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I want to take photos out from a video that I took, but would that still be photography?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Philip Kendall, scottbb, Olin Lathrop, Itai, Caleb Jan 23 '17 at 17:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Would it be photography according to whom? The photography police? – osullic Jan 23 '17 at 13:24
  • Vote to reopen. This isn't too broad. I was in the middle of typing an answer when it got closed. – RyanFromGDSE Jan 23 '17 at 17:18
  • What about "P" (spray and pray) photography? It's worked for me to capture a good photo of a baby or animal that won't hold still for a pose. Take a burst of 5 photos and throw away 4 (or often, all) of them. – Glenn Randers-Pehrson Jan 23 '17 at 17:23
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    @PhilipKendall "There is no photography police to define what is and isn't considered a photograph" - that you can answer it says its not a matter of opinion. But I made a meta post for you: meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/5345/… – RyanFromGDSE Jan 23 '17 at 19:30
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    Are you trying to ask if a question about this would be on-topic for this site? Or are you wondering about the boundries here in general? – mattdm Jan 24 '17 at 15:40
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If the result is a photograph, then it's photography.

A video is just a sequence of still frames, and recording video is only 1 step up from the high speed drive modes (sports modes) on most cameras.

The characteristics of the image are often quite different:

  • Defects which wouldn't be visible in a moving video may become quite noticeable in stills
  • Resolution is quite a bit lower in video
  • Different framing techniques are often used for moving subjects.

I think you can argue that video IS photography. Take a look at the credits of films, you often see a 'Director of Photography'

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    Also, there's a reason the term "still photography" exists.... – ths Jan 23 '17 at 9:40
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    @ths I dont' think so. Unless you just Whooshed me, that is. <badjoke> "Still photography" refers to photos of whiskey manufacturing machines </badjoke> – Carl Witthoft Jan 23 '17 at 12:15
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    @CarlWitthoft: see wikipedia: "Still photography is the practice of making non-moving photographs, as distinct from motion picture photography (cinematography). In the motion picture industry, a person making still photographs is known as the unit still photographer." – ths Jan 23 '17 at 12:29
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In photography you can control the shutter speed (meaning the exposure time) at will (or at least allowing for available light).

In videography and cinematography the exposure time is normally set to twice the frame rate. So if you're shooting 60fps, your exposure time is fixed st 1/120th sec. This rule isn't set in stone, as that link discusses in more detail.

This is done so that motion blurring is reproduced in a way that let's the human cinema/video viewer correctly interpret it.

Now in photography you would (should) choose your shutter speed to match the effect you want.

So for some purposes a video frame won't work well as you (typically) let go of control of shutter speed.

I would say it is, in broad terms, a kind of photography. It's a way of getting a still image while using the camera for video. It's a matter of priorities.

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Some would consider it cheating since a good deal of the skill of photography is in setting up the shot, which includes timing. The bigger issue will be the quality of the result - video captures don't have the quality that most people expect from still photography. A 1080p video only produces 2 megapixels! A 4k video will hit 8 megapixels, which was acceptable 10 years ago but is cell-phone quality today. In addition the compression applied to videos is more severe than the compression applied to photographs, with the theory being that you won't notice fleeting artifacts. Those artifacts will be permanently baked into the image once you take a single frame.

Those are the reasons why it isn't commonly done, but it's not the last word. If you have a video and you've taken a frame from it that makes you happy, then you have a legitimate photo.

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    This really isn't relevant. Resolution has nothing to do with a photo being a photo. And further, everyone here seems to forget that it's possible even in 2017 to shoot movies with 35mm (or 70mm) emulsion film. – Carl Witthoft Jan 23 '17 at 12:16
  • @CarlWitthoft you have a good point. But there are reasons people don't do this more often. – Mark Ransom Jan 23 '17 at 13:24

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