How to use the word 'capture'?

Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 04/09/13

Is it correct to use the word 'capture' describing the process of taking photos? Or is it better to use it for videos? And what words do you usually say/write after 'capture' - those that describe the person/thing/event you capture ('capture a man', 'capture the party', etc.) or such like these: 'video', 'photo' ('capture a video', 'capture a photo')?



"Capture" is fine for talking about the recording of images by any medium, photography, video, or even drawing, and it usually implies that some skill or luck was involved in recording something special about the object, person, or scene in the image. Either the image or the artist can be said to have captured the special quality or special moment. I don't think I'm likely to say or to hear someone say that a photo or video was captured. I "take" photos and video. I can say that someone captured an image and that the image captured a quality or moment.


The sports photographer captured the historic goal in this photo.

This portrait captures the personality of my uncle.

The video captures the excitement of the race.

Did you take this photo? It really captures the beauty of the mountains.



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Using the word 'capture' is a good way to describe an image or video by saying what feeling, trait, or quality the image captured.

ex. You really managed to capture the mood of the evening in this shot (picture).

But it would be strange to use capture to talk about the act of taking a picture/video.

ex. Let's capture a picture (video) together! < This is an unnatural sentence.



Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 09/09/13

Thank you, Mark!

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I wouldn't use "capture" for any of them really. You can use "catch" i.e. I caught an incident on video, I took a photo and caught my friend kissing her boyfriend.

I hope that this is what you mean.



Alice Val Alice Val (2) on 05/09/13

Yes, Paul, thank you! I meant that :).

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