A Cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.
Visual Graphics Artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the .gif format in this style in 2009 but it wasn’t until he partnered with photographer Jamie Beck to cover New York Fashion Week that Cinemagraphs were born. Marrying original content photography with the desire to communicate more to the viewer birthed the cinemagraph process. Starting in-camera, the artists take a traditional photograph and combine a living moment into the image through the isolated animation of multiple frames.
Beck and Burg named the process “Cinemagraphs” for their cinematic quality while maintaining at its soul the principles of traditional photography. Launched virally through social media platforms Twitter and Tumblr, both the style of imagery and terminology has become a class of its own. The creative duo are looking forward to exploring future display technologies for gallery settings as well as pushing this new art form and communication process as the best way to capture a moment in time or create a true living portrait in our digital age while embracing our need to communicate visually and share instantly.
The allure is simple: rather than overtly drawing your attention to an obvious movement, these animations are very subtle and controlled. It’s what sets them apart from all the other nonsense GIF animations. The subtlety creates a kind of serenity almost — sort of a halfway point between film and real life. Definitely makes you do a double take the first time you see it. We know animated GIFs are as old school but we think this places a subtle spin on the technique which will be absolutely everywhere. Enjoy it.
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