Update: Cinemagraph Pro for Mac 1.1 Released

Living photo by dwbanksphoto

Cinemagraph Pro for Mac: Update 1.1

A new exciting update has arrived for Cinemagraph Pro for Mac. Update 1.1 has been released for direct download  at flixel.com, and is now available for download on the Mac App Store. The update includes the following enhancements: 

  • Adjustments — Adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, and vignette of your living photos
  • Import and Render ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444
  • Nudge — Fine grained Trim controls

Update also includes: 

  • Notifications for Render and Upload completion
  • File > Open will now allow video file selection and will create a new Cinemagraph document
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Living photo by frankcone

Living photo by Max911

Spontaneous Living Photography with Tracy Lee

Tracy Lee has held a camera in her hand since her late teens and has yet to put it down. Born in the Cayman Islands, transplanted to Houston at two weeks old, grew up in Sacramento, and transplanted to Las Vegas in 2003, she is no stranger to traveling the world; exploring places and people within it. Most recently, she's taken up the art of Cinemagraph imagery where she is still honing her skills and working alongside Flixel to perfect her craft.  Soon to be featured in RC Concepcion's newest HDR book — we sat down with Tracy to discuss her approach to infusing life into her photography.

 Tracy, thank you for taking the time. How did you get into capturing Cinemagraph images?

Of course. It's been quite a recent exploration actually. I was walking through this year's CES Trade show in the Panasonic booth and was suddenly captivated by this amazing Cinemagraph imagery being displayed on the TVs. It was one of the ANTM shots from Bali and it was simply impressive. As a result, I had to stop and chat with co-founders Mark and Mark. 

 What makes for a good living photo in your opinion?

I think the best living photos are the ones where you know there is supposed to be movement in one part of the photo and the movement is somewhere else. It makes a Cinemagraph photo stand out, looking less like a regular video.

 How do you decide what animates in your living photos?

Usually I pre-determine what I want animated in a photo. It's taken some time to get into the right mindset of what works and what doesn't as well as a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, what I think I want animated doesn't end up being the case by the time we reach the end point. I like to choose subtle yet noticeable elements and I try to incorporate something you know should be moving but isn't as to heighten that very contrast between stillness and motion.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from being such a visual person. The whole living photos "way of thinking" has taken over my brain and I find myself studying movement in so many different ways. The goal is to then decide how can I incorporate that movement into a living photo and have it catch one's eye.

What kind of gear do you use when capturing living photos? 

I use a canon 70d, a tripod, a 24-70 2.8 or an 11-16 2.8 as my lens, and I typically use available lighting.

How do you achieve such  beautiful colour treatments in your living photography?

Depending on how I plan out the Cinemagraph image and where the movement is, I can take my key frame into Photoshop and adjust it, but most of the time I pull my colours out utilizing tools in Adobe Premiere before re-introducing the footage into Cinemagraph Pro for my living photo editing. I do colour correcting in Adobe premiere prior to pulling my key frame out 95% of the time.

Do you have any other tips on conceptualizing a proper Flixel shoot?

When planning out a shoot think "less is more". You don't want or need a ton of motion. Motion in excess can over power what you are trying to convey, or destroy the concept altogether. In my eyes, minimal movement is more captivating.

Very cool. With that said, what specific living photo shoots can we look forward to from Tracy Lee?

I have a deep involvement in the MMA industry so I am making an effort to do a complete series on Mixed Martial Arts. Stay tuned everyone!

Thank you Tracy Lee! 

To view more of Tracy's work, check her out at mstracylee.com and for more Flixels, visit her profile on flixel.com at mstracylee

Grow your Client Base with Hybrid Photography

We released Cinemagraph Pro for Mac with the intent to provide photographers with a software tool that would enable them to create living photographs intuitively and effectively, offering their clients a new type of product.

On that note, we talked with a pioneer in the industry, our friend Giulio Sciorio, a commercial portrait photographer specializing in animated portraiture. Giulio agreed to provide us with some insights on his experiences with living photography. 

Thanks so much for doing this Giulio. How do you define Hybrid Photography? 

My pleasure. I see Hybrid Photography as a blend of still + (motion + sound). I call that the Hybrid Equation, which is a guideline I suggest to all photographers. Root the imagery in photography first, and then add simple elements of motion and possibility sound, which I’m exploring at the moment.

When and how did you get started with hybrid photography?

I got into shooting animated portraits in 2009 when the economy took its toll on my business. I didn’t shoot a job for about six months, which forced me to evolve my art in a way that put me in my own class. At the time I could only find one other photographer shooting animated portraits, Greg Williams.

What do you shoot your living photographs with?

I like to use Lumix G cameras, GH series for the highest quality video, Fiilex and Westcott LED lights and MeFoto Tripods. 

What is your most notable hybrid photo shoot experience?

I’d have to mention three shoots in particular. My first commercial shoot, an animated pinup calendar, which taught me that animated portraits can sell but it took four more years to find a client that understood the importance of this art. That client was a high tech startup in Austin that created specialized riffle scopes. The still portion of the shoot was two days, the motion shoot was two weeks. That’s a huge gain in revenue for a business!

The third breakthrough was working on the Mitch Stone Essentials campaign. This shoot was specifically shot to create Cinemagraphs using Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro for Mac and what I got out of it was that it is now possible to create animated portraits in a simple, elegant fashion and in short amount of time. Again, huge for my business, as it helped me create a product that had a low time-cost and a high profit margin. Using Cinemagraph Pro fro Mac saves me hours in post vs. Adobe Creative Cloud, which I still use, but 90% of my work is now done with Cinemagraph Pro.


Where can Hybrid Photography be displayed? 

The list is truly endless. Any screen can display Hybrid content. In Las Vegas I saw screens on the sinks in public, in bathrooms. There are screens in the back of cabs, on walls, point of sale and trade shows. Furthermore by 2016 we’ll see over 1.5 billion smart phones in the market place. Any photographer not seeing the potential now is on a sinking ship. That’s their market!

 How is 4K technology changing or enhancing living photography?

4K is truly a breakthrough technology now that it’s affordable. Looking at the Lumix GH4 at $1600 vs the Canon 1DC at $12,000 we finally have a product that is affordable for the main stream pro. The ability to print a 4K frame of video and use that same video clip in Cinemagraph Pro means I can quickly and easily offer more products to clients and because with the GH cameras I can now shoot in a fraction of the time, I've increased my revenue as I'm more efficient. 

Could you share some key tips to shooting beautiful animated portraits?

Keep the camera steady - Always use a tripod. A shaky motion clip can make a shot unusable.

The model must be still when shooting - this is as important as having the camera steady. If your model’s position drifts during capture it could ruin the shot.

Get the shot right in camera - Since you’re shooting video, this means that any errors at the time of capture get multiplied 30X in post since we’re capturing video at 30 frames per second.

Use a constant light source - there’s no flash in video so you’ll need a constant light source. Natural light is good but I recommend purchasing a quality LED light kit that can also be used for still photography.

What does the Future look like for Hybrid Photography?

In house we’re experimenting with interactive applications for hybrid content and ways to incorporate the element of sound that compliments the visuals.

Fantastic. Thank you Giulio! 

To view more of Giulio's Flixels, check his profile out at @gsciorio on flixel.com and his latest feature on our Gallery. You can also view his work at giuliosciorio.com and make sure to stop by his blog at smallcamerabigpicture.com