Forza Horizon 4: Photography tips and tricks

The Forza series of games provide a great interface for in-game photography. Instagram is awash with screenshots of the world's ultimate cars and we're all in favour.

Here are our top tips to smashing #forzashots or the weekly photo challenge with sharp snaps.

Use the ambient light sparingly

One thing virtually all the promo shots for the Forza games have in common is this: the cars are in shadow.

Taking your photography exposed to the full daylight in the game is a recipe for flat and washed-out shots. Instead, use the shade of the trees to give a much greater depth and texture to your photographs.

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Use shadows to enhance your photography and make your shots more realistic

If your preferred spot for a particular photoshoot doesn't present much shade, move your camera so that the sun is on the edge of the frame and use the shadow of the vehicle itself, then gradually increase the exposure to bring out the details in the vehicle. You can compensate for the bright sky with contrast and brightness tweaks.

Framing your photography subject

The car doesn't always want or need to be centred in your shot. Try using scenery or even tyre smoke and rubber marks on the road to balance out empty areas of the shot and draw the eye across to the vehicle. The eye automatically follows arrows on signs or road markings so you can place the car to benefit from these framing tools.

Moving your car away from the centre helps the viewer take in the image as a whole, rather than fixate on the focal point. This can be a great method of telling a story through one shot. Use this to emphasise attributes about the car. If your vehicle is at the head of a cloud of smoke or some interweaving skid marks, this says something about the driving experience!

Get some motion into your photography

Stationary shots can be effective if you're looking to showcase specific detail on your car. Generally, though, we don't think of cars as static objects. Many of the best looking shots feature cars at full tilt.

This can also really help your car pop out of the screen in your photo - a sharp focus on a moving vehicle with a blurry background draws the viewer's eye in to the image.

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Mastering pulling movement into your photos will make them much more exciting

Make small tweaks, one at a time

With the range of options to change when you're taking your photographs, it can be hard to know which change will have the desired effect.

Once you've framed your shot, you want to get the focus just right and the background bokeh just so. Extreme settings can result in visual artefacts and tell-tale signs that you're looking at a game rather than real life. Work systematically through the camera settings, tweaking one at a time just slightly and then working again from the top. You'll soon be used to knowing just what a particular shot needs to be spot-on!

Share your shots

Whether you feel you've completely nailed down your photography skills or otherwise, you won't improve without feedback and criticism. Also, if you have achieved Forza photographic perfection, other people deserve to see this! Showing off your snaps on Instagram, Facebook groups or Discord chats is a crucial part of the process.

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