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This is the blog of Andrew Jinman as he explores the inner depth of creativity and talent in the SouthWest. This is where he documents his research around sustainability and traceability of South West produced foods, as well as other tip-bits that interest him! So, come on, what are you waiting for? Come join him on this exciting adventure of exploration in one of the most beautiful parts of the country!

Something that has captured my imagination this week was this video seen on Mashable, the question i’ve been asking myself have Gif’s evolved, or even matured into a new form of Art called Cinemagraphs? Well today Ben over at RSK and I had a rather lengthy discussion on whether this was a “new” Art Form so we decided to create our own. We packed up our boards to go for a surf and hit the South Devon coast, an iconic location to test the water and here is the result.

GIFs are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Throughout
their history, they have served a huge variety of purposes, from
functional to entertainment.

With Technology more accessible (everyone has an SLR, right?) and with more people able to go out and snap photos, it leaves grounds for different forms of self-expression and that’s what i feel Cinemagraphs (Gifs) have become. This new more mature form of animated imagery.

In my exploration i’ve already picked up a few tips if you want to try your own;

  • Ensure your subject doesn’t move much and the area around where you want to animate doesn’t move at all. 
  • Use video instead of continuous shooting mode, it makes it much easier when importing your Cinemagraph.
  • Bare in mind colour.. As the Gif format is only able to display 256 different colours you are some what limited in what you can shoot. aPNG’s (Animated PNG’s) allow 32bit colour but it would seem a lot of web browsers are not supportive of this format yet.. /sigh.
  • Reverse your animation so it always goes back to your starting position.
  • Use masks on groups of layers (saves a lot of repetition) and also use Adjustment Layers to change tone, colour, contrast etc. Both of which are non-destructive so you don’t end up deleting or altering the original pixels!
  • Outside shooting is hard work! Unless its a perfect windless day because your scene will move regardless, i’m not saying its impossible just harder!

Personally i love it, they capture the essence of the moment; the minor bit of movement brings to life, the feelings, the emotions and the story, behind the second that photo was taken. I expect i’ll be making more of these. The groundwork has already been laid for Nicky (over at coco-nom-de-plume blog) and myself to attempt some more, so stay tuned!!

In the meantime what do you think, are Cinemagraphs a “NEW” Art Form? Have you made any yourself? We’d love to see and share them, if you have feel free to post them below in the comments!! Photo posting is enabled!!

Andrew