Photorealism in video games has improved by leaps and bounds in the last several years. Alan Butler has taken advantage of this by creating beautiful compositions in the virtual world that exists in Grand Theft Auto V.

Down and Out in Los Santos is series of photographs that are created by exploiting a smartphone camera feature within the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Players of GTAV can put away the guns and knives, and instead take photos within the game environment. This operates in basically the same way as ‘real’ cameras do. I walk around a three-dimensional space, find a subject, point the camera, compose the shot, focus, and click the shutter. I have taken a photograph.

A year ago I would have said a real smartphone wouldn’t be able to make photos with the shallow depth of field shown in Butler’s images. I would have been proven wrong a month later.

The concept of creating street photographs without leaving your house is fascinating. The amount of detail and thought invested into the art assets in this game is astounding. Fascinating how many video games can be whatever you make of them.

Cool stuff, man.