Shooting a video for the web is also a great opportunity to create great still images for your website and other online platforms. Of course if you are filming with a camera that takes still photos  as well as video it is easy to snap a few photos before or after filming your subject.

But if your main purpose is to make a video then you can concentrate on that and create the still images afterwards by saving or copying video frames in a video editing software.

Here is an example of frames taken from a video I was making. I had the subject pose for a couple of minutes at the end of the shoot as if he was being photographed. The advantage to me was that the lighting was all set and I had a green screen behind the subject. This allowed me to change the color of the background to white, which is what was needed for the website where the photo was destined.

still image from video frame

I imported the video files into my Sony Vegas editing software and then placed the clip onto the timeline. I then scrubbed through the video on the timeline to find the particular frames where subject looked best.

In the video preview window, Sony Vegas provides a button that saves the image on screen to a folder you select on your computer. But before I saved the photos I applied some adjustments using the editing software.

 video player window falk

First I applied a white balance correction to make the colors more natural. Then I applied a Chroma key effect to key out the green screen. Then I used the selective touch-up filter from NewBlueFX to smooth out the skin of the subject. I then adjusted the brightness by using the levels filter in Sony Vegas.


Once all the adjustments were done to the video clip I could go through it frame by frame and save the images that look best. Before doing that however, I added another track below the video where I placed a solid white media that now became a white background.

falk in vegas

Since I was recording the video in HD at a resolution of 1920 X 1080, the resulting images are about 2.5 megapixels each. Of course most digital still cameras record much higher resolution images, but for the purposes of the web and as long as large cropping is not required, this size images should suffice.

This is one way to kill two birds with one stone.

Steve Goldberg