Capturing The Perfect Photo With Perfect Pic
Shane McCallum didn’t set out to transform the way people use video.
The owner of Rev Software, was perfectly happy helping other people develop mobile apps for their own companies. But no matter where he went, people kept pitching him their idea for the perfect app. One day Shane’s friend and future partner Sean Bammer came to him with an idea. You know when you’re watching a video and you see that perfect moment? Your kid finally hangs ten perfectly on her skateboard or you nail that dive with a 10.0 rip right into the water. What if you could capture that moment in an extraordinary still photo, right from the video?
Avid skier and mountain biker Shane knew exactly what Sean meant. It’s next to impossible to capture that perfect action shot with a regular camera. “You generally only get one shot, if somebody’s jumping off of something or doing a trick…If they crash you don’t get the crash, or if they land, you don’t get the landing.” But with video, you already have your choice of perfect shots. All they needed to do was figure out how to divide videos into frames, letting users grab that perfect moment of video and turn it into a still photo.
In other words, they had to figure out how to freeze time.
Shane was more than intrigued, he was hooked. He looked at his friend and said “If this works and if there’s room for me, I want to do more than build it. I want to be a part of it.”
Soon after, the Perfect Pic App was born.
We first discovered the Perfect Pic App out of a personal need. I don’t know about your family, but in ours there were always a few people who didn’t really enjoy having their picture taken – at all. To the point where, when a camera appeared, they darted into the kitchen or suddenly remembered something they’d forgotten at the store. But for some reason a movie or video camera never posed as much of a threat. Once we had our old Super8 movies transferred to DVD, we realized how many pictures we actually had of those people. The only problem was, we couldn’t put them in a photo album.
Besides disappearing relatives, our friends had a different problem. They had tons of videos of them scoring a touchdown or of their baby’s first steps, but no still photos to go with it. How many times have you taken a video camera or a still camera to an event, but not both? Fast forward twenty years and the family is left with precious few pictures of Great Grandma or that winning touchdown, leaving only the sadness of the great moments that the camera missed.
Or did it? Enter the Perfect Pic App. With Perfect Pic you can turn any frame of any video into a crystal clear photo.
Here’s how it works.
After you download the Perfect Pic App from the iTunes App Store, all you have to do is open any old or new video on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, find the frame you want and save it to your Camera Roll, or share it directly with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
For me, the only thing I had to figure out was how to get the old videos I had on my PC, onto my iPad. It turned out to be easy. Most of our videos were only 2-7 minutes long, the perfect length for the Perfect Pic App. All I had to do was drop the old videos, a few at a time onto my Dropbox account on my PC.
Then I opened Dropbox on our iPad and saved each video onto the iPad’s Camera Roll. You can do this by clicking on the video in Dropbox and then clicking on the little box icon in the upper right corner of the Dropbox page. Once your videos are on the Camera Roll, open the Perfect Pic App and your videos will appear right on the App’s home screen.
Making photo stills out of your videos couldn’t be easier. There is a free version of the app and a paid version. The paid version costs $1.99 in the Apple App Store. Although you can create and share photo stills with the free app, you won’t be able to save the photos you create to the Camera Roll. The photos in the free version are also imprinted with an un-removable water mark. Trust me, shell out the $1.99 – it’s completely worth it.
To make a photo still, begin playing the video and when you see the moment you want to capture, touch the screen. You can also touch the pause button, but touching the screen is a bit more accurate. When the video stops, you’ll see that your movie has been divided into frames. Just swipe the frames to advance them to the left or the right, until you find that one perfect shot – the baby’s smile, the touchdown, you sailing through the air… Touch that frame and it will change to a full screen photo. Hit the share button at the bottom center of the screen and then save your new photo to the Camera Roll. You can also share it with family and friends on Twitter, Facebook or via email. Here is the process with a video of me as a flower girl.
If you can’t find that perfect frame, you can adjust the app to give you more frames or fewer frames to choose from. You can also adjust the speed of the video, faster or slower – whatever works best for you. We haven’t had to adjust the settings at all. It works perfectly the way it is.
What surprised us, especially because the movies and videos we’re dealing with are 40-50 years old, is that the color and clarity is actually better on the app, than it is on our computer or TV. Even though you’re literally stopping motion to make a still, there’s no blurriness. Unless your film is badly faded or is very dark – and let’s face it, no one can fix that – the pictures that Perfect Pic App are clear and wonderful. All it takes is one trip thorough Photoshop Elements for a bit of color correction or brightening and they’re ready to print at your local photo processor.
I know Shane and Sean created the app to memorialize that perfect moment from all of their own iPhone videos – like hanging mid-air off a cliff while rock climbing. But Perfect Pic is so much more than that. It actually allows you to rewrite history. Those moments that were hiding in an old box or relegated to a once yearly Christmas viewing are fresh and new again. The stills of Great Grandma and Aunt Ruthie that have literally never been seen before, are now in a brand new photo album and being shared with loved ones thousands of miles away, via Facebook or email.
One of Shane’s favorite parts of working with Perfect Pic is looking at the Tweets users send them, with some of their prized Perfect Pic prints. “I remember one that we got from a guy who blew up a bottle and captured it with his iPhone. You could just see all of the pieces of it coming apart perfectly.”
Imaging sinking a hole in one and running home to grab the video off your phone and turning your moment into this year’s holiday card! With Perfect Pic, it’s not only possible, it’s quick and easy.
And for us, it’s made all the difference in the world.
To get the Perfect Pic App, download it from the iTunes App Store or learn more about it at perfectpicapp.com.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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