The pictures below are cinemagraphs, a new form of digital art cropping up all over the internet. What’s so unique about cinemagraphs? Well, how often can you look at a picture and have that picture look right back at you?

A cinemagraph is a series of images shown in sequence to make a short animation. Creating animated images in the form of GIF files on the internet is certainly not a new technique, but New York photographer Jamie Beck and web-designer fiancee Kevin Burg (who coined the term “cinemagraph,” and who operate photo blogs to display their work) have certainly elevated it to an art form. It may be true that a picture says thousand words. Beck and Burg may have changed digital photography when they asked, simply, “can it say more?”

Note: There are some pictures which contains size larger than this site supports, therefore you need to right click on that cinemagraphs and open link in new tab to see in action.

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“How can I do… more?” Beck recalls asking herself while on a fashion photo shoot in New York City. She was recently interviewed by Sew & Tell about her work with cinemagraphs. “How can I bring the viewer in more?”

They began by creating simple animated GIF files from series of images taken at the fashion shows. Shortly thereafter, they began selectively animating sections of pictures — small movements amidst a photograph frozen in time.

“After I saw the first one, I started changing the way I thought about taking a photographs – then I started looking for moments.”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

Moments, indeed.

Their technique caught the attention of photographers around the internet. Since, numerous tutorials on how to replicate the technique have emerged and many photographers have tried their hand at mastering this new form of photography. Cinemagraphs are typically short and looping, often replicating only small movements isolated in the image. This proves to be an exceptional way to isolate and highlight elements of a photograph, giving a temporal presence and focus to only the element the photographer had in mind. As many photographers have demonstrated, this can produce some stunning images.

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“I remember sitting there looking at it and thinking… Oh my God, this is the next step in photography for me.” The real power of the cinemagraph comes by blurring the line between the “moment-frozen-in-time” magic of still photography and the alert realism of cinematography. They can contort our perception of time, capturing a subtle but important movement in an otherwise intense but still image.

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

In the same way that you only remember what’s important, photographers only capture the (often overlooked) motions that they feel are important. Images can become incredibly lifelike, the subtlety of the movements jumping off the screen to bring the viewer right into the reality captured. Many images feel like looking at a memory: there is more detail than simply a snapshot, but not a complete set of information about the event.

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

Cinemagraphs can toy with the expectations you have from still photography, as in the first image of this article. It can also toy with our perception of time, giving the photographer the chance to capture an image that leaves the viewer “stuck in a moment.”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

As the technique becomes well-known, photographers have really run with the idea. It seems well suited as a form of photography for the Internet era: it incorporates the appeal of still photography with some of the magic afforded by modern technologies. Cinemagraphs allow photographers to capture another dimension in their work which, as in those featured on this page, can be used to say much more than a simple photograph. But cinemaphotography is a technique still less than a year old, so photographers are just scratching the surface of the potential for this technique. There are undoubtedly new and interesting avenues for photographers and graphic designers to explore together.

Here is a collection of some of the finest examples of cinemagraphs the Internet has to offer to intrigue and inspire.

Must See Cinemagraphs:

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

“Right click on this photo and open link in new tab to see in action”

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