The Future is Here!

I had an interesting assignment recently photographing a virtual reality venue inside the CineMark movie theater in San Jose, “Spaces VR”. For a fee they will suit you up in battle garb and a Oculus virtual reality headset and let you fight terminators in a virtual environment.

My client, Tilton Pacific Construction had built out the facility and needed photos for marketing. One catch, we had a limited time to do the shoot and they wanted models in most of the shots!

Normally that would be no problem except there was not time for fully lighting the shots to capture the models!

My solution? I shot the scenes without models, using HDR techniques of blended exposures, some exposures 30 seconds long, then shot the models separately at a much higher “speed” or ISO rating that allowed for capturing fidgety humans. Then blended the empty, but beautiful shots with, the model shots!

An HDR shot of the departures lounge combined from a three exposure blend
Space VR people, much less tonal range.
Final blended image!


We did this for each shot, a static shot and a series of people shots for the best selection, then blended them together. I can’t show you the VR stage but it was pretty impressive, banks of servers and hundreds of cameras to track the players!

Here is the rest of the shoot:

I wasn’t able to have the full experience of the game myself, I suffer from motion sickness and got dizzy from just a few seconds in the virtual reality environment, but here is a video of what it looks like from the players perspective and some commentary. (Not my video!)

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