Photography Insights & Tips, Pondering Creativity

Cinemagraphs: GIFs Get Chic!

I love photography because I like to create frames, the still variety that is, something which cannot be achieved by shooting the video of the same given situation or scene. What fascinates me the most is the art of freezing a particular moment and then visualizing and interpreting the whole story or context from that one single frame…Perhaps I should put it in this way…I like the subtle nature of a single photograph as against a full-fledged video (Yes, I know videos can capture movements…but still…)
But what if one can have advantages of both the mediums? What if one could capture and preserve one particular, delicate movement in a scene which matters the most, while keeping everything else,well, perfectly still? 
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All thanks to Photographer Jamie Beck along with graphic artist Kevin Burg, who have invented this new technique called, Cinemagraphs (they invented this new term too), there is this midway to take between a photograph and a movie. A Cinemagraph which is saved as a GIF file, is an image or a kind of graphic that incorporates both photograph and video, containing within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly. While traditionally a GIF animation animated the whole frame and created a 3D effect, a cinemagraphic GIF only animates part of it, the rest of the area in the frame remain motionless.
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Starting from the creation of the first ever GIF file around 25 years ago, GIFs are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Thanks to their distinct advantages like transparency support, loss-less compression, and ability to interlace multiple frames, GIFs are widely used for small animations and low-resolution film clips. Although they support only 256 colors, GIFs are suitable for storing graphics with relatively few colors such as simple diagrams, shapes, logos and cartoon images. However during last few years, as the high resolution images and videos started flooding internet, GIF started losing their popularity. Web-designers simply wrote it off as childish and stopped using GIFs for “serious” kind of images.
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Lensdepictions applauds the refreshing but very classy approach of the creative duo Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg towards the GIF format which has taken the new age digital photography and this old image format(GIF) to the next level. So much so, GIFs are experiencing a kind of renaissance in the internet space!
Personally, I feel that Cinemagraph is an absolutely beautiful and brilliant way for artistic expression and are bound to be the “next big thing” in the world of photography and web-design.
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Featured in this post are some of the classic Cinemagraphs created by Jamie and Kevin.
Article ©2012 Gyaneshwari Dave

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