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A New Way to Capture Living Photos

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A photo has always been a way to capture a memory, a moment of time. Frozen for you to look back on. Yet our memory is not static, there is more to it than that. You remember the way your friend’s hair blew in the wind, or how the shadows danced against the firelight, or how the fireworks burst and lit the sky. Moments and experiences are shared by more than just a still image.  What if someone could capture a moment that more closely resembled our memory of the experience, allowing a glimpse into an experience preserved endlessly?

In 2009 Visual Graphics Artist Kevin Burg began experimenting with the still image as a .gif format, when partnered with photographer Jamie Beck to cover New York Fashion Week; they created what is now known as the “Cinemagraph.”  The artist takes a traditional photograph and combines a living moment into the image through the isolated animation of multiple frames. The term “Cinemagraph” comes from its cinematic animation grounded in a traditional photograph. This new style took off with social media, sharing these unique visuals over Twitter and Tumblr. You can still see the original cinemagraphs that started the trend for New York Fashion Week here.

The process of creating a cinemagraph can be very daunting, not only do you have to have a keen photographic eye/ability, you must also be comfortable with Adobe Photoshop and film editing software in order to create the end product, taking a total of 30+steps before you have your desired cinemagraph.

Finally, a Montreal-based startup called Factyle, Inc. decided that this process didn’t need to be so complicated.  They created a way for users to create a cinemagraph within a few short steps right within the app, and then share it with the world in an “Instagram” type UI; hence the apps name “Cinemagram”. The CEO Temoojin Chalasani stated in a TechCrunch interview the following, “We’ve been fascinated by this art form since its first appearance last year in the world of fashion photography… We see it as a way for photographers to bring out the essence of an image, and tell the story behind their pictures in a fun and beautiful way.”

Although they have not been the first to market on this type of app for iPhones, its clearly the first to combine the trending new looks and filters of “Instagram” along with a unique and creative approach to allow an easier workflow for cinemagraphs. Users have been creating their own unique creative works that can be seen on the Cinemagram blog here.

But with any tool its how you use it, there is plenty of poorly executed cinemagraphs by users, yet as you browse you find some that are uniquely witty and charming. And you can’t help but feel like your getting a peek into someone else’s memory.

Written by: Ryan Beickert | Cinemaphoto Credit: www.cinemagraphs.com

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