What's a cinemagraph?
For the last couple of years, I’ve been creating cinemagraphs for fun, for commercial projects and for engagement shoots. Occasionally, I forget that not everyone obsessively looks through the internet at creative projects and keeps track of the variations between gifs, cinemagraphs and plotagraphs.
Personally, I think of a cinemagraph as a little bit more than a photograph and a little bit less than a video. It’s a single moment captured and looped.
Is it a GIF?
When I first started making cinemagraphs, I always exported them as a GIF file but when Instagram introduced videos I started to experiment with the cinemagraph medium in video format. Without the limitations of the GIF file, a cinemagraph can contain a longer looper and have more complicated elements moving. Most cinemagraphs on the internet are GIFS but I would define them by their style of having limited and constrained motion versus by their file format.
I always enjoy sharing cinemagraphs on my social media channels, especially now that they’re supported by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (as a video), Pinterest and Tumblr. I have cinemagraphs and non-looping GIFs sprinkled throughout my website. They're a really great way to share one moment.
Perhaps it's because they remind me of the photos described in Harry Potter but I always feel like cinemagraphs are just a bit magical. I, also, love the surprise of suddenly realizing that something that should be still is moving. Looking through portfolios or blog posts with cinemagraphs, I'm always delighted when something still suddenly comes to life.