Archive for the ‘Apple iMovie’ Category

GoPro: How to “Grab Photo” from Video

May 17, 2022

When you use either the “GoPro app” or “GoPro Quik” app to remotely control your camera, you can save still photos from a video clip. For example, here’s how it works using “GoPro Quik” on my Apple iPad mini 6.

The first screen capture shows the “splash page” for GoPro Quik, running on my iPad mini 6. Tap the camera icon labeled “GoPro” located in the lower-right corner of the screen. The button works, despite the fact that it’s grayed out.

GoPro “Quik” app splash screen.

Next, tap the button labeled “Control Your GoPro” on the “Cameras” page.

“Cameras” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Media Icon” located in the lower-right corner of the Live View screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in order to see photos and videos that you have recorded using your GoPro camera.

Live View, GoPro “Quik” app.

When you play a video clip shot with the camera and see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located in the lower-middle of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

Video playback, GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Then tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen.

“Grab Photo” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab.

Select “Save to …” location, GoPro “Quik” app.

The frame grab is saved as an 8 MB JPG file, smaller than the 12 MB JPGs created when the camera is set for “Photo Mode.”

The file can be adjusted using your photo editor of choice, but there’s a limit to what you can do during post-processing of JPGs so it’s always a good idea to “get it right” in-camera.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro Time Lapse Video: Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1)

April 29, 2022

The following time lapse video was taken using my GoPro HERO 4 Black action camera remotely controlled with the “GoPro app” (v7.1) running on an Apple iPad mini 2. The camera was set for Video Mode / “Time Lapse Video” submode — the simplest of several ways to create time lapse movies using the HERO4.

The video looks best when played in “Full screen” mode.

The camera is facing east from the 6th floor of a parking garage. Notice the trees look “nervous” — it was windy due to a cold front that passed the day before I recorded the video. Clouds are moving across the sky from northwest to southeast.

Several Fairfax County Public Schools yellow buses are seen making afternoon runs. Three Fairfax County Fire Department red vehicles pass by heading south along Richmond Highway, including a truck, SUV, and ladder truck. Finally, look closely and you might be able to see a series of commercial jet aircraft flying from south to north on approach to landing at Washington National Airport.

Post update: I watched the time lapse movie on a large screen monitor. Although I saw several planes in the sky (with my eyes) when I was outside, I don’t see them in the movie. That’s odd, because the camera was set to record every 1 s — more than long enough for a single plane to appear multiple times.

Tech Tips

Two short video clips were combined using Apple iMovie. I will provide more background information and tech tips in a follow-up blog post.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More resources for editing GoPro video

April 19, 2022

Sometimes I’m a content creator; sometimes I share content created by others, especially when the content is better than I could create myself.

Apple iMovie: Magic Movie

The latest version of iMovie includes a new feature called “Magic Movie.” Although I’ve never used “Quik,” the GoPro pay-to-play app that makes it easier for beginner videographers to create movies, I think “Magic Movie” targets the same demographic and does essentially the same thing as “Quik.” Both “Quik” and “Magic Movie” enable the user to quickly combine photos, video clips, and music into a punchy little movies.

How to make a Magic Movie video in iMovie 3, by Roman Loyola, Senior Editor, Macworld explains how to use Magic Movie on iOS devices including iPad and iPhone. The article features detailed, step-by-step directions that are richly illustrated with an embedded video and lots of screenshots.

Apple QuickTime

Don’t sleep on “QuickTime,” a versatile free utility from Apple, that’s capable of doing some of the same things that were covered in my last two blog posts.

Grab a Single Frame from a Video in QuickTime X, by Jeff Geerling explains how to use QuickTime to do a frame grab from video, including video shot using a GoPro action camera.

QuickTime can be used to do simple video editing, as demonstrated in the following excellent video by Michael Kinney.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

How to edit GoPro video

April 15, 2022

This blog post provides links to several how-to videos that should enable you to get started using two of the more popular free alternatives to editing video with the GoPro suite of apps.

Apple iMovie

I highly recommend a series of YouTube videos by Meredith Marsh, a.k.a., VidProMom …

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve

My good friend and former colleague Kyle Margenau highly recommends DaVinci Resolve, the full-featured video editor available free from Blackmagic Design.

As of this writing, 17 training videos are available from the Blackmagic Design YouTube Channel.

The following video by Kevin Stratvert might be better for new users of DaVinci Resolve.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoProbe

April 12, 2022

The more I explore creative ways to use my GoPro HERO4 Black action camera, I realize there’s a lot I don’t know about the camera hardware, firmware, and “supporting” software.

A lot of the frustration and pain of being a GoPro user is inflicted by GoPro Inc. If I knew what I know now BEFORE I decided to buy a GoPro camera, I’m almost 100% certain I wouldn’t have gotten one. Long story short (and it is a long story), all I want to do is make the most of my regrettable decision.

Should you edit photos and videos using GoPro apps?

Before I went on “hiatus” last week (more about that another time), I had promised to do a post (or series of posts) related to how to edit photos and videos from a GoPro camera.

My next blog post will focus on how to edit photos and videos from your GoPro action camera. Source credit: More settings: GoPro HERO4 Black.

