We know that The Last of Us is very pretty, in a depressing sort of way, but now TIME has let a war photographer loose in the game, armed with the new Photo Mode.

An article on Time Lightbox gives us the accounts of conflict photographer Ashley Gilbertson, who was assigned to play the game and use its Photo Mode.

Gilbertson said, "My approach with The Last of Us Remastered was to enter each situation, or level, and work the scene until I was confident I’d gotten the best photograph I could before moving on. It’s the same way I work in real life."

But unlike in real life (thank God), Gilbertson had the added difficulty of having to fight through the Infected and Hunters first. And in order to get past the aforementioned baddies, one has to open a can of survivalist whoop-ass. It would seem that Gilbertson did not find the violence very palatable. He said, "When I covered real war, I did so with a camera, not a gun. At home, I’d play for 30 minutes before noticing I had knots in my stomach, that my vision blurred, and then eventually, that I had simply crashed out. I felt like this could well be my last assignment for TIME."

His fix for this included taking the game to the TIME offices so that Josh Raab, a contributing photo editor at Time.com and a gamer, could take on the wet work, after which Gilbertson would take the controls and working as a photographer. Some of the challenges with shooting photos in a video game included timing and the need to make every shot look imperfect, so that it didn't seem like he was advertising.

You can check out the photos and some more of Gilbertson's insights through the link above.

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