What good is a modern video game without photo mode? From Ghost of Tsushima to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the staples of current-gen consoles have expansive ways to capture in-game moments like professional photographers are always on standby. Gran Turismo 7 might have the most comprehensive, detailed, and exciting photo mode in recent gaming history.
There are two ways to access photo mode, also known as Scapes, in Gran Turismo 7. While watching replays of your races, you can pause the clip and manipulate the camera to take pictures. Once you do, you’ll be automatically taken into Scapes to edit the image. Alternatively, you can access Scapes from the overworld map after unlocking it. However, Scapes could stand as a stand-alone game itself. The capabilities feel endless. Here’s how to unlock and use photo mode in Gran Turismo 7.
For all its glory, Scapes won’t become available until you reach a certain point in the Gran Turismo 7 “campaign.” We put “campaign” in quotation marks because there isn’t necessarily an established storyline in the game. You’re more or less free to do whatever you want in Gran Turismo 7. However, most of the features are locked behind menu books, which is the closest thing to a campaign you’ll come to in Gran Turismo 7. One of those features is photo mode. Here’s how to unlock photo mode in Gran Turismo 7.
Step 1: Head to the cafe and talk to Luca. Here, you’ll be given missions called menu books, which have you doing different things in Gran Turismo 7, from unlocking similar cars to visiting new areas.
Step 2: Play through menu books until you reach menu book 15, the Camaro collection. It may sound like a grind, but most of these books are pretty easy to complete. The most time-consuming ones are those that have you collecting three new cars. Thankfully, they point you to the races required to win those cars.
Step 3: Complete the Camaro collection by winning (or at least bronzing) the highlighted races. Return to Luca in the cafe and claim your reward. Once you return to the overworld, Scapes will unlock on the left side of the map.
Step 4: Begin menu book 16, which has you take a photo of your car in Scapes. Since you’ll be heading to Scapes as soon as it unlocks, pick up this mission to kill two birds with one stone.
With over 2500 real-world locations to visit (and more on the way in future updates), photo mode in Gran Turismo 7 has endless possibilities. However, so many choices can make it hard to even begin. We all know how stressful picking something new on Netflix can be. You can apply that same anxiety to Scapes (and that’s a good thing).
The best way to get started in Scapes is to play the My First Scapes tutorial in the bottom right of the menu. Here, you’ll pick one of five scenes to edit, thus learning about the different features Scapes has to offer. Oliver, your friendly neighborhood Scapes teacher, will guide you through them.
On The Great Ocean Road, you’ll learn how to take panoramic shots of “moving” cars. Scapes simulate how those moving cars would appear if they actually zipped past the camera. Once you understand how shutter speed works in tandem with travel speed and tracking ratio, you’ll be taking masterful panoramic shots in no time.
In Porta Rossa, you’ll learn about adding cars to Scapes and manipulating the aspect ratio under the camera tab. Oliver explains how the different preset effects work when you tab over to effects. While you’re free to create custom effects with color manipulation, lighting, film grain, and vignette, the pre-made effects offer plenty of easy-to-use variety.
In the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, you’ll learn how to use the different focus options to highlight the picture’s subject. Single AF and lock-on AF let you choose precisely where to set the focus. However, you can’t manually adjust the background blurring. With Full Auto, Scapes automatically focuses on the subject of the image (the primary car in the foreground) but lets you set the background blur to your liking.
In Blafjallavegur, Oliver has you move the truck in the foreground around the area to play with different positions. He also explains how to muddy up your car to fit in with the image. A squeaky clean Mercedes looks out of place on a dirt road, now doesn’t it? Add some scuff marks and dirt under Detailed Settings to make your car fit in.
Finally, in Iwate Museum of Art, Oliver explains using lighting and raindrops to enhance your image. Exposure correction sort of works like a brightness setting. Darken the image by pulling the slider left, brighten the image by dragging it right. However, too far right adds more sun to the image than needed and doesn’t look good.
Photo mode in Gran Turismo 7 gives you an overwhelming amount of locations to choose from. Instead of perusing all 2,571 (current) locations, roll the dice with the Random Picks, and the game selects a location for you. From there, you’re free to choose any spot available within that location. For example, we rolled the dice and got Nurburgring, Germany, giving us seven race track scenes to choose from.
If you don’t like your role, select reshuffle in the bottom-left corner of the screen, and a new location pops up. We got a really cool spot in Ibaraki, Japan, full of old, dilapidated factories and warehouses on our reshuffle. If we were meeting up with rival drivers to host a super-secret underground race, this is where we’d come.
You could spend hours tweaking every minor lighting adjustment in Scapes. Alternatively, you can select one of 16 unique pre-made effects to take your image to the next level. Of course, these effects are totally up to personal preference and depend on where you are in the world. Brighter colors make some effects pop, whereas darker settings make others more viable. Here are some of our favorite photo mode effects in Gran Turismo 7.
The short answer is no, you cannot use photo mode during the race itself. However, you can use the replay to pause moments you wish to capture once the race is over. Use the Walk feature to move the camera anywhere you want on the track. However, you can only move time forward or backward in intervals. Once you find the general moment you’re looking for, tap the play/pause button until you find the exact scene.
From there, you can take a picture. The game automatically pulls up the Scapes editing menu, allowing you to adjust camera settings and effects. However, you can’t add or remove cars from the image.
Once you take a picture in Gran Turismo 7, the game gives you the option to save it. However, that only saves it to the game itself, not your console’s hard drive. You can share images to your My Page or Showcase profiles, but that still limits you to keep them in Gran Turismo 7.
The images in this article were taken on PlayStation 5 via the capture gallery. Here’s how to save Scapes photos to your console.
Step 1: Set up the image to your liking and take a picture in Scapes. This gives you a full-screen view of the photo without any editing tools displayed.
Step 2: Don’t touch anything yet. Instead, press the capture button on your DuelSense controller to take a screenshot.
Step 3: Select the PlayStation 5 capture gallery image and save it on an external hard drive. From there, you’re free to do whatever you’d like with the photos.