New York based photographer Jamie Beck and Visual Graphics artist Kevin Burg have created an image that is part cinematograph (movie to the vocabulary-challenged!) and part photograph and named it ‘Cinemagraph’. What it is a still photograph incorporating moving elements.
The duo wanted something novel for their coverage of the New York Fashion Week, 2011, to give a feeling of ‘being there’ to the readers of their blogs – better than a stand-alone animated GIF but costing less than a video. And the ‘Cinemagraph’ was born.
An animated GIF is a sequence of stills isolated from a video or animated film and set in a rapidly moving loop to suggest motion whereas Cinemagraph is a similar GIF insinuated into a still photograph.
From the samples here it is clear that it works in some cases but does not in others. To explain further, these cinemagraphs work when the surrounding elements – people, animals or objects – do not look unnatural or not-normal in their surroundings even though they are completely still. The other factor necessary for the cinemagraphs to look interesting is for the animations in the GIFs themselves to be of the right speed and fluidity and the endless repetition of the movement to look normal.
Created in 2011, it is a curiosity that has not moved further technique-wise.
Look through the photographs and make your own ‘sort’ of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. Don’t like any of them? Try to guess which movies the stills are from. Good pastime!