And as I mentioned in a GoPro related blog post a few weeks ago …

I plan to publish a series of follow-up posts. Tentative topics include how to update the camera’s firmware, how to edit video using the GoPro “Quik” app (sneak preview: don’t go there!), how to use your GoPro as a Webcam, as well as a few other suggested applications to get you started using your action camera. Source credit: GoProse.

I DO NOT recommend using the suite of GoPro apps to edit your photos and videos! That is, unless you like the subscription model for “buying” software. I don’t, especially when there are free alternatives.

Suite of GoPro apps on my Apple iPad mini 6.

Grab Photo

There is one noteworthy exception. When you use either the “GoPro app” or “GoPro Quik” app to remotely control your camera, you can save still photos from a video clip. For example, here’s how it works using “GoPro Quik” on my Apple iPad mini 6.

The first screen capture shows the “splash page” for GoPro Quik, running on my iPad mini 6. Tap the camera icon labeled “GoPro” located in the lower-right corner of the screen. The button works, despite the fact that it’s grayed out.

GoPro “Quik” app splash screen.

Next, tap the button labeled “Control Your GoPro” on the “Cameras” page.

“Cameras” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Media Icon” located in the lower-right corner of the Live View screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in order to see photos and videos that you have recorded using your GoPro camera.

Live View, GoPro “Quik” app.

When you play a video clip shot with the camera and see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located in the lower-middle of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

Video playback, GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Then tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen.

“Grab Photo” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab.

Select “Save to …” location, GoPro “Quik” app.

The frame grab is saved as an 8 MB JPG file, smaller than the 12 MB JPGs created when the camera is set for “Photo Mode.”

The file can be adjusted using your photo editor of choice, but there’s a limit to what you can do during post-processing of JPGs so it’s always a good idea to “get it right” in-camera.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Godox TT685-series external flash units: another demonstration of cross-compatibility

March 8, 2022

The following product photos show the bottom of Godox X2T-series wireless flash triggers for Canon, Fujifilm, and Olympus/Panasonic digital cameras. The pin pattern on the flash triggers is the mirror image of the pin pattern on the camera hotshoe.

Product image of Godox X2TC flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Product image of Godox X2TF flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Product image of Godox X2TO flash trigger courtesy B&H Photo.

Notice the pin pattern varies by camera brand. One pin — the power pin — is located in the same place on all types of flash brands. The other pins are used to control functions such as Through The Lens flash metering (TTL) and High-Speed Sync (HSS). This is why almost any relatively new external flash unit can be used in Manual mode with almost any relatively new digital camera, but TTL and HSS are incompatible unless the flash is mounted on the hotshoe of a camera with a matching pin pattern.

Cross-compatibility among Godox TT-685-series external flash units

The beauty of the Godox system of external flash units is it’s truly a system — all units that I own and have tested extensively are cross-compatible.

For example, when a Godox TT685F for Fujifilm cameras is used off-camera it can be fully compatible with a Godox TT685O for Olympus and Panasonic cameras (including TTL and HSS functionality) when it’s fired by a flash trigger such as the Godox X2TO. It’s amazing to watch!

The following quick-and-dirty video is another demonstration of the cross-compatibily among Godox TT685-series external flash units.

A Godox TT685F flash for Fujifilm cameras is featured in the preceding video. The flash was fired remotely using a Godox X2TO wireless flash trigger for Olympus and Panasonic cameras.

Related Resource: Cross-compatibility of Godox TT685-series flashes, another blog post by Walter Sanford that also features an embedded YouTube video.

Tech Tips

An Apple iPad mini 2 was used to shoot a raw video clip that was post-processed using Apple iMovie. The magic wand tool in iMovie was used to automatically enhance the audio and video quality of the clip. Audio quality was improved significantly by the magic wand tool!

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Video settings: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

February 4, 2022

I’m not sure, but I think the short movie featured in my last two blog posts is the first time I’ve used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 superzoom bridge camera to record video.

Before beginning my project, I consulted Graham Houghton for expert advice regarding recommended video settings for the FZ300.

In “The Panasonic Lumix FZ300/330 Beginner’s Guide to Creating Video,” by Graham Houghton (28:51), Graham talks about “red button recording” versus “creative video mode.”

Red Button Recording

I chose “red button recording” for the simple video I wanted to create using Apple iMovie. The following settings were selected on the camera, synthesized from Graham’s recommendations in the preceding video.

  • Press Menu/Set button, Motion Picture (video camera icon), p. 1/6 Rec Format → change to MP4
  • Menu/Set, Motion Picture (video camera icon), p. 1/6 Rec Quality → change to FHD 28M 60p
  • Menu/Set, Custom (wrench-C icon), p. 7/9 Rec Area → switch from camera icon to video icon (Note: camera format = 4×3; video format = 16×9.)

Press the red button on top of the camera body to start recording in 16:9 format; press the red button again to stop recording. It’s that simple.

Well, not quite so simple. Although the camera was mounted on a tripod, I had to use Apple iMovie to delete a couple of seconds of video at the beginning and end of the clip because of camera shake when I pressed the button to start/stop recording. I intended to use the “Panasonic Image App” for remote control of the camera but simply forgot.

