Photographing Assassin

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a game so vast that a comprehensive report would require hundreds of shots. In this selection, I focused my virtual goal on the most charismatic subjects of Ancient Greece according to Ubisoft. Kassandra much better interpreted than Alexios embodies various souls: she is a beautiful girl, a warrior, the precursor of the Assassins and a term of comparison for the Greek gods, with whom she often the audacity to confront each other. His most ferocious opponents, on the other hand, catalyzed above all my expectations as a photographer. Immortalizing legendary animals and mythological monsters was a challenge that I still lacked, despite the taste offered to me by God of War. But the Minotaur, Medusa, Pegasus, are creatures around which I have fantasized since childhood. Finally, I could meet them "live" and make them my own portrait.

Spartan, goddess, murderess

Kassandra is a Spartan. Needless to turn around, the thought immediately runs to 300, in the sequence in which Leonida pulls down one Persian after another, to the kick that sends the ambassador in the well: " This is Sparta! ".
My attempts to trace the film, taking advantage of the prologue to Thermopylae, have produced nothing but caricatures. The same "spartan kick" ill lends itself to photography, as the leg of the character is already lowered when the enemy is thrown back. In short, my Spartan was to be found in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, not in 300 or in his imitation. After dozens of experiments with special moves, always spoiled by interpenetration and flashes posticci, I found my Spartan in a moment of relative quiet: lonely, in heroic pose, pierces the last Athenian on the field. Being chasing an iconic silhouette, before launching the mission I had anticipated the sunset before.

One Spartan Standing

In the lines of Kassandra and Alexios a desecrating irony to the Greek gods is recurrent. of time as well as the effrontery of equating oneself with them. So I thought to exploit the many statues in the game to establish correspondences. In particular, I liked the idea of ​​Kassandra, emerging goddess of Greece, reunite with her equal Poseidon. In this regard, the creation of Adam frescoed in the Sistine Chapel had flashed in my mind, so I tried to construct a similar composition, with the Spartan extending from the sky towards the statue. Of course, it involved an obstacle not a little: Kassandra mica flies . But in virtual photography nothing is impossible. In a completely random way, I discover the existence of a side dive by directing the stick to the right or left. No sooner said than done. Climb to the island of Poseidon, parking the Adrestia in the direction, I climb the tree and dive into the statue. Result? Kassandra looked like a fool thrown into the sea, Poseidon a rock ant on the horizon and parts of the ship were coming from every corner of the frame. But I'm not the type to give up a stimulating concept and, by trying, I got the composition you see. Choice of the time of day and combination of all the tools in the Photo Mode determined the pictorial rendering also adopted for the following picture.

The Gods of Greece – Assassin!

With the grinding of the hours of play, I felt that my gallery still lacked two elements: a very personal shot and a complete portrait of Kassandra, a woman and a murderer. Meanwhile, I could not express my strong uneasiness for the unraveling of the adventure, which, unlike previous Assassin's Creed, continually invited me to kill for personal purposes (loot, experience, plot advancement), without the victims, mostly soldiers in service and rural hunters, they deserve not say death, but even aggression. At the Red Lake Bay, I thought back to Metal Gear Solid 3 and the river The Sorrow where Snake meets the ghosts of all the soldiers killed playing. I imagined that Kassandra saw in that lake all the blood of his victims, recognizing himself, for the first time, murderess.

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Initially, to involve the observer, I had looked into the room. But the effect was not what was hoped for. Kassandra appeared provocative, not introspective. I then raised the point of view, leaving the Spartan, disarmed and almost naked, to be reflected in his guilt.

Fantastic animals and how to photograph them

For the Cerva di Cerinea and Pegaso I wanted to arouse the fascinating suggestion of sighting them in the dim light or in the mist. The front view allowed me to enhance the giant boxes of the Cerva and the wings of Pegasus, in which resides the iconic strength of the two creatures. To embody an aura of mystery, I looked for situations in which the light of the sunset was decomposed into beams, which I made suffuses by adjusting the volume of the fog in the Photo Mode.

Nowhere to Hind – Angel Horse

I was looking forward to photographing the Minotaur already before starting the game. I then appreciated how the meeting is preceded by a large series of themed quests, which gradually amplify the expectation. In the end, I was not in the skin. The creature turned out to be a great stage presence, but the half-lighted arena prevented me from making a vibrating snap. In the absence of a source of light that created contrast on the creature, I initially tweaked with the Photo Mode … but for an epic shot, it needed something else. Suddenly, the dove egg: why try to lighten the Minotauro when I could directly give it fire? Torch in hand and barrel by orbi up to set fire to the half bull, now ready for a fiery bullfighting.

Corrida Caliente – Death of a Legend

The Minotaur's death was a theme that I had very much at heart. I wanted to show what the myth leaves only to glimpse in filigree, and that is that at the origin of the legend there was probably an illegitimate child, perhaps deformed, recluse and demonized. And that his killing was in fact the slaughter of a poor beast, like bullfighting bulls. I wanted to expose the prostrate, helpless animal and its torturer to finish it with an incandescent iron, evocative of livestock brands. The great live photography always triggers a reflection, with respect to which the beauty of the photo is presented as viaticum, not as an end. Following the example of these authors, with my Virtual Photography I often try to create texts, not just images.

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Someone of stone wounds …

I lived Medusa as the climax of Assassin's Creed Odyssey . It's the most challenging boss and requires a level around 50, so an endgame character. It is the creature with the strongest characterization, even at the borders with horror. The face produces the shivers of vampirism and malign possession. The snake's hair is an impressive sculptural rendering. It is a real monster that, unlike the Minotaur, does not give rise to any empathy. I wanted to see him pierced, exorcised, punished. As for the Minotaur, the arena, a courtyard surrounded by high walls, involved a lighting problem. Only at noon, and for a few minutes, the sun would reach the gorgon enhancing its chromatic complexity. I realized this, I uploaded a previous rescue and returned in good time. I then realized that it was impossible to frame both characters in convincing poses, lacking in Odyssey an accurate system of responses to the shots. The solution came from a careful study of the moveset. I took advantage of when Medusa turns her head backwards, before shooting her petrifying ray, to attack me with the spear, then giving the illusion of the lunge to the sign with perspective.

Monster Hunter – Those Who Raise the Stone

For the death of the creature, I imagined a counterpoint for the cruel fate inflicted on his victims. I wanted to turn it into a statue, in the pose of a vampire surprised by sunlight. The recruited animation is the same as the previous shot, only in a subsequent frame. I love that hand in front of my eyes, both feminine and dramatic. The afternoon shadow and the settings in the Photo Mode then contributed to an opaque and desaturated rendering. The petrifying monster was finally petrified.

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The Author: Cristiano Bonora

Cristiano Bonora is a virtual photographer. He uses Photo Mode and screenshots compositions to make Game Art galleries and paintings in different materials. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook. For more information on paintings and exhibitions, you can contact them directly on social networks.