Still from Video


Today’s Question: Is it possible in Lightroom to capture a still image from a video sequence that I have?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can most certainly create an image in Lightroom based on a frame of a video clip. Simply pause the video on the frame you want, click the rectangular icon to the right of the time indicator presented below the video during playback, and choose “Capture Frame” from the popup menu. A JPEG image will be created for the current frame of the video.

More Detail: Creating an image based on a single frame of a video clip can obviously be helpful in terms of creating a still image from a video capture. However, capturing a single frame from a video can also be helpful for optimizing the appearance of a video.

You can adjust the appearance of a video using the controls in the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module. You cannot, however, adjust the appearance of a video in the Develop module. However, you can apply adjustments to a still image captured from a video, and then apply those adjustments to the video itself.

The first step, of course, is to capture a still image from the video, as noted above. Then optimize that still image in the Develop module. Just keep in mind that only a small number of adjustments can be applied to videos within Lightroom. Those adjustments include White Balance, Basic Tone (Exposure, Contrast, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, and Vibrance), Tone Curve, Treatment, Split Toning, Process Version, and Calibration.

Once you have finalized the adjustments for the still image within the Develop module, you can save those settings as a preset. Then return to the Library module, select the video clip you want to adjust, and choose the preset from the popup in the Quick Develop section of the right panel. The adjustments you applied in the Develop module for the still image will then be applied to the video clip. You can then export a new copy of the video to create a final version with the adjustments applied.