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Tag: family vacation

Our Trip to Mystic Seaport

The Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship still in existence, undergoes maintenance at Mystic Seaport Museum.

I just drove my family up to Mystic Seaport Museum and met up with two other families to explore the historic ships and experience the recreated fishing village. It was a fantastic Connecticut day trip and a fitting conclusion to our eleven-year-old son’s summer vacation.

Mystic Seaport Time-lapse Looking at Fire Fighter
Mystic Seaport Looking Past Wooden CartMystic Seaport Looking Past Fire Fighter

Fire Fighter
Though the big attraction at the museum is the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world, my favorite part of the day was our small guided tour of Fire Fighter, the first diesel-electric fireboat. It was built in 1938 to protect New York City’s harbor and had the distinction as the most powerful fireboat in the world for many years. A National Historic Landmark, it was decommissioned in 2010.

As I walked through Fire Fighter, I felt like I had been transported back in time. The vessel is operational and still very much alive. My experience was quite visceral and entirely different from other museum ships I’ve visited.

The Pull of History
Mystic, Connecticut is, of course, also home to Mystic Aquarium. My family and I checked that fabulous day trip off our list a few years back. On the way out, we briefly stopped by Mystic Seaport and peered past the gates. I felt the strong currents of history beckoning us to return.

I’m so glad we finally did.

How to Create a Great Photo from a Video Freeze Frame

This image is from a timelapse video I recorded of the Mount Greylock Veterans War Memorial Tower. Here’s how I extracted the frame on my Mac.

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.

Vacation Memories
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:

Biking on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

Ziplining at Berkshire East Mountain Resort

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.

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