PetaPixel

Creating Still Photographs by Extracting Frames from HD Video

Are we close to the point at which HD video cameras are so good that professional photographs can simply be extracted from footage rather than shot with a still photography camera? That’s a question photographer Kevin Arnold had, and when he finally got his hands on a $65,000 RED camera he decided to seek an answer:

What I hadn’t anticipated going into this was the advantages this style of shooting would offer in terms of capturing natural expressions and key moments. Obviously, when you’re shooting 120 frames-per-second, it’s almost impossible to miss a moment. But there’s more to it. Shooting video is comparably silent and, without the constant clicking of the shutter reminding them that their every movement was being recorded, the athletes were able to forget I was there. This is huge when you’re striving for authentic, candid images, a hallmark of my work.

On the flip side, Arnold found that one of the biggest issues was achieving fast enough shutter speeds for sharp frames, as most of the frames in his videos were plagued with some kind of blur. Head on over to his blog to read his in depth exploration.

Stills, Meet Motion (via A Photo Editor)


Image credit: Photographs by Kevin Arnold


 
  • Jjjustinnn

    I guess it’s only a matter of time before everything is photographed in 256kx256k, 1024fps, noise-free ISO 256k and lytro-style DOF. What will we do then? Is there a limit or is that reached when we’re at the speed of light?

  • http://twitter.com/zak Zak Henry

    Add wide spectrum sensors to that list. I’m keen to be able to switch to thermal with a slide of a dial.

  • Jason Moseley

    And who needs photoshop?  Imagine a camera that can remove those powerlines from your landscape photo when you press the shutter trigger.  :)

    Seriously, I’ve often wondered about when HDTV gets good enough for photography, seeing the quality that some of the tv’s and cameras get today.  

    I suppose when all signal processing and enhancements can possibly be made, then it’ll be all about the glass!

  • Non-exist

    With 4k and 8k video, frame extracting photos would be very practical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Caulford/571563007 Nathan Caulford

    Old news. David Leeson at the Dallas Morning News pioneered using 1080p frame grabs years ago. The 4k stuff etc is a new twist though.

  • Matt

    8k video?  MF?

  • http://twitter.com/45surf 45SURF

    Regarding shooting stills & video at the same time, Philip Bloom wrote, “this is for real…it did make me chuckle! ” http://blog.9shooter.com/2011/06/canon-based-nine-shooter-9shooter-4500.html

    Well, I would love to challenge Philip (or any RED operator) to a showdown consisting of shooting stills & video at a surfing championship in California this summer!  

    The rules would be as follows:

    1) One-on-one.  The 9shooter operator and RED operator must carry all their equipment onto the beach by themselves and operate it by themselves.
    2) All photographs and video must be finished by the operator.
    3) Points will be given for stills, video, and cost of equipment.

    I’ll be shooting with a Canon D1X or Nikon D4, with a camcorder (with image stabilization superior to the RED’s) attached to the 9shooter system.  You can see pictures here:

    9shooter Beats (out-surfs) Red Epic (& the Red Scarlet) in Shooting Video & Stills @ the Same Time @ the 2011 US Open in Surfing in Huntington Beach
    http://blog.9shooter.com/2011/08/9shooter-beats-out-surfs-red-epic-at.html

  • http://twitter.com/45surf 45SURF

    Many have been wondering, “What is the best way to capture stills & video @ the same time in the field for a general audience?”

    Well, this summer we can find out for once and for all at a couple pro surfing events in Southern California!

    Join us at the second annual  “Stills & Video Pro Surfing Showdown!”http://ow.ly/aZtD4 RED EPIC vs 9SHOOTER Nikon Canon Sony

    All are welcome to how up and put their ideas to the test–not just in internet forums, but in real life!

    See you there! :)

  • http://twitter.com/45surf 45SURF

    Many have been wondering, “What is the best way to capture stills & video @ the same time in the field for a general audience?”

    Well, this summer we can find out for once and for all at a couple pro surfing events in Southern California!

    Join us at the second annual  “Stills & Video Pro Surfing Showdown!”http://ow.ly/aZtD4 RED EPIC vs 9SHOOTER Nikon Canon Sony

    All are welcome to how up and put their ideas to the test–not just in internet forums, but in real life!

    See you there! :)

  • Mike

    It’s definitely possible and the technique seems one hundred percent practical. Simply use your cell phone or tablet offering 1080 video recording and even at 30 frames per second you will have lots of still images that look very sharp and clear, ready for printing.

  • http://hdrinstant.com HDRinstant

    HDRlog have released HDRinstant to get improved stills from video, – it would be great to talk to peta pixel about it. Thanks