Creative Video Mode

At the ~10:20 mark in the video, Graham transitions to talking about “creative video mode.” I encourage you to continue watching the video for tips related to more advanced video recording.

Related Resource

Demonstrating the Panasonic Image App on an IOS device, by Graham Houghton (23:05).

See also “Demonstrating the Panasonic Image App on an Android device,” by Graham Houghton (19:38).

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

 

Post update: What is it?

February 1, 2022

The mystery item featured in my last blog post is a Christmas tree ornament hanging above a battery-powered flashlight with a low-power incandescent bulb.

Perhaps the bigger mystery is what makes the gold propeller inside the ornament spin around when the flashlight is powered-on.

Christmas tree ornament hanging above a flashlight.

Energy Transformations

When I taught 8th grade Physical Science classes, “energy transformations” was an overarching theme in one of the lab manuals for the course.

The Rayovac No. H22 Industrial Flashlight (shown above) uses two 1.5 V D-cell batteries to power a 2.4 V incandescent bulb. When the flashlight was powered-on and placed below the Christmas tree ornament, the following energy transformations occured.

potential energy → chemical energy → electrical energy →
radiant energy → thermal energy → kinetic energy

Knowing that kinetic energy can be thought of as energy of motion, the question remains: What gives the spinning propeller its kinetic energy?

Heat Rises

How many times have you heard this common misconception? “Heat,” more correctly referred to as “thermal energy,” flows from higher to lower concentration of thermal energy, regardless of directions such as up or down. So what causes the propeller to spin?

Thermal energy from the incandescent flashlight bulb causes the temperature of the air around the flashlight bulb to increase. The warm air around the bulb is less dense than the surrounding air so it rises; the rising air current causes the gold propeller inside the Christmas tree ornament to spin. It’s worth noting I removed the plastic “lens” from the face of the flashlight head so it wouldn’t block airflow from the light bulb to Christmas tree ornament.

The Backstory

The Christmas tree ornament shown above is a treasured memento from my early childhood. My parents bought two similar ornaments: one is blue with a gold propeller; the other is green with a red propeller (not shown).

One of the ornaments was a gift for my sister; the other was for me. I can’t remember which one was given to me. In my defense, that was a long time ago — I might have been as young as three or four years old when we got the ornaments. That said, I remember clearly how fascinated I was with the spinning propeller inside the ornament!

At that time, Christmas tree lights were relatively large colored incandescent bulbs that got uncomfortably warm-to-hot when powered-on. When my Christmas tree ornament was hung above one of those lights, the propeller spun much faster than it did when hanging above the smaller flashlight bulb used for my demonstration.

Related Resource: Candle Powered Carousel (1:01). My family had one of these too.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Cross-compatibility of Godox TT685-series flashes

November 20, 2019

The following quick-and-dirty video is a demonstration of the cross-compatibily among Godox TT685-series external flash units, including a Godox TT685F, TT685o/p, and TT685C (shown from left-to-right). All three flash units were test-fired using Godox X2TF and X2To/p radio flash triggers.

Notice the brand of flash trigger used to fire the flashes appears in the lower-left corner of the LCD on each flash. The beginning of the video shows all three flash units had been fired by a Godox X2TF (for Fujifilm) set for TTL mode. Think about that — now the TT685o/p (center) and TT685C (right) “think” and operate like the Fujifilm-compatible flash (left). Incredible!

Next I switched to a Godox X2To/p (for Olympus and Panasonic), changed the mode to Manual (M), and test-fired the flashes.

Take-aways

The cross-compability of Godox TT685-series flashes makes these relatively inexpensive, well-made flashes an even better value. By buying wisely it’s possible to assemble an array of flashes that provides maximum flexibility. Bravo, Godox!

Editor’s Commentary

You know, I actually had a vision of how I wanted this video to turn out before I started shooting. Let’s just say my vision wasn’t realized. I like to think I’m a fairly good photographer; videographer, not so much. Perhaps I’ll re-do the video when I’m not as pressed for time as I was for this iteration.

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Odonate exuviae collecting sites

July 29, 2019

The following video shows a “boater’s-eye view” of some sites where odonate exuviae have been collected by Joseph Johnston along Aquia Creek, located in Stafford County, Virginia USA. Joe is an avid boater and sport fisherman who kindly agreed to be my “Eyes on the Aquia,” always on the lookout for odonate exuvia to share with me.

The first photo gallery features still images of several spots shown in the preceding video. Joe estimates the water is ~5-6 feet deep outside the channel markers, and much deeper in the middle of the creek.

Joe’s boat is somewhere between the long boat docks (lower-right quadrant) and Government Island (near center), as shown in an aerial view of Aquia Creek provided by Google Maps.

The last photo gallery features still images of several exuviae, shown in situ before Joe collected the specimens. The first photo shows where it all began, when Joe collected his first dragonfly exuvia for me on 20 June 2018.

Related Resources

Credits

All media Copyright © 2019 by Joseph Johnston. Used with permission from Mr. Johnston.

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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