Cinemagraph : The Magic of Moving Pictures
Creativity often thrives in the land of 'what ifs'. The creative mind is one that loves synthesis. We only have to look at the billions of bytes of creativity uploaded onto the web every day: a re-edited movie, a fan made trailer, a music fusion, a mad spoof and many more. Artists love synthesis. Fusion, cross fertilization, dissemination, distillation all infuse the life blood of artists.
Now imagine you are a fashion photographer sitting at a New York fashion show. You see cameras flashing all around you, as does yours. You also see video cameras busy capturing the models sashaying down the catwalk. You see people's expressions, mini moments of magic. You see a flick of a hair, the swirl of a skirt, a moist lip, a flash of soft skin.
The moment you click your camera, the two dimensional image captures a snapshot. Yet it feels that misses that little movement of inspiration. A video, is too long and captures too much. You wished you could combine the stillness of a photo but with the subtle movement that enraptured you.
What do you do?
Your 'what if' brain says why don't we create a high definition animated gif that captures that wonderful moment where the photograph has an aspect or an element that moves while the rest is still.
A fluttering eyelash, a soft movement of a skirt in the otherwise motionless picture?
In that little spark of creativity, in that moment of synthesis, the Cinemagraph is born.
What is a GIF?
The familiar 'gif' file format was introduced in 1987 by compuserve. It is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format' . Those who can remember those far away days of dial-up modems and snail paced internet speeds will know how it used to be sitting in front of a monitor waiting for a picture to load. Line after line after line used to appear very s..l..o..w..l..y.
GIFs allowed the user to make images downloadable quicker and also to be able to preview them. The color palette is a lowly 256. Although GIfs have been around so long their use has not evolved beyond crude animations until now with Cinemagraphs. Just shows any tired format can be given new possibilities by creativity and technical knowhow.
The Birthplace of Cinemagraph!
What is a Cinemagraph?
Anyone who watched the Harry Potter films would marvel at those wonderful moving portraits that hand on the illustrious walls of Hogwarts Castle. The internet savvy also have a long association with animated gifs. These punchy little animations serve as mini movies that are looped over and over gain. You may have seen people use these as avatars or create a gif of their favorite movie moment.These homemade, often crude animated gifs are good for a quick laugh, but have rarely risen to the level of art.
Cinemagraphs are merely 'grown up' versions of these animated gif ( Graphics Interchange Format), These are created using high quality images while the previous generation of gifs were low definition and often pixellated.
These can either be a series of images knitted together or an image and a video clip merged to create that unique effect. They were first conjured by New York fashion photographer Jamie Beck in collaboration with graphical design artist Kevin Burg.
This brand new trend arrived after the Milan fashion week, where Jamie and Kevin experimented with the idea of creating still images that move in a way that emphasized an aspect of the picture while leaving the rest of it as a still photograph. While their initial attempts looked more like a superior version of an animated gif where everything moved to a degree, they've since refined their technique is such a way as to create a unique art form.
A brand new Trend
Once they perfected the art form, their stunning renditions soon captured the imagination of the fashion world, advertisers and the internet generation. They were commissioned to create a series of adverts using the technique as well as fashion shoots for jewellery and clothes.
As one can imagine, the possibilities are endless. Not before long the internet went crazy for these cinemagraphs, One only has to Google to see stunning examples of Jamie and Kevin's work as well as others attempts at creating this art form.
Jamie and Kevin have done studies of New York, a fashion shoot for model Coco Rocha and a project called making food alive. They've also created Cinemagraphs for dogfish brewery with a photoessay of their brewing processes.
Their work is on display at their website Cinemagraph.com.
The Next Big Thing?
Judging by the internet trending and the rave reviews on these cinemagraphs, it looks like they are likely to take over our (cyber) world.
The current method of creating cinemagraph varies with which software we use, the popular picture programs such as PhotoshopCS being the leaders of the pack.
However, you don't have to meddle with sophisticated settings and multiple menu choices as everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.
Microsoft Research have just announced a quick and easy tool called 'CLIPLETS' that allows you to create these mini-masterpieces. This is downloadable free with Windows7 this makes the whole process simplified as you can see from this video.
TEN FACTS ABOUT CINEMAGRAPHS
- A still photograph is doesn't capture a moment in motion, a video has many moments and many movements. The Cinemagraph captures just the moment we want on just the area we want leaving he rest of the photo still.
- It was first introduced by NY fashion photographer Jamie Beck in association with Kevin Burg who is a graphical design artist
- It is taking the art, fashion and advertising world by storm
- It has trended so much on the web, that Microsoft has released a free software to create easy cinema graphs called Cliplets
- I am sure Apple wont take it lying down!
- The video at the top of this hub is a composite of many cinemagraphs created by Jamie and Kevin. Thanks guys!
- Search and look at many examples of this wonderful new art form.
POTENTIAL OF CINEMAGRAPHS
already being shoot to creat unique photoshoots
A wonderful memento of events and memories
Wouldn't it be great to capture a sense of movement in a holiday pic
imagine having cinemagraphs as part of your wall display
So many possibilities here
already being used to advertise products
great use for high impact educational posters
Creat unique sleevedesign
illustrations for e-books could be wonderful
I predict a riot of cinemagraphs!
This hub was inspired by hubber Ishwaryaa22's marvelous introduction to Cinemagraphs. Do visit her hub:
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