Extracting a Photo from Video


Today’s Question: I accidentally hit Video instead of Photo while taking iPhone photos of my grandchildren, and would like to know how to retrieve single photos from the video.

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can extract a still image from a video clip by opening the video in Photoshop, by using the Capture Frame option in Lightroom Classic, or even by capturing a screenshot on your iPhone.

More Detail: There are several ways you can extract a still image from a video clip, but it is important to keep in mind that the resulting photo may be at a lower resolution than a still image, depending on the video format that was used. When selecting which frame of the video to use, be sure to confirm that frame is sharp. Video is generally recorded with a relatively slow shutter speed, so there is a chance that some frames will be slightly blurry even if the video doesn’t seem blurry during playback.

You can open a video file in Photoshop, and then use the playhead slider on the Timeline panel to go to the frame you want to save as a still image. Then go to the menu and choose File > Save a Copy, which will enable you to save the current frame as a new image.

If you’re using Lightroom Classic you can also use the Capture Frame command to create a still image. Browse the video in the Library module using the loupe view, and drag the playhead to the position of the desired frame in the video. Then click the frame icon to the right of the timecode showing the minutes and seconds, and choose “Capture Frame” from the popup menu. This will create a still image from the current frame, which will be saved alongside the video.

You can also capture a screenshot on the iPhone to create a still image based on the video. To do so, open the video in the Photos app and pause at the point in the video you want to capture a still image from. Tap the screen to hide the controls, and then press the power button and the volume up button at the same time.

If you use Photoshop or Lightroom Classic to create a still image from the video, the still image will have the same resolution as the original video. That would be either 4K (approximately 4,000 pixels across) or 1080p (1,080 pixels across) depending on the setting for the Camera app in Settings on your device. If you create a screen capture the resolution will depend on the display resolution of your specific iPhone model.