The Cinemagraph: Capturing Movement with Photography

Posted on Jan 18, 2016 in Photography, Social Media
The Cinemagraph: Capturing Movement with Photography

Image credit (above): Nano Anderson

A cinemagraph can be defined as a still image incorporating one or more elements of movement, akin to video, but encapsulated in the lightweight, compression friendly format of the GIF. Husband and wife creative team, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, came up with the concept. Burg, an artist, and Beck, a photographer, conceived the idea from a desire to create a ‘living photograph’.

The single ‘frame’ of the cinemagraph focuses the eye, and achieves the ‘fleeting moment’ effect associated with photography. The cinemagraph allows for an almost painterly freedom to direct the eye within a given composition. The introduction of selective areas of movement and transition create the opportunity for poetic emphasis and artistic focus. Movements within the frame are selected by the creator, and play in a loop.

How does this new media format influence social media and digital marketing? Cinemagraphs have the capacity to grow a brand’s visual vocabulary, and support poignant brand messaging. Facebook’s recent introduction of video autoplay aligns well with cinemagraphs, and the image-forward style of Instagram is a natural fit for this medium. We can expect to see more creative use of cinemagraphs in 2016 and beyond.

Visual examples
Bush fire
Coffee break

More Reading & Further Examples
Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg Portfolio
When Photos Come to Life: The Art of the Cinemagraph
More on Social Media Applications of Cinemagraphs

Gioglio, Jessica. “How a High-End Brand Uses Cinemagraphs and Storytelling.” Convince and Convert Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy. Convince&Convert. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Lin, Joseph C. “When Photos Come to Life: The Art of the Cinemagraph.” Time. Time, 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.