Monday, 15 August 2016

Oh no! I didn't take a photo of it, all I have is video!


Recently I was invited to shoot a wedding, but instead of shooting photos, I was asked to shoot video. Taking photos and taking video are actually very similar. In both you try to tell a story through the images - in video you just get to do that with motion and sound. But I digress...

I found myself at a peculiar spot, shooting a beautiful scene (above) and found myself wishing that I had a DSLR to take that image instead of just the video camera.

Well with high definition video cameras, it is actually possible to get a reasonable image by snipping it from the Video! (Literally)

There are several ways to do this - the easiest being to use video software that will let you pause and export a frame of video. This will provide you with a full resolution image. However, if you do not have software that will do this, then a simple screen shot will also do the trick.

Windows comes with a handy little program called "Snipping Tool". Simply click start and type in "Snipping" and you should see it come up. When the program starts, (I'm told you can use Command-Shift-4 on a Mac).

Play the video in your video player. Expand the video to full screen if possible so you will capture the highest resolution possible, then pause the video where you want to capture the image.

Try not to stop the video in the middle of a blurred frame unless that is the desired effect. Sliding forward or backward a few frames will help you to find that perfect image.

Bring the Snipping tool to the front by using alt-tab or selecting it on your task bar - don't worry if it covers the video; it will disappear when you take the snip.

Snapped from a video of a screen at Universal Studios Florida
Select "New" and "Rectangular Snip", then simply drag your mouse over the video frame to snap the portion of the image you want. You can then mark up the image with a pen if you wish, email it, copy it to the clipboard, or save it for other purposes.

Of course it should go without saying that you should only snip a frame from your own video - you should not snip frames from copyrighted works.

If you have a photo editor (windows does a nice job of correcting minor issues in photos as well), you can tweak the image to enhance it further and save it again.

As other screens will show the image perfectly well, you're now ready to post your image to social media. If you snapped the image for a full HD video (1920x1080), the resolution is almost 2Mpx, which is better than most first generation digital cameras. You can easily print a 4x6 print from this image - though I wouldn't go blowing it up to full poster size.

If you like to create photo books, you can even use these snipped images in your books to display sans-computer or TV.

Enjoy!

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