Cinemagraphs: The next step in photographic movement

(Hopefully the gifs all show as moving, IF NOT just click on them to get to the hyperlinked version, you really want to in order to get the full effect)

I know this is a bit of a divergence from most of the ads and photography we talk about, but I thought this was really cool!

Cinemagraphs are similar to moving gifs, such as this:


But only one element of the gif moves.  This can be used to great comedic or aesthetic effect, using the principles of photography and good design and transferring them into the moving picture medium.

In many of these cinemagraphs, the changes are very subtle and sometimes easily unnoticed, such as in this example;


On first glance, the moving lights may be overlooked.  The small movements add even more variance and feeling of reality to photos that, from my research, are mostly subdued and calm.

As opposed to some other types of photography or filmography, cinemagraphs merge the escapism of film and the stillness of photography.  Because only one or few elements are moving, the focus can be made easily once caught to that one point.  In the above gif, the people may have been the focus if it were a photograph, but because ONLY the lights move, they are made the subject instead.

Many cinemagraphs are made from movie stills to become more photograph-like, while others are made with the purpose of becoming a cinemagraph.

Most are atmosphereic, meant for the purpose of creating ambiance or mood from simple movement.  Most are either very natural with forests or mountains, or very urban with cars and streets.

These cinemagraphs could be used very effectively on blog sidebars, or websites to have the extra movement to elicit interest without the extra flashiness of a full gif.

although I wanted to source these images there was no way of finding some of the sources they came from, since they have since become viral and the trace back to the original maker have been lost.  Some cites such as have varieties of cinemagraphs, but most of the popular ones/viral ones are almost all unaccredit-able

A few more examples:




– Sarah