I first saw a cinemagraph on one of the websites that I follow on creative expression (I think it was on My Modern Met). At first I was hooked on to the word itself which sounded familiar yet sublimely intriguing. One can easily guess that it might be related to a photograph, unless you are a statistics person and get all excited about a new type of graph! The word cinema comes from cinématographe, a term coined by the Lumière brothers who made the first ever motion picture. The brothers borrowed two greek words kinein which means “to move” and graphein which means “to write”, to create a term which literally meant writing using motion!
A cinemagraph is exactly that, a moving picture. Technically speaking it is a .gif file which plays in a looped fashion. But looking at it in this way is like handing a pricked balloon to a child, it just takes the fun out of it. Also, it’s a more artistic rendition of the gif, unlike rolling cats, blinking banner ads and such.
First let me show you the first cinemagraph that I have created and then I’ll go into why I am in love with this form.
I was extremely excited while creating this cinemagraph and to put it mildly, I was wildly ecstatic to see this image come through! I look at a cinemagraph as a lovely marriage of a beautiful photograph and an expressive movie scene. It makes you stop in your tracks, try to understand what is happening and it forces you not just to see but to observe. There is a timeless quality to it which makes you keep looking at it. Any expression of art that manages to connect this way is very rewarding, both for the creator and the viewer. And here we have an entire form of expression which has these qualities built right into it! All that you have to do is pour in imagination and creativity into it and voila, you have an engaging creation!
Arthur C. Clarke nailed it when he said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The cinemagraph will strike a chord with all Harry Potter fans in which moving images hanging on walls were one small but lovable part of the entire magical world. But in a few years from now I see this becoming a norm (a muggle world thing, if you will) where beautiful, high quality digital photo frames capable of rendering cinemagraphs (Canviz) will become mainstream and affordable. That, coupled with creative people realizing their ideas and vision in this form will usher in a new trend of having cinemagraphs hanging on your walls. In the meantime, I’ll keep getting lost in this beautiful world of cinemagraphs.
P.S. Some mesmerizing, and my favorite collection of cinemagraphs can be found here: NYC Cinemagraphs
P.P.S. Hit Like on Myriad Moods Photography if you haven’t already!