Discovery, eh!
This ARtographer’s expertise is taking GO Snapshots that go along with the seasons, ranging from beautiful orange-yellowish toned Autumn photographs to breathtaking Winter masterpieces (Yes, Alolan Ninetales, I am looking at you!).
Throughout this biography, you may have noticed some highlighted “photographic terms“. We have made sure to take a moment to share their meanings with you here for those who are interested!
- Bokéhmon: When the background is blurred and your subject is in focus.
- Rule of Thirds: In photography, the rule of thirds is a type of composition in which an image is divided evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and the subject of the image is placed at the intersection of those dividing lines, or along one of the lines itself. (SLR Lounge)
- Snapseed: An Android and iOS app used for editing photographs.
- HDR Scape: The HDR Scape filter opens up the shadows while it simultaneously pulls out detail in the highlights, giving the overall effect of a dream-like, evenly-exposed image full of texture and life. (Snapseed Help)
- Curves: An image editing tool (available in Snapseed and other photo editing apps) to enhance color and tones to make your photos pop! (Medium.com)
- Levels: Adjustments that can be made in different editing tools to give precise control over brightness and tones.
- Tune Image: A tool in Snapseed that allows you to adjust White Balance, Saturation, Contrast, Brightness, or try Ambiance to create depth and vibrance. (Snapseed Help)