How to Create a Great Photo from a Video Freeze Frame
Picture this: You’ve missed out on capturing a great photo moment. But don’t despair. Sometimes, that image could still exist, buried in a freeze frame of a video clip that you shot instead. And you wouldn’t know it till later when you review your clip.
If you recorded your video at 4K, the visual quality of any frame will likely be excellent. That said, the one variable that could prevent your video freeze from doubling as a photo is motion blur in the shot. But if you shot your video at a high enough frame rate (60 fps), the action should be sharply frozen.
Have you just returned from vacation and reviewed your photos? I recommend that you also take a look through the videos you shot with the goal of extracting a few frames. It’s a best practice that should help to fill in any gaps in your vacation photo collection.
Here are a couple video frames from my family’s recent vacation to the Berkshires:
How to Take a Screenshot of a QuickTime Frame
There are any number of ways to extract a video frame. If you’re on a Mac, an especially easy solution is to take a screenshot of the frame in QuickTime Player.
Here’s the keyboard shortcut to do that:
- Press Command+Shift+4 and then press the Space bar to change the pointer to a camera icon.
- Click on your video freeze in the QuickTime window to record the screenshot.
(Hold the Option key while you click on the window to exclude the window’s shadow.)
- This will create a PNG file, which you can easily convert to a JPEG, TIFF or PDF.
You can also simply press Command+Shift+4 to generate a cross hair to drag over the video frame, but that takes more work to get the entire image. This capture technique is better used If you’re looking to extract only a portion of your video frame.
The Joy of Pulling Out Video Freeze Frames
It can be fun to mine your videos for freeze frames that double as photos. The process can generate some unexpected gems.
One last note: If you add your video frames to an existing collection of photos from an event, and you organize your pictures chronologically, don’t forget to adjust the capture times for your newly created images.
That will restore order to the visual storytelling of your photo collection.
And for me, order = joy.