The Cinemagraph

Following on perfectly from my dalliance with The Rivoli, one of my wonderful partners-in-crime, Linda, offered to write a guest post, and I bit her hand off before she changed her mind.

Not only is this lady an amazing dancer, and leaves us breathless with her unique style when she breezes into the studio, but she is also a technical wizard. Not fair, I say!

So sit back and enjoy a “behind the scenes” look at the technical phenomena that’s taking online fashion and art by storm. Take it away Linda:

I’ve had better ideas. I usually write about technology not fashion and interiors. For the last few weeks I’ve not had a clue what to write about.

But, one of my Digital Media students unwittingly came to my rescue. Introducing me to the concept of Cinemagraphs.

Cinemagraphs are the brainchild and TM of Kevin Burg and his beautiful photographer partner Jamie Beck.

It’s a stunning hybrid between photo and video. The beauty of them comes as the viewer is initially under the impression that they are looking at a piece of still photography, but then suddenly something catches their eye and they realise that it’s moving!


They really are a glorified animated GIF, layering video and images to stunning effect, sometimes with more than 100 layers. EEK that’s complicated!

Launched virally through social media platforms Twitter and Tumblr, with the now iconic feed they have become a fashion phenomena. 

Frommetoyou, catwalk gif animation

Who’d have thought the humble animated GIF could have set the art scene alight. The more subtle the confection the more powerful a medium they become. I adore the one below. The light from the screen catches the curves to stunning effect.

Coco Rocha, Cinemagraphs

It seems I am late to this technology however. It’s been around for a couple of years with graphics peeps labouring lovingly over Photoshop layers. I looked at a couple of online tutorials and had tweety-birds flying around in my head just reading them. It is NOT a short and uncomplicated process.

If you really want to do it from scratch the best of the tutorials (in my view) is by a chap called Robbie Dickson who makes it feel almost accessible!  

Thankfully there are now iPhone applications galore that can create a Cinemagraph of your very own quickly and almost easily. All the tech-head mags seem to like Cinemagram. Let me know what you think if you try it.

Not to be outdone, even Microsoft have launched a bit of kit that does the trick. Unimaginatively called Cliplets.

I love it that two artists, like Burgh and Beck, have responded to the myriad photography platforms like Instagram and Pinterestwith something different and new. The web seems to be full of visually witty ‘graphs too.

My personal favourite (again by Berg & Beck) is this one of La Wintour at New York Fashion week this February. She looks even more reptilian in this image than she usually does.

Anna Wintour, Cinemagraph

And this beautiful pair of Loubies (which refuse to sparkle, so click on them). The closest I am going to get to a pair for a while me thinks.

Louboutin sparkles, Cinemagraph, gif animation

If I may just indulge myself and end with my most favourite stylish views of New York City.

30 Rock, New York City, Cinemagraph, gif animation

Look at that…30 Rock.

So good they named a TV series after it.

I’ve really enjoyed my foray into fashion. It’s been fun! Thank you for letting me share two of my greatest passions. Fashion and the application of technology to make new and incredible things happen.

You know what I’m going to do now, don’t you, annoy the hell out of my family and spend hour after hour pouring over Robbie Dickson and Photoshop. Gif animation here we come!

If I can do one like this from Style Design Lovefest, I’ll be a happy woman.

Style Design Lovefest, Gif animation

Thank you Linda – and what am I going to contribute to your insightful techno blog……er……..yeah I’m a bit stuck on that one. xx


  1. I knew this post was coming and I thought I knew what to expect, but that technology blows my mind! To think that you (yes, you not me Linda/Carolyn!) can do that with clever layering is amazing! I can’t quite get my head around how you get a photo and layer a film together without it being one or the other or both! I think it’s best to just leave it to you experts!

    I love the hair blowing in the first shot! It’s mesmerising!

    Great post!

    Em X

  2. Anjou Clothing

    AHHH, cinemagraphs are my absolutely new favorite form of media. I am obsessed with them (the projector one is still tops on my list). I have got to try cinemagram, stat; thanks for pointing us towards that! Oh ps: I actually worked with a photographer/model duo who made a super gorgeous cinemagraph (it’s at the bottom of the page):

    ❤ Anjou

  3. Pingback: Fashion Photography’s New Kick – the Cinemagraph | Earth, Wind & Style Blog

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