When The Last of Us originally launched on the PlayStation 3 back in 2012, “photo mode” wasn’t really a thing. Sure, there were a handful of games that allowed players to take in-game screenshots (hello, MotorStorm) or perhaps use a camera phone (like Grand Theft Auto V) but sharing these images or even just getting them off the PS3 onto a USB drive wasn’t as seamless as it is now. Now, with just a few button presses, you can upload images and videos directly to social media or load them onto a storage device.
In the past several years photo mode has become a common feature, especially within Sony’s first party stable of stunners. The Last of Us Part II is no exception, Sony and Naughty Dog no doubt hoping to see social media awash with captured moments from their latest PS4 masterpiece.
That said, Sony’s clutch of game studios have yet to put their heads together and formulate a universal photo mode. From God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn, to Days Gone and Spider-Man, each title has its own unique control scheme, functions, and other virtual photography bobbins.
The Last of Us Part II Photo Mode tips & tricks
In truth, there’s nothing overly dynamic about The Last of Us Part II’s photo mode but there are enough tools there to capture some hauntingly gorgeous backdrops as well as those gnarly action shots.
If that sounds like your kind of bag then go ahead and enable the R3/L3 photo mode shortcut via the options menu. This will save you from needing the press Option then selecting Photo Mode every time you want to capture and image.
There are two camera modes you can toggle between: Game and Custom. The former frames the shot exactly how you would see it in-game, while Custom lets you zoom out while orbiting the player character. There’s enough freedom there to frame long distance shots and, by fiddling with the options, you can remove characters from a scene.
Learning how to use depth of field effectively will help your shots stand out. Sadly the options here aren’t as robust as Days Gone and you can’t manually set a focal point. Instead you’ll need to adjust the distance and intensity bars to find that sweet spot. The two screenshots below quickly demonstrate how depth of field can alter the same photo.
From there, you can start to play around with some of the added filters and effects such as chromatic aberration, film grain, and motion blur (which can be handy for those action shots). A vignette can also be applied as well as logo placements and various frames, lending a more cinematic look to your photos.
The Last of Us Part II may not offer the most feature-rich photo mode, but the game’s incredible visual fidelity still makes it the perfect subject for your virtual camera.
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