Is taking photos from a video still photography?

Was closed as Opinion Based. I was in the middle of typing a detailed answer at the time it was closed.

I don't see anything opinion based about it.

"Is taking photos from a video still photography" is an answerable question. There is no opinion bias involved. For example, "Is taking photos from a video good photography" would be opinion based. Good is a matter of opinion. Is it possible isn't.

There's also additional information that could go into this answer making it of further value. A downvote for lack of research is perhaps necessary but closing it isn't.

6 Answers 6


I disagree that there's nothing opinion-based about it. It's a somewhat philosophical question. However I do agree that it's answerable with reasoned arguments - not just pure opinion. For example, how different is it to select a frame from video vs selecting a frame from a 14 frame/sec burst from a 1D? Or selecting a shot from a burst on phones or mirrorless cameras? I believe some mirrorless cameras can burst 30-60+ fps.

  • 1
    So can we reopen it? Jan 23, 2017 at 21:39

I voted to close the question as unclear, not opinion based. I left a comment asking for clarification, but I see it is no longer there. I have no idea why a mod deleted it, since it was relevant to exactly this issue.

Apparently the majority of those voting to close picked opinion based. The system doesn't show minority reasons.

I also downvoted the question because it was so ambiguously worded.

  • 1
    I have a strong suspicion that the asker is really trying to ask if stills-from-video is on-topic for Photo-SE, not about the general terminology. But... I have no idea.
    – mattdm
    Jan 24, 2017 at 15:42
  • 3
    @matt: The wording is so ambiguous. It's unclear if the question is whether a single frame from a video is a still picture, or whether using a single frame from a video could still be considered photography. These are two totally different questions. I asked this in a comment, but for some reason a mod deleted the comment. I can't think of any rule that comment broke, but oh well. However, either way it's a crappy question. One way it's about pointless symantics. The other way it's about pointless opinions. I closed for unclear since I couldn't tell which case, but it needed closing. Jan 25, 2017 at 13:31
  • To voted for closing a legitimate question, is still a micro-aggression of sorts.
    – Goat
    Feb 11, 2017 at 15:31
  • @Goat: You're missing that point that the original was not a legitimate question, at least here on this site. I disagreed with others about the close reason, but we all agreed it needed to be closed. That's how we handle crappy questions, or ones that don't fit the site. Feb 11, 2017 at 17:32
  • @Olin I guess I have an issues with "how we handle" things here. The downvote seems like micro-aggressions too me, I an notoriously downvote when stating proved facts, simply because it me or based on ignorance of those downvoting. You get downvote for short and pricie answers, but not for long nerdy once that really belong in a book instead.
    – Goat
    Feb 11, 2017 at 19:52

I voted to close it as opinion based. Looking at the answers it generated before it was closed, I felt (and still do) that the question generates more discussion-style answers, rather than more concrete, prototypical SE-style "Google the question, SE provides good answers, no wading through cruft" answers.

I was tempted to carefully parse the title of the question: it's ambiguous whether or not the sentence should read the word "still" as an adverb or and adjective. That is, as written, the title could be legitimately read either of these ways:

  • Is taking photos from a video still considered photography?
  • Is taking photos from a video considered stills photography?

However, the expressed body of the question is unambiguous (with the added [considered] to make it clear):

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

From that, it's still my opinion (sorry, couldn't resist) that it generates more opinion and discussion than concrete answers.

But, I'm not hard about its status, if the title and body can be made unambiguous and reconciled. If it comes up for re-opening, I'll skip it in the review queue.


There is even a tag for it. 30 chars

  • 1
    I was kinda amazed to see that tag when you edited the post. Of course, we also have a tag for [equipment recommendations] as well... =)
    – scottbb Mod
    Jan 25, 2017 at 19:43
  • There is a very low bar for creating a tag. Furthermore, that tag might describe some aspect of on-topic questions but not mean all situations to which the tag could apply are on topic.
    – mattdm
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:38

"Is taking photos from a video still photography" is an answerable question.

The problem is that every answer is equally valid depending on how you think of photography.

Yes, video is a sequence of images captured by a digital image sensor, so picking a frame from that stream (or even all the frames) has a lot in common with what most people understand digital photography to be. By that reasoning, you could certainly call video or frame grabbing a form of photography. But...

No, grabbing a frame from a video is not what most people understand digital photography to be, and certainly not what's meant by still photography, the topic of this site. The set of considerations involved in shooting video are somewhat different from that in still photography, as are the set of variables under one's control. The fact that a digital image results from both endeavors isn't enough to convince many people that a video frame is a photograph.

Which of those answers is the correct one? Yes, or no? Both answers are correct to some degree, and which is more correct or the correct answer is subjective.

  • 1
    There can be more than one right answer to questions on StackExchange. The one that more fully explains what you're saying would be the likely most upvoted and most accurate one. One that says only yes or only no would be incomplete. While one that says something nearly irrelevant to the question would be flat out wrong. Jan 29, 2017 at 12:38

What types of questions should I avoid asking?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

What is the point of the question in this case? What is the actual problem being faced here? Who cares if it is "photography" or not, as long as you get the image you want?

  • 1
  • 2
    @EuriPinhollow The existence of another example of this type of question (and one that's nearly 5 years old at that) doesn't justify this one. I'm sure we have some have some shopping questions lying around, but that doesn't mean that shopping questions are acceptable.
    – Caleb
    Jan 26, 2017 at 3:23
  • @Caleb you seem to be reducing shopping recomendations to Canon or Nikon. There is a whole load of recent questions about equipment: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/… . Also read that carefully: Questions seeking specific product or service recommendations, >>>where the answer is likely to be either entirely personal or short-lived as a result of changing markets<<<, are off topic here. Jan 26, 2017 at 8:54
  • 2
    @EuriPinhollow I was referring to shopping questions as described in Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!, but the main point I was trying to make is that the presence of a question, especially an old one, shouldn't be used to justify asking more questions like it.
    – Caleb
    Jan 26, 2017 at 15:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .