Cinemagraph Experiments at Joshua Tree

I have a confession to make…I have always liked animated gifs.  Sure they are usually low quality sophomoric jokes, and the limitations of the gif form can be distracting, but just the idea of a moving picture…  Inspired by the cinemagraphs of Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, Atelier wanted to do some experiments.

So what is a cinemagraph?  It is an animated gif that takes a more artistic approach.  At it’s core it is a good photograph with an element of movement; not quite a photo, but not a video, it lives somewhere between the two.  Basically it is a perfect fit for us here at Atelier Pictures!  Jonathan and I were out at Joshua Tree National Park a few weeks ago and we did some experiments with cinemagraphs.  We wanted to share the results!

First off we have a few simple ones.




One of the issues that were were working through was how to use limited motion to the best effect.  One thought we had was to have at least two points of movement in the frame, freezing one and allowing the other to move.  And for some reason we ended up doing a lot of jumping!





Having stable footage is also key.  If you look closely at the green shirt, you can see it sort of dance across the screen because there was camera shake.

Wind-Portrait-Jonathan Wind-Portrait-Joshua


Some work better than others, but overall I think this was a successful experiment, and we are excited to push cinemagraphs further.  There is a lot of potential, and we have a few ideas that we will be working on next!  We would love to hear your feedback; let us know what you think!

6 Responses to Cinemagraph Experiments at Joshua Tree

  1. Could see this being useful when shooting product for an e-commerce site (especially apparel). A few ad agencies might be interested in this. Good stuff

  2. I like them! At first I missed the blinking eyes and was waiting for something to move. Looks like fun to do. Now I’m curious. Thanks.

  3. The eye’s blinking, the mid air shot of Josh with Jonathan taking the pic and the last shot with the sunset….all cool. Way to go!!!